You may have spent hours editing your paper resume, trying to polish the short job summaries, thinking about which action verb best describes your accomplishments and the skills you acquired. Your resume may be very good and representative of what you could bring to a company. It may even be outstanding. Yet chances are that whatever quality it is, your resume will end up in a big pile on the desk of a busy Recruitment Manager, ready to be scanned in 15 seconds or less.
To make an impression, you’ll need to be creative. And having a Visual Resume is one way to do this.
What is a Visual Resume?
Visual Resume allows you to present your skills and accomplishments, much like a standard resume, but in a highly visual and innovative way. It usually features a photo-rich presentation and avoids large chunks of text. This is central to conveying a message that is clear, consistent and more persuasive than text alone as we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. One of the advantages of having a visual resume also lies in the ability to let your personality shine through the presentation, which can only hardly be conveyed on a classic paper resume.
Here is an example of how one student uses her visual resume to attract internship opportunities:
Using your visual resume
In your job search
- Use your visual resume to present case studies of interesting class projects you’ve worked on or extracurriculars you’ve been involved in to show the breadth of your experience. Include any media projects or visual representations of what you did or even insert a video with a short showcase.
- Tailor your visual resume to a specific job and in it, focus on answering the most important questions: Why should we hire you? What can you bring to this company? Why are you the perfect candidate for this particular job? Visual resume allows you to be creative about this.
- Use it in conjunction with other social media tools to organize a full campaign: tweet about it, publish it on facebook, check in at the foursquare location of the company you’re interested in and give them a link.
As an interview tool
- Use the presentation to show off your major achievements. Include graphs or comparison charts and make it visually interesting.
- You’re probably claiming you possess certain skills and qualities. Here’s your chance to prove them. Show off your writing style, design, photography skills or include a screenshot of a website you’ve created. There’s also no easier way to prove the outstanding presentation skills you claim to have.
- Use your visual resume to convey what makes you different from all the other interviewees as you can let your personality show throughout the presentation.
- Visual resume can also be a great way to show what others think of you by including short references.
For graduate school admissions
- A visual presentation could be an innovative way to present a research proposal in a different format by showing through pictures and graphics what your research will entail and what findings it could present. Imagine how much passion for your subject you could convey.
As an introduction on social networks
- Your visual resume can simply be an introduction to who you are. You could post in on your LinkedIn profile or include it in the “About Me” section of your blog and share it with your readers, friends and community, maybe even ask a question and start a conversation.
Now wouldn’t that make an impression?
Anna is a Social Media Marketing Assistant at Pepsmedia, based in Cambridge, UK. Havinggraduated from the University of Cambridge in 2010 with a degree in Social and Political Sciences, she joined the small team straight out of university and is now helping businesses engage with customers online and build communities. She is passionate about the use of social media both in business and for individuals. To find out more, read her Life With Social Media blog, or connect with her on Twitter @annamanasovaand LinkedIn.