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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.