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Why You Need a Visual Resume: Part One

Last month, The New York Times ran an article called “With Positions to Fill, Employers Wait for Perfection.” Author Catherine Rampell detailed the job application, interview, and hiring process in our country today, and the process is often long, difficult, and frustrating. If employers are looking for perfection, and if the only thing they have to make a hiring decision is a paper resume and maybe an interview, how can you ensure they are seeing the real you?

The visual resume is a supplement to the traditional paper resume. The paper resume definitely isn’t going anywhere, and the visual resume is not designed to replace the traditional resume. However, an additional document, slideshow, video, or webpage allows you to stand out from your competition.

So what, exactly, is a visual resume? In his Slideshare presentation “Really Ugly Resumes,” Jesse Desjardins argues that people should create an experience in order to stand out from the standard, average job seeker. Pulling from lessons in 21st century branding and advertising – and industry professionals like Seth Godin – Desjardins says, “Designers have portfolios. Directors have show reels. Models have books. Why shouldn’t you showcase your work and make it easier for people to share your story?”

Visual resumes aren’t just for job seekers. Creating a visual resume to tell your story and sharing it on your blog or your favorite social networking websites can expand your networking circle, can introduce you to new contacts, and can help you create partnerships with like-minded people. It could even land you a job you didn’t even know existed! Emiland De Cubber and David Crandall posted visual resumes on Slideshare with unexpected results. Check out their stories here and here.

Slideshare isn’t the only place to create and display your visual resume. Websites such as VizualResume provide creative templates for job seekers.

YouTube is another popular website for displaying a nontraditional resume. Full Sail University graduate student Crysta Timmerman created this video resume masterpiece.

So how do you know which medium you should use for your own Visual Resume? And what, exactly, should you include in your project? Stay tuned for Why You Need a Visual Resume: Part Two to learn more from Professional Communication and Presentation instructor Alex Rister.

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