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Consider a Visual Resume

When you are applying for a job, it is important to stand out from the crowd. One approach is to supplement your traditional resume with a visual resume -- a document that maps your career and accomplishments in a timeline or infographic.

Below is a sample of a visual resume. It contains some of the same information as a traditional resume, such as your name, contact information, and key accomplishments but in a graphic and easy to read format. Visual resumes are a great way to highlight the things on which you most want a potential employer to focus.

In the example below, Jeff uses a timeline to bring attention to the organizations he has worked for over the last 13 years and the key numeric accomplishments in each position. He also uses a circle graphic to showcase his key skills and his years of experience. Also included is a QR code on his visual resume. QR codes are easy to scan and can be read by smartphone apps. QR codes can link to a website, a phone number, or a text message so the viewer can get more information. In this case, Jeff’s QR code links to his cell phone.

Not only are visual resumes attractive, they are also easy to use. You can include one with your online application in a relevant section like personal website, portfolio, or comments. Also, a link to a visual resume is easy to incorporate into an e-mail signature, short message, business card, or on social networking sites. Visual resumes make a great handout for in-person interviews and help spark a conversation about your creative approach to work.

Visual resume building sites will often let you host your resume with a URL that contains your name, giving you one more piece of professional content when employers search you. Below are a few of the free sites that will help you create a visual resume:

  • Vizualize.Me: This site creates attractive timeline graphics that illustrate your job history. To use Vizualize.Me, you'll need to sign up for a free account. Next, you'll have the option of connecting the service to your LinkedIn account. You'll definitely want to do this -- without LinkedIn, you need to build a resume line-by-line in Visualize.Me.
  • Re.Vu: This site is similar to Vizualize.Me, but in some ways it creates even prettier and more useful infographics. Create a free account and either enter the details of your job history, or link the site to your LinkedIn account and let it vacuum up all the information automatically.
  • ResumUP: This service offers the most visually rich experience. In fact, when you first create your ResumUP account and see the sample data that's standing in for your personal profile, it looks kind of like the controls to the space shuttle. The page is packed with modules -- timeline, skills, languages, hobbies, something called "identity” (a Myers-Briggs-like personality profile) -- and more.

Given all of the benefits of a visual resume, now might be the time to create one.

Consider a Visual Resume

Hiring for Cultural Fit

You’ve identified an accounting candidate that seems ideal for the job. They have the experience and skills needed and they are interested in the position. But, you can’t help but wonder: How will they fit into your company culture? What you are really asking is; do the candidate’s values align with those of your company, be they work-life balance, corporate mission, or how to serve internal customers.

Research from the Corporate Executive Board reports that almost half of an employee's success in the first 18 months on the job can be attributed to how the employee fits in with others in the organization. Maybe that is the reason why, according to Forbes, almost 90% of top organizations are now using cultural fit to manage attrition rates. In addition, top organizational leaders cite the cultural fit of employees as a foundation of their overall success.

To achieve the right balance between cultural fit and skill-set, consider the following three-step hiring process:

Step One: Define Your Culture

It would be hard to hire an accounting or finance professional who fits your culture if you do not know how to define it. Prior to conducting interviews be certain you can describe the culture of your organization, and the type of employee who will thrive and help the company grow. This will enable you to see the types of employees who fit versus those who may not.

Step Two: Culture Then Skills

Résumés enable an upfront screening of a candidate’s skill-set. Once the short-list has been identified and the in-person meetings begin, start by assessing the potential employee’s cultural fit. Consider waiting to test finance and accounting skills only after the prospective employee passes the cultural screen.

Step Three: Multiple Interviews

Top organizations use four or more levels of interviews for prospective employees to ensure they get the right person, and the right fit. The interviews may include:

  1. A cultural assessment with HR;
  2. A skill-set assessment and cultural fit with the hiring Manager;
  3. Meetings with other managers within the organization; and
  4. Meetings with other employees and peers.

The idea behind multiple interviews is to both communicate your organization’s culture from several different perspectives and to get a feel for how the candidate interacts with various members of your team.

Finding candidates who fit your company’s culture doesn’t have to be difficult. With a hiring process that takes culture fit into consideration, you can find employees who bring the right skills and the ability to enhance your organization’s culture.

Hiring for Cultural Fit

Signs You Should Leave Your Job

“I quit!” Saying this is something that people joke about when they are buying lottery tickets or dreaming of a life without deadlines, clients, and supervisors. But, how do you know when you are not kidding anymore and really need to make a change? Here are three signs that you are not just making jokes, but are really in a situation that may call for looking at other options.

1. You Are on the Road to Nowhere

Most people accept a job with the anticipation of some future change and growth. Whether this involves acquiring new skills, learning new roles, or taking on new challenges; your position should evolve over time. This does not always mean a formal promotion, but your job should have potential. Staying put in a job where you stand no chance of being rewarded with greater responsibility can lead to boredom and even underperformance. If you have accomplished all you can in your current position, and there are no other opportunities for advancement or growth, it might be time to start looking.

2. Your Job is Making You Sick

A little bit of stress at work is normal. But ongoing high-level workplace stress is not. Sometimes you can stay in a stressful position for so long that it actually begins to affect your health. Headaches, backaches, insomnia, and even hair loss have been reported by employees that are in a highly stressful job or environment for long periods of time. While some of these complaints may seem minor, they can lead to even more serious health issues. If you see yourself on this path, or have been experiencing negative health symptoms for more than six months, it might be time to consider moving on. In the end, a job is not worth your health - no matter how great the pay or opportunities.

3. You are Truly Unhappy

Almost everyone has been in this position at one time or another: You dread going to work. This can lead to sleeping in, running late, and being in a bad mood the minute you hit the door. While at work you might be unproductive and inattentive in meetings. Often you’ll seek out others in your office who are dissatisfied too. Commiserating about your dissatisfaction often has you winding up feeling worse! Unhappiness at work and dreading even going to work are signs of underlying problems. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed in your role or your job is no longer challenging, the truth is you are unhappy.

If your job is not personally and professionally fulfilling, and there is no way to achieve that satisfaction where you are currently employed, then maybe it's time to consider looking for a new position. While it may hard to define the cause, being unhappy at work is a real problem and impossible to ignore.

Leaving your current job is serious business. It is important to take your time and ensure you are making a thoughtful decision. While I’d never recommend that someone make an impulsive decision to quit, sometimes there are circumstances that you just can’t ignore and leaving is really what is best for you. Weigh your options and make the choice best for you!

Signs You Should Leave Your Job