Quick question- Who has more chance of getting hired- Mr. A with stellar accomplishments but traditional, text-heavy resume versus Mr. B with no skills but a beautifully designed visual resume? Our guess - Mr. A.
Another quick question- Who has more chance of getting hired- Mr. A with amazing credentials but a lousy resume versus Mr. B also having solid experience but a professional, eye-catchy resume? Our bet - Mr. B!
Content is the king. Your skills, experience, and achievements speak for themselves. But where there are two or hundreds of kings standing in queue for the throne (the prized job of course!) your presentation comes into the picture.
And isn’t it all about the presentation in the 21st century? You have to sell yourself (not literally). A better word would be “market” yourself. And where you cannot be physically present to woo the prospective employer with your personality, you need the resume to do it for you. That’s where the Visual Resume comes in - a resume with a personality! Colors, arrangement of sections, data visualization, and short phrases rather than long-winding sentences...all play a small but important role in bringing the words to life and hopefully, your career too.
Never created a visual resume slide before? This article will give you a solid head start:
Paper or Visual Resume? Have Both!
The visual resume is not an alternative to paper resume. We have nothing against Word documents! We offer Word Formatting Services too. And we get many requests to format and polish doc resumes from our clients.
But you also need to have a polished visual resume in your kit. What if a hiring manager asks for one? You won’t have the time to create one from scratch. And don’t make the mistake of copying all bullet points from paper resume on to your PowerPoint slide. Visual resume single slide has to be the condensed and summarized version of your paper resume. See the difference:
An Ordinary Paper Resume
Impressive Visual Resume
Tips to Create Impressive Visual Resume in PowerPoint
#1- Have Clear Sections- Make Resume Easy on the Eye
Many presenters, while designing their visual resume, tend to make it messy as they want to have “everything” on one slide. If you do want to put everything, then create a multi-slide visual resume or “About Me” presentation. If you are creating a single slide as the ones we are showing you, then try to keep it as clean as possible. Clear cut sections neatly aligned and arranged make it easy on the eye and get hiring managers to actually read your resume which is actually your objective.
#2- Have a Resume Summary Rich with Keywords
What is your profile? Have a small two line description of what you do or aim to be. Ideally, this should be on the top or right next to your headshot so that it’s the first thing that the hiring manager reads after your name and designation.
The summary should be keyword rich. If your resume is being scanned by an applicant tracking system (ATS), then this could make the difference between going to the next level or outright rejection. Use keywords intelligently. Stuffing might backfire.
Needless to say, your designation will find place first in the summary. After that, include all keywords related to your field. For instance, a marketing manager should talk about his role as SEO manager, social media, email marketing, online advertising or any other area of expertise. The hiring manager can know all about your role without having to see work experience and skills. Here’s a visual resume slide that puts focus on summary creating an impressive first impression:
#3- Highlight Your Value & Quantify Your Achievements
What will you bring to the table? It’s similar to your summary and career objectives but with more focus on what you excel at and the difference, you’ll bring. Also, focus on what your achievements have been during the course of your work. If you can quantify those achievements, that would be perfect! If you haven’t been measuring the results of your work, start doing it today. It will add to your credibility and set job offers rolling your way.
#4- Showcase Your Creative Talents in the Top Banner
Are you a man of many hats? If you have had a long working career, surely you’ll be skilled at playing multiple roles. Or developed several talents that aren’t so common in the market. Make the hiring manager aware of your strengths in the top banner itself. Using just words rather than weaving long sentences would have a bigger impact. It would function as the newspaper headline- highlight the crux of your long career story and make the reader interested in knowing more about you.
#5- Show Your Expertise at Data Visualisation
Big data rules in the 21st century! You do not need to be a big data expert but you should be friendly with numbers. Having data visualization in your visual resume would instantly set your resume apart from hundreds of text resumes. If you are talking about growth, you can use column charts. If you are talking about percentages, pie charts and donut charts will add more punch to your resume rather than simply listing those numbers. If you need ideas as to what data visualizations can be included in resume or any other design, then check out our post on 16 Creative Data Visualization Techniques To Showcase Your Numbers.
#6- Use Timelines instead of Bullet Points
If you have the space to add more visual elements to your resume slide, then go for timelines, roadmaps or any other steps diagram. Showcase your career roadmap or achievements using an eye-catchy design. And it’s not just creative positions like graphic designers that have to make their resumes visually rich, non-creative professions can show their creative side too through visual resumes.
#7- Have Awards to your Credit? Include a Section
Felicitated with awards for your work? Proudly highlight them by adding a section for it. Since this section is missing in most visual resumes, leverage this to your advantage. Also, it is the biggest credibility boost that you can hope for.
#8- Got a Glowing Recommendation? Put it Out Big
If you have employee reference letters with a glowing recommendation, take a line or two from that and add it to your visual resume. This endorsement by previous employer makes you more trustworthy in the eyes of future employers. Just ensure that the skills that your ex-employer is praising match the skills your future employers are looking for.
#9- Use Impressive, Bold Colors
Most job seekers use safe professional colors like blue and grey. You can also try less tried but powerful color schemes that will light up your resume. Use strong contrasting colors while choosing a color scheme. Keep the background light so that the foreground content and graphics are in spotlight.
Last but not the least, your resume should be formatted flawlessly! All elements- headings, sub-headings, bullet points, icons, etc. should be aligned properly. Don’t spend hours in fiddling with PowerPoint or other software. Go for ready-made PowerPoint templates, make changes and send it to your dream organization.
Remember your resume is the most important tool in planning your next career move. And having a visual resume in your job kit is more important than ever before in networking and pitching yourself. So, get ready to rock that resume!