The Case for Visual Resumes

A neat way of showing how you're not only qualified, but talented.

Introduction

Like you, I know a thing or two about resumes.

Upon graduating college, I submitted “normal” resumes and cover letters to more jobs than I could count. Then, I sat on the other side of the desk. Back in my HR days, I did a decent amount of recruiting for both CapitalOne and at Merck.

Newsflash: It’s No Longer 1998

Traditional resumes emphasize conformity, not creativity.

Today, though, I’m not a big fan of traditional resumes. The way that I see it, my body of work is much larger than a three-page, text-laden document that lists my work experience, qualifications, and skills. To me, they just show that I can follow rules.

visual_resume_bigIt turns out that there are plenty of über-creative folks who share my thoughts about old-school CVs. As I mentioned in a recent story for Fortune, it behooves applicants to illustrate their experiences in a much more visual–and I’d argue more interesting–way.

To this end, check out this fascinating Pinterest board of visual resumes. Maybe it’s the Breaking Bad fan in me, but I love the chemistry-based theme of the one on the right. And don’t get me started on this Amazon-inspired one from a guy also named Phil. Sick.

Simon Says

I can tell you that a resume like the one above stands out from the others, especially if recruiting for any type of position requiring design skills and creativity. Although a cool CV alone rarely gets a person a job or interview by itself, it would certainly warrant a second look from many recruiters. And, when you think about it, isn’t that exactly what a resume is supposed to do?

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