[Be Different]: Create a Visual Resume

So you’ve delved into the world of social media and want to start using the tools to build your online presence. You started with cleaning up your Facebook profile of incriminating alcohol-filled photos, you set up a professional profile on LinkedIn and maybe even signed up for Twitter. Yet job application after job application you are filling in the same information about your experience here and there, your education and qualifications and why you would like to work for this specific company. How is social media going to help when everybody just wants to see your CV or resume?

Why Have a Visual Resume

Be different.

Whilst there is a lot of value in having a tailored, up-to-date and effective paper resume on hand to send to potential employers (and here is a great presentation on how such a document should look like), you can also differentiate yourself through creating a document that is more visual, more interactive, more representative of who you actually are as a person and what you could bring to the company.

Visual resume allows you to make a different impression. You can be much more succint in your writing and also more persuasive. A picture is worth a thousand words and visual resume gives you the opportunity to show off some of your best projects or ideas in a way that is simply impossible to convey in text form. It also serves as a great way to finally prove those excellent presentation skills you claim to have!

Example of My Visual Resume

So how does a visual resume actually look like?

Want to create one for yourself?

Top Tips for Creating Your Visual Resume

  • Don’t write an essay –> Remember that you’re going for visual rather than text focus. You can put all the details on your text resume. In the visual version, focus on being concise and conveying ideas in clear terms.
  • Use quality images –> A visual presentation of yourself requires professional-looking images. To look for these try Flickr Creative Commons licensed photos.
  • Keep it short –> Do you really think a prospective employer will have time to click through your 100 slides?
  • Don’t just copy off your text resume –> You want to differentiate yourself from the rest of the applicants…so do it! Use different phrases, present interesting case studies, point to your side projects. Don’t lose your chance to make an impression simply by reiterating what the company has already seen.
  • Be innovative –> Following on from previous point: Think about what sort of content you could put in. Is there a way you can prove your expertise? Engaging and persuasive way to show off your references?
  • Find your voice –> A visual form of your resume will require employment of a slightly different tone than a factual text-based CV. Keep it professional but also show that you’re a person, ready to engage with your viewers.
  • Point the reader to your other social media outlets
  • Use Slideshare.net and make this an integral part of your online presence

How to Stand Out in Your Job Search. Or in Life. Part I

Here I’d like to share with you a few strategies that caught my eye and that may help you stand out not only in your job search but also in selling yourself in life more generally. Don’t forget that you can also use visual resumes.

  • Part I: Using a job search website targeted to a specific company
  • Part II: Using a targeted blog and building community
  • Part III: Using Slideshare and a targeted social media campaign

Using a job search website targeted to a specific company

I thought I was doing my best during my job search to customise every piece of content I was sending out to specific companies. And maybe I was, within the time constraints, putting reasonable effort into this. Yet I could have definitely done more and my problem lay in a lack of proper focus.

I should have learned from this guy:

Jason Zimdars, a graphic designer, created a website focused specifically on getting him a position at 37signals.

Jasonscreenshot How to Stand Out in Your Job Search. Or in Life. Part I

What Jason did:

  • Avoided generic job applications. He targeted a specific company and tailored all of his content towards showing how he would be perfect for this one company and for this one job.
  • Researched everything about the company. Their past projects, what others are saying about them, company culture, their products as well as people within the company.
  • Explained why he wants the job and also why he’d be perfect for it.
  • Showed examples of his previous work projects and also included his resume.
  • He was proactive and gave insight into what his work for this specific company would look like. He did this by including a redesign of one of their web pages and showing his creative process. This way, the company wouldn’t be hiring “a rabbit in a hat” but someone whose quality of work they were able to judge beforehand.
  • Showed his personality and interests.

Ultimately, he made himself their most interesting and innovative applicant and clearly stood out from the crowd. And the result? You guessed it: he was hired!

Do you have any examples of creative job search using new web technologies?

[Be Different]: Using Your Visual Resume …

I have talked previously about how you can create a visual resume.

I’m very happy to announce that I’m an official StudentBranding.com contributor as of today! The reason I’m writing about this is that my first post on the site can serve as a useful follow-up to the original article as it expands on the topic and talks about the different ways in which a visual resume could be used.

So hop over to the site and read about Using a Visual Resume.

Screen shot 2010 08 25 at 14.47.30 300x289 [Be Different]: Using Your Visual Resume ... Plus Im a StudentBranding.com Contributor

Some of the points that I cover are how to use your visual resume in your job search, as tools in your interview preparation as well as creative uses for social networks or as an innovative application for graduate school.

Hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your feedback in the comments.