Visual resumes can help boost your online presence. The Internet is a powerful tool for marketers, and dozens of potential clients can be sourced through social media engagement. However, you could be missing out on plenty of opportunities because of boring text and cliched graphics. According to statistics from VFM Leonardo below, there has been a huge shift in the way people utilize and engage over social networks.
Through this infographic, you can easily see that users prefer visual-centric content. In order to keep up, you need to come up with more creative ways to introduce your personal brand to prospects. This is where visual resumes come in. In this day and age, a good first impression is created by those who aren’t afraid to think outside the box. By creating a visual resume, you can reach out to potential clients in a medium that they’re more inclined to browse and engage with.
What are visual resumes?
A visual resume is a creative spin on the traditional resumes you’d usually submit when applying for a job. However, while traditional versions are typically rigid and text-centric, visual resumes focus on making use of design elements to tell a story.
Using a slide show, you basically introduce yourself to potential clients and tell them why you’re the best person for the job. The most important thing to remember about visual resumes is that you have to make use of powerful imagery. Think of it as your personal pitch deck. Instead of pitching a product or service, you’re pitching your personal brand.
More on personal branding
Before you start creating your visual resume, make sure that your personal brand is clearly defined. It’s important that it’s consistent with all the different online platforms you use. Otherwise, you might end up sending mixed messages that confuse potential clients. To avoid this scenario, you should make sure that your story is clear and definite.
According to Zoe Sentirmai of BRANDIAM, a brand is a result of “a set of associations and perceptions in people’s minds, based on the content they come across that relates to you.” She also notes that these associations can be both intentional or out of your control. In order to keep your image positive and helpful to your business, you need to define how you want others to see you.
Your personality, core values, abilities, and goals are all part of what makes your brand. Sentirmai suggests you ask yourself these questions:
- What do I stand for?
- What makes me awesome?
- Who do I want to help?
- What do I want to be known for?
- What do I call success?
With these questions answered, you’re one step closer to defining your personal brand and creating visual resumes that will help engage your target market.
Stories and Visuals
Story is the foundation of any presentation. Once you have your personal brand story defined, you can begin working on visual resumes that will engage and impress potential clients. Before you open PowerPoint, create a quick outline of your content. Here’s a sample from a SlideShare presentation by Intelligent.ly:
How to Make a Visual Resume
Tip 1: The first slide is everything
As we’ve mentioned earlier, Internet users prefer to engage with content that are visually appealing. The first slide is important because it will serve as the thumbnail once you upload your slides to presentation-sharing websites like SlideShare. If your first slide is neither interesting nor creative, expect that potential clients will pass over it as they browse.
If you’re totally clueless about how to make your first slide engaging, you can check out some of our PowerPoint design tips. You can also read up on the presentation design trends we observed this year for inspiration.
Tip 2: Don’t ignore your other branded materials
Again, it’s important that your online presence remains consistent—not only for your content, but also for the aesthetics you use. Make sure that the color schemes and fonts you use in your visual resume are consistent with all the other materials you have online. Take note of the visual elements of your website and social media profiles, and keep your visual resume coherent with them.
Tip 3: Don’t just list down your experience
Visual resumes are an opportunity to show prospects that you can think outside the box. This isn’t the time to follow formats and rules. Don’t just list down your experience and be done with it. Use your visual resume as an opportunity to tell your story. Just make sure this story is relevant to your business. There’s a fine line between creating a connection with your audience and over-sharing. Don’t cross it!
Tip 4: Be specific with your call to action
In visual resumes, the ending is as crucial as the beginning. Don’t let yours end by simmering down to oblivion. Leave your prospect with something they can remember. Give them a specific call to action. Without it, your visual resume might end up looking like superficial fluff. Stunning and visually engaging, but with no real meat to it.
Let your audience know that you want them to reach out and start a conversation with you. Provide them with ways to contact you, like links to your social media profiles.
You can also provide them with free resources if you offer that in your website. To learn more about creating powerful Call-to-Action slides, click here and read one of our previous blog entries.
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Featured Image: Nina Matthews via Flickr