Friday, February 24, 2012

Making Your Resume Go Viral

If you're anything like me, you've put out a few job applications, haven't really heard anything and realize this whole job-search thing is going to be a steep up-hill battle. I know I have an impressive resume, but so do the other hundreds of job applicants up against me, and I'm becoming more and more aware that maybe a simple black and white word document isn't going to do the trick anymore. I've seen people with amazing personal websites, crazy cool infographic resumes, and now people are even "pinning" their work on their Pinterest boards! After researching all of the new, innovative ways people are making their resumes more tech-friendly and eye-catching, there are endless possibilities for creating the "wow" factor. An article from U.S. News outlines five ways many job seekers are showcasing their resumes online:

1. Create an infographic. If you'll be working with data or visuals on the job, an infographic resume might be the way to go. These are naturally packed full of information, which means you'll have ample opportunity to strut your stuff. Below is an example of social media strategist, Hagan Blount's infographic resume:2. Produce a video. A video resume allows the hiring manager to get a feel for your personality before meeting you in person. And since likeability and cultural fit are often high priorities when considering a candidate, introducing yourself via video can put you ahead of your competition. You'll need multimedia skills and a friendly, upbeatLink-yet-professional personality to make this work, so if cameras and editing tools aren't your strong point, it might be smarter to skip this option. Alternatively, consider a tool like Hello There that does some of the legwork for you.

3. Use a QR code. For techies, QR codes—or barcodes that direct you to a website when read by a smart phone—present the possibility of opportunity. The code itself isn't difficult to generate. What's more time-consuming is figuring out where that code will take your potential employer; whatever is at the other end has to be impressive. Make sure the hiring manager will understand and appreciate this technology before using it as part of your pitch.

4. Just go digital. LinkedIn works for getting your experience and skills online, but what if you displayed your resume on your own website? Even without interactive bells and whistles, offering a good-looking resume at a URL rather than on a piece of paper shows you're ahead of the curve.

5. Pitch yourself with a PowerPoint. If you're looking to work at a presentation-oriented company and can convince the hiring manager to click through more than one page, a PowerPoint might be the right choice for you. Pitching your skills isn't the only way to approach this; you could also offer ideas on how the company could become more effective and the role you'd play in that transformation. Prezi has become a large attraction for soon-to-be grads as well as an alternative to standard PowerPoints.

What are some other creative ways to get your resume online and noticed? Let us know!


Holly said...

I would add that you should prepare yourself for criticism. You can create a beautiful infographic or a hilarious video, and no matter the quality of your work, people will criticize you.

Related to that, target your resume carefully. HR does not want your infographic, but it might catch the attention of a creative department head who might ask you to send over your traditional resume so she can forward it to HR.

Finally--and I am sure you know this--don't create something to go viral. That should never be your end goal, neither as a job seeker nor as an account manager. Make something that showcases you and your personality--but the goal is to get hired, not viral.

Niki Ianni said...


Thanks for the great advice! I agree with your comment about criticism. Just the other day, I was reading a post about a girl's infographic presentation to get hired by Instagram, and a large portion of the comments were incredibly negative about her efforts.

All of the ideas listed above were taken from the article referenced in the post and I agree, many of these tactics aren't geared or applicable towards everyone.

I think what's most interesting is how drastically the job-search process has changed. Technology and social media have completely revolutionized the process in a way that is demanding for more innovation and creativity.

Thanks for your feedback on the post!