Earlier this week, I covered an interesting subject: writing a really honest resume.
The idea being that we often create a resume that, over time, stops looking like us. It gets dumbed-down through our desire to be all things to all people.
We lose focus on our best value and become the octopus instead of the elephant.
Some interesting ideas came from a discussion on the “honest resume” post via the LinkedIn group. Including a great idea for a follow-up post (Thanks Andrea) called “the really honest job description”. Keep your eyes peeled for that one!
Today’s post is inspired by a friend in my Southern California network who shared an idea with me. With the hope of getting some feedback.
I asked if I could share the idea with all of you. Because I think this is an interesting one. In fact, that was my reaction to his first note.
In his response, he said: “Interesting . . . good or bad?”
The idea here was to find a new way to share his background. To stand out and tell a bigger, more compelling story. Telling a bigger story is a good starting idea, something I covered in a post on writing your career background. There’s a simple template on the tools page and, if you ask nicely, I’ll send you my personal sample.
My friend, Kevyn Horton, created this infographic using Adobe Illustrator. He was inspired by a number of sites that automate the infographic creation process. For example, you can use Vizualize.me to create an infographic based on your LinkedIn profile.
Here is Kevyn’s resume infographic along with my review below:
- I like the big picture aspect of the infographic. It focuses the attention on career focus areas of the candidate.
- I like the use of color and graphics to tell a story.
- I like the progressive use of technology. It shows a comfort level with new ideas and, once someone finds out he created it personally, it might help to reinforce the contribution he might make to a company.
- It’s a fun way to walk a networking friend through “where you’ve been”.
- It highlights strengths and tells you how recent they are.
- I like the way he tries to position his role in each company. “Collaborative leadership” vs. “Operational leadership”.
- I like the “Values” area – shows some personality and brings him to life substantially more than a black and white resume ever could.
- I don’t think most hiring managers or HR staffers are going to take the time to translate this into fit or no fit with the job requirements. Same issue with the use of video resumes. Cool ideas, but a hard read for busy companies.
- In Kevyn’s case, the infographic highlights (honestly) a tougher, less consistent back half of his career. We are so used to looking at charts and graphs. Instinctively, we look for upward trends. And the main graphic looks solid up until 2000 and then it starts to appear a bit rocky. A resume would deliver that message in a more subtle way. And few of us are without rocky spots, right?
- There may be too much use of color here. As I read it, I wasn’t sure where to point my eyes. And the use of brilliant color, in Kevyn’s case, highlights the rocky start in 2000 more than necessary.
- The “desired responsibilities” pie chart uses words that are way too generic to help someone place him in an open job.
- Overall there’s too much going on and little “how to read this infographic” help via legends or other graphics.
In the end, I think an infographic is a cool idea, a very trendy (and often viral) tool and potentially a successful strategy.
So if you can build one (or get one built), do it. But only publish it if the story you want told is delivered visually. If not, you are telling the wrong story. And perhaps being a bit too honest.
What do you think? Should Kevyn use this as a job search tool? As a hiring manager or networking partner, would you read it?
Would Kevyn get the interview with you?
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: Career | graphic design | illustration | in pictures | infographic | information graphics | job descriptions | Job Search | journey | kevyn | picture | real life | resume | resume posting | story | tell | video resume
Categories: Cover Letters And Resumes