Why make a visual resume? With the job market in a vice, the competition is fierce. Visual resumes are becoming more and more popular, but not everyone and their mom are submitting a visual resume along with their traditional one (yet) – so at the moment they can really help you stand out.
More and more employers are seeking to get to know a potential employee on a personal level and visual resumes can give employers this insight. Visual resumes tell a story and this can give potential employers an interesting snapshot of who you are – making them want to learn more and visit your website or blog, read your traditional resume or better yet, give you a call.
Job search engine sites are getting hip to the idea of visual resumes; Jobster.com allows users to upload visual resumes right onto their site, while MyWorkster.com has a place for a link to a visual resume on a user’s profile.
What Not To Do: Don’t be an Elle Woods or an Aleksey Vayner
In the feature film “Legally Blonde,” bubbly and blonde protagonist Elle Woods gets accepted into Harvard Law School because of her visual resume, which shows her flouncing around in a pink bikini. Sex appeal is something you definitely do not want to show off in your visual resume.
Secondly, don’t lie in your visual resume like Aleksey Vayner, a Yale graduate who was pursuing a career as an investment banker. Vayner’s resume, which he uploaded to YouTube in 2006, was full of outlandish lies and hilarious. The visual resume showed Vayner, who had a thin and lanky build, supposedly bench pressing a 495lb weight and hitting a tennis ball at 140 mph. The resume went viral – the entire blogosphere got a great laugh. MSN and several other national news organizations even picked up and broadcast the story. Bottom line; you don’t want anything even remotely like this happening to you. Showing your sense of humor in a toned down way is a good thing – looking ridiculous will just give everyone in human resources something to talk about around the water cooler.
Video vs. PowerPoint
This tutorial is about how to make a visual resume using PowerPoint, not with a video camera. There are a couple reasons why I think this the PowerPoint resume method is superior.
First, videotaping takes a lot of time. You have to get a haircut, dress up, find someone to film you, think long and hard about what you’re going to say (and more importantly – how you’re going to say it), re-record the whole thing since you’ll inevitably mess up at least ten times and then edit the entire piece. PowerPoint is simple, quick and easy.
Secondly, after viewing hundreds of video resumes, I came to the conclusion that most people just end up looking slightly cheesy, silly, camera-shy or dorky. A few people looked great, and they were mostly in the fields of journalism, public relations or marketing. However, the rest of us who are not in these fields just aren’t movie stars – that’s totally OK and nothing to be ashamed about. However, I think a visual resume made via PowerPoint will serve this group of people (myself included) much better.
Thirdly, a visual PowerPoint resume can really showcase someone’s creative side and personality, while being quite entertaining without being too far out there. Video resumes typically start out the same way; “Hi my name is so and so – I am looking for a job as a xx.” This can start to get rather drab. If you do decide to do something outside the box with a video resume, there is a greater chance of you missing boat completely.
How to Make a Visual Powerpoint Resume
This is such an easy how-to, a six year old could probably do it!
- Open up PowerPoint and make a slide show as you would any other. You can stop here if you’d like and save it as a PowerPoint file and upload to SlideShare.net, if you’d like to feature your resume entirely as a slide show presentation.
- If you’d like to make it a movie then once you’ve made the show, simply click the “Slide Show” tab and then click “rehearse timings.” Carefully give yourself enough time to read each slide before clicking the next button. You can then view a preview and your show will automatically move from slide to slide at the intervals you set earlier.
- Save the show as movie and upload to YouTube, Jobster, your website or blog and wherever else!
And that’s all it takes! The harder part is deciding what to include in your visual resume. In general, you’ll want to include what’s on your traditional resume in a very concise format – while showing off a glimpse (keyword here is glimpse) of your personality. Now how you do this is completely up to you – but here are some standout examples of slide show visual resumes for you to use as inspiration.
Has anyone else created a visual PowerPoint resume? If so, let us know in the comments what kind of response you received from potential employers and if you thought it helped you at all in the job application process.