Your resume is boring. How do you expect to stand out in a crowd of job seekers when your black-and-white, list-formatted resume and formulaic cover letter blend with all the rest? Luckily the Internet is here to save you. With the coming of social media resumes, video resumes and visual resumes, the world of job seeking just got a lot more interesting.
If you’re looking for ways to make your resume stand out — whether that’s on your personal website, video hubs, document-sharing websites or LinkedIn — here are some ideas to get you started, along with examples for each format.
If you’ve posted your resume online in a creative way, share a link and your story with us in the comments below.
First, if you don’t have a personal website, get one. It’s a great way to showcase your passions, thoughts and experience, whether you’re searching for a job or not. If you name your website after yourself (i.e. ericaswallow.com, in my case), it will probably rank highly when people search for your name online.
Now that that’s taken care of, consider listing your resume (or at least an “about me” page) on your website, so site visitors can learn more about you.
Hagan Blount, a self-described writer, editor and producer, hosts a compelling infographic resume (pictured above) on his personal website. The “Resume” tab on his site includes his resume, alongside a stream of his most recent tweets. The resume is creative in that it includes a non-traditional approach to his professional (and personal) history, complete with fun stats, QR codes and recommendation quotes from influential business people.
A well-edited and informative video resume could be the perfect complement to a traditional resume. Videos enable job seekers to showcase their personalities, something that isn’t quite as easy with your standard cover letter and resume package.
PR executive Graeme Anthony, put together a creative and engaging resume on YouTube, outlining his portfolio, skills and other details. Using YouTube Annotations, he created an intro video (embedded above) that showcases a series of other videos describing his qualifications. His methodology enables users to click through to sections they are most interested in viewing.
His project was a hit. To date, the six-video series has garnered more than 200,000 views.
To mimic Anthony’s success, it’s important that job seekers create video resumes that add value and fully utilize the video format. For a complete guide to creating a show-stopping video resume, check out Amy-Mae Elliott’s recent post on the “Top 5 Tips for Creating Impressive Video Resumes.”
You probably already have a DOC or PDF format of your resume in your job-searching arsenal. To get the most out of it, upload it to document-sharing websites such as SlideShare or Scribd.
Both sites enable viewers to download, embed and share your resume, giving it the opportunity for many more eyes to see it. As a bonus, these sites often appear at the top of search inquiries for an individual’s resume. So, the next time someone is searching on Google for your resume, it’s likely he or she will stumble upon your uploaded versions on these sites.
Both sites allow users to upload revisions of a document. As you change your resume, you can replace it on SlideShare or Scribd to keep it up-to-date. This is particularly useful because the URL never changes, so you won’t lose search cred or confuse recruiters who already have links to previous versions. Furthermore, the view count on each document never starts over, and the upload date, tags, description and document title stay the same.
Slideshare tends to have the best upload quality, because the formatting of the preview stays true to the original document. But it’s advisable to use both sites, as search rankings can vary.
I keep my resume on both document-sharing sites. Since uploading it to both sites in July 2009, I’ve experienced more that 6,000 total views and nearly 250 downloads across the two sites. And that’s just for a plain, ol’ Word document. Imagine if I would have gotten creative, like Chris Ferdinandi, a human resources professional based in Boston. His visual resume (embedded above) has nearly 29,000 views and showcases his “not-so-traditional” approach.
Of course, there’s always LinkedIn, a staple of the professional’s online presence. LinkedIn has become the standard online professional network, and like Facebook and Twitter, it often appears near the top of search inquiries involving people, as a result of its high ranking across search engines. When a potential employer searches for information about you online, you’ll want some semblance of your professional life to appear in search results.
Once employers find your LinkedIn profile, you’ll want it to be flawless. For the most part, you can bling out your profile by filling in the basics, asking for meaningful recommendations, using value-added applications and becoming an expert with LinkedIn Answers. For more detailed tips on creating a picture-perfect LinkedIn profile, check out my recent post on “HOW TO: Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile.”
Share Your Online Resume
If you’ve highlighted your resume in an interesting way online, share the details with us in the comments below!