How to Use Visual Resumes in Your Job Search
The increased use of applicant tracking systems in the job search process makes it more difficult for job seekers to be creative. Visual resumes are not scannable, therefore applicant tracking systems cannot “read” them, but the job seeker can still use them creatively and effectively. Visual resumes come in many forms – from a document using graphics to an elaborate video. These more creative approaches are not mainstream yet, therefore they should complement a classic resume, especially if the job seeker is targeting more progressive organizations.
What is a visual resume?
A visual resume is a visual presentation of accomplishments that enhance your personal brand and differentiate you in a competitive market. There are two main types of visual resumes:
1. Visual Document/Presentation
2. Video Presentation
a. Video with audio of you
b. PowerPoint or slide show with audio
c. Combination of video/audio and slides
Key Benefits of Having a Visual Resume
Add-on to a classic resume – not a replacement – which serves to emphasize your achievements, knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Enhance your personal brand and image.
Competitive differentiator between you and other job candidates.
Showcase talents related/required for a targeted role.
Show high-level of creativity and innovation.
Demonstrate presentation skills.
Effective Uses of Visual Resume
Visual resumes are most effective when you are targeting:
Digital, advertising, marketing, sales, and creative fields.
High tech and graphic arts related roles.
Client-facing roles such as training.
Example of How to Effectively Use Visual Resumes
In the past, LinkedIn, the professional social media network was criticized for its interface being boring and “unsexy” unlike its counterparts Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. In the past year, LinkedIn has been working to change that perception of being staid. Recently, the company purchased SlideShare, and although professionals had the option before to include their SlideShare presentations in their LinkedIn profiles, they now occupy a more prominent place. Since LinkedIn is now focused on the visual aspect of a professional’s profile, savvy job seekers can use that to their advantage by leveraging visual content. On your LinkedIn profile, you are allowed to link to video, documents, and presentations in the Summary section and for each job title.
When creating your visual resume, use the CCAR Writing Model outlined below:
Challenge: Describe a specific problem or goal.
Context: Talk about how you tackled the challenge described.
Action: Describe the specific actions you took to resolve the challenge described.
Result: Give specific examples of the results of your actions in addressing the challenge described, and how they contributed to the company’s bottom-line. These accomplishments demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills.
In this instance, you are using visual resumes to entice hiring managers and recruiters to take a closer look at your profile, so keep it short, and have strong, relevant, high impact content that is visually-appealing. In subsequent blog posts, we will cover the tools required to create visual resumes as well as tips to get the most from them.