Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Do you have time for a visual resume?

This article originally appeared in my employer's e-newsletter to external clients.

Do you have time for a visual resume?

Many of our student clients feel a great deal of pressure to stand out from their peers. Creating a distinct resume or portfolio is one of the methods that they could use to make an impression on an employer. But do human resource professionals have the time to view these resumes? Is a visual resume the correct method an applicant should use to stand out?

Websites for creating a visual resume

Though an applicant could create a free online presentation of their resume using a free website hosting service, such as Google Sites, or could upload a slide presentation of their resume on Slideshare, at least three start ups have created a visual resume tool. Visualize.me and re.vu both create an infographic-style rendering of a person’s resume, based on the user’s LinkedIn profile. Visualize.me allows the user to create a badge for their personal website that connects to their “vizualized” resume, as well as uploading the link to the profile on a variety of social networks. The re.vu resume includes candidate’s name, headline and highlights, as well as a career timeline. A link to the resume can be pushed out to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

However, how many new candidates have been discovered by employers clicking on theses badges? If any have turned into interviews, how many of them were new grads?

Resume on a T-shirt

The company Resume T-shirts will print a T-shirt for a person with their resume on the back, while the front of the shirt has the tagline “resume attached”. Each T-shirt costs 19.99 (US), fairly affordable for most students, or possibly a gift from a parent. Personally, I could see myself tormenting my high school age relatives with one of these, but I’m not sure if they would get any summer job offers from the T-shirts. If you saw a person in the line at a grocery store wearing their resume on their back, would you be interested in following up?

Combining visual resumes with career planning

The startup Resumup allows users to create a visual resume and then generate a chart that will show the user the steps they need to take to progress to the next level in their career. You can view a YouTube demonstration of the career mapping process, since while they are still in private beta, you need to solicit three friends to join their service before you can use the career mapping tool.

Not only does the site suggest the steps you need to take to progress from entry-level to supervisor or manager in your chosen profession, it will also scan your connections, either on LinkedIn or Facebook, to see if you can find a mentor or advisor. This augmented visual resume may actually help graduates determine how they could progress in their career, and might be something that could be used at an employer presentation. However, until it is out of private beta and has enough members to generate good career planning advice, the idea may be excellent but the execution may not be effective.

Based on the examples provided, would you be likely to contact a candidate based on a visual resume, would it make a difference if it was an online badge or a T-shirt, and would this method work for your current recruitment needs?

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