Let me take a wild guess. You scour the job boards by day and night, subscribe to a ton of new job alerts, follow all the job application advice out there to the T, and religiously keep your eyes peeled for a hint of opportunity from ideal employers. Yet no job interview calls whatsoever.
Here’s a disturbing fact: There’s only a 17% chance that your cover letter will be read.
What’s more, recruiters will spend 6 seconds looking at each of the 250 resumes they receive on average for each job position. And according to a 2006 survey, 77% executives turn to Google before hiring a candidate.
What does this mean for you?
There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is if you are actively looking for jobs, you have to swim in the big pool of competition and impress the recruiter within as little as 6 seconds.
If you do apply for a job, pass through the automated filters, and arrive on the desk of a real human, you still have to impress them with what they find out about you online.
Now, for the good news. In a Beyond.com poll, 57% HR professionals said that a visual resume would help them evaluate their candidates faster. If recruiters are asking for it, why not give them some visual candy?
There are tons of awesome and free tools to help you stand out using a visual-style or infographic resume. Having an updated profile on LinkedIn is a given, but I am talking about tools that make your resumes shine big time. Here’s are 5 of these tools.
Re.vu is a free tool to create a visually-appealing representation of your resume. They also offer traffic stats so you keep a tab on your popularity. Creating a profile takes three steps and you can populate more details once inside. Once you’ve created an account, they ask you whether you’d like to import from your LinkedIn account. You can create customized backgrounds, or upload your own up to 2MB in size.
I also found that you have to edit information pulled out from LinkedIn anyway because not everything is imported (such as logos and images). They have quite a few customizable options as compared to other services.
Vizualize.me lets you create infographic resumes and connect them with your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have an active LinkedIn though, simply create a profile manually using the tool.
Here’s one example:
Enthuse.me’s vision is to help anyone with the expertise and knowledge to promote themselves online. A profile comes with a single-page layout and looks clean with lots of white space. You can also integrate with LinkedIn. The downside is that all profiles have a simple standard design so you can’t customize your profile much. They feature a “User Directory” which showcases profiles by profession.
Here’s an example:
Pricing: Freemium, $4.99/mo, $47.99/year
About.me is a landing page service that’s easy to configure. It lets you bring together your whole online life in one place. You can connect with Facebook or Twitter accounts, too. I created a profile and signing up was fairly quick with few questions. For a flat monthly fee, you can remove About.me branding from your profile. The layouts are somewhat standard but you can experiment with the fonts and colors.
Ideally, to create a killer profile, you need a good, hi-res photo of yourself. Like this profile:
Pricing: Freemium, $4/mo
Remember, a cool design alone won’t get you hired!
Think of a good design as an add-on. Like the title of this post says, it will help you boost your chances. It doesn’t say it will bring you a job automatically. You need to optimize your resume for maximum impact. But before that, it’s a given that you have the right skills for the job in question – in short you’re neither under- nor over-experienced. Keep sharpening your skills, apply for the “right” match and send them your new shiny visual resume.
Some visual platforms allow you to link to your personal social media accounts. Be wary of doing it unless you’re totally sure of sharing a piece of your personal life with the recruiters.
In a nutshell, all things being equal, a visual resume can help you stand out of the pack and give you an edge over other candidates.
Got more tools to add? Tell us in the comments below!
Featured photo credit: Catching up on e-mail/Ed Yourdon via flickr.com