Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Your Resume: Go Visual

I (mostly) diligently update my resume twice a year. I do this regularly because I use the updating process as sort of a retrospective on where I’m at, what I’ve done, and what I want to do moving forward. I try to get one of the updates in a few months before my formal review comes up at work – not because I’m fearful of what’s going to happen, but because I want to make sure I’m on track with goals my manager and I had laid out.

This year I decided to do something different: create a visual resume. Pal Ben Carey once had a Tweet or link about visual resumes, and I started exploring around. I’ve seen a number of them around over the years and have really been impressed by the concept. Visual resumes definitely speak to organizations with a creative, curious mindset, and I think they’re a great way for younger workers to better highlight things in their short careers. For old farts like myself visual resumes enable a much better understanding of one’s career timeline and milestones.

After a couple attempts here’s what I finally came up with. It’s somewhat (ok, mostly) copped from the beautiful one Jef Newsom of Improving put together; however, I tweaked a few things to fit my style. (The image is a link, so you can see the full-sized version if you want.)

I tried this initially in PowerPoint, but that quickly fell apart, so I moved to Visio. My first go using a horizontal timeline got a polite thumbs down from Josh and his recruiter wife Gretchen who both suggested a vertical orientation to emphasize the most current work.

There are a number of other really neat styles which look like subway maps, octopuses, and various graphs; however, this format was one I could pull off with the tooling I had available. I’m happy with it as my first attempt. It plays around with technologies I’ve been around, it shows my positions and roles, and I use the middle lane of callouts to highlight specific events which have shaped my career.

I might not use this resume by itself for every position I was interested in. I’d definitely send it with a strong cover letter, and I would likely accompany it with a traditional resume if I was looking at a company with a more formal culture.

That said, as another pal Joe Morel remarked, “Do you really want to work for a company that wouldn’t find this really cool?”


Jim Holmes said...

Updated. Fixed the horrific grammar error on the title: "You Resume..." Yeesh.

Dan Hounshell said...

Very, very cool!

Joe said...

It's awesome that you're sharing this Jim. Very awesome.

Steven Johnson said...

It's nice but make it a bit more organized so that everything can be seen at one glance. Like a brochure form resume with limited images and more on texts that resonate your achievements and qualifications.

Unknown said...

Personally, I think your resume should include your current job.

Jim Holmes said...

@David: This post is well over two years old. The resume image I have in this post /does/ show my current job at that time. :)

Jaspreet Singh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aliyaa said...

Good stuff. The best resume linkedin writing services are there to provide you the relations management, and project management roles. Good job!

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