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Rethink Your Resume for the Visual Age

creating resume

creating resume

We are no longer in the written age. We are in the show-me age: The age where we create a visual for all of our experiences. We no longer say we are at the beach. We now share a picture of our perfectly manicured toes against the backdrop of the ocean. It tells the story WAY better than “Enjoying my view this morning”.

Humans process images 60,000 times faster than words. Images can provoke a faster emotional connection than words. The shift to visual content is permeating society for the better. As we are all getting pretty deep in our professional careers, I have to ask, why are we still writing resumes? I mean there are countless tools being launched that will give your resume more visual character, or VisualCV to name a few.

These tools make your resume look prettier, but honestly, these are still based on the old, written way. The reason: We still think of our accomplishments in a written form. We have been trained to write about our accomplishment in verbose ways. Ways in which we spin a tale full of magic keywords to be scanned by a machine in hopes of getting noticed. But, in this age of visualization, we should think about how to present our best work visually. Think of it this way: if you had to post your latest awesome work project on Instagram, what would it look like?

For example, my resume says: “Re-inventing CRM by creating a segmented loyalty communications strategy that houses communications in the platform vs. an under-performing email program.” If I am being honest with myself, I say to myself what does that even mean? But, if I took a screenshot of what I actually made, you could see that it was a massive innovation in the loyalty space.

My friends in sales talk about this all the time. Their resume talks about how they build relationships with customers to grow business. But what recruiters really want to see from a sales pro is: Did you beat your quota and if so, by how much. When I was selling, I once beat my sales goals by 300%. Therefore, my visual would simply say: 300% of quota. But, it doesn’t and it should.

We all make things for work that make a real difference, but because we have been in the “tell me” phase for so long, we are not used to framing our achievements in the “show me” way. What are some of the things you are working on? What visual story can you be telling of your work?

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4 Responses

  1. Great post – couldn’t agree more! If you want people to see you as an innovative, forward-thinking, digital enthusiast, you HAVE to rethink your resume. The boring Word Doc template is definitely not going to land your dream job!

  2. Thank goodness! Can you imagine being the HR responsible for reading boring resumes in spite of the software gatekeeper that typically spares you briefly.

    I totally agree with this. Old school resumes are ineffective. Thank you for the post.

  3. This may work for artists and designers, but it really won’t fly in most industries. Hiring managers tend to view visual resumes as unprofessional instead of unique… and if you have little work experience, visualizing a résumé just looks like filler.

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