Visual Resume – a better way to illustrate complex working experience
It is getting popular to leverage infographic to design resume instead of standard words document. Especial for the creative industry, a visual resume might become a portfolio in itself as a demonstration of design skill and personal branding, and help you stand out from the crowd.
The other advantage of visual resume, if done properly, could help communicate a complex and multi-disciplinary work experience a lot better than traditional formats. If you don’t know graphic software, there are few tools in the market that could help with your visual resume like easel.ly, kinzaa, resumup etc., but if you are a designer, it might better off to create an original design for yourself.
As a multidisciplinary innovation specialist, one challenge is to help make sense the width of cross-industries and multi-disciplinary work experience, yet with a specialist depth and focus in product & brand innovation.
T-Shaped with depth vs Jumping across job without focus
The width of different industries might confuse and distract many hiring managers, as on paper the resume might seems jumpy and not very focus on one discipline; they can not tell there is actually ONE consistent theme across those different industries & roles – design and innovation.
Therefore, I leverage visual resume to create a cover of a T-Shaped diagram to better illustrate that all width of experience are inter-linked back to the idea of “Integrated Innovation” – a multi-disciplinary innovation approach to help business to innovate faster, better and cost effectively! (see my other post for more details)
Journey of Expertise Accumulation
There is another challenge to communicate the depth of knowledge gained in each industries and role; it will not be very useful if someone only scratch the surface of everything without in-depth understanding before it move to another challenge.
In my case, I’m a super quick learner and work very hard to understand in-side-out of whatever industry and disciplinary that I had worked in, since I believe that is the only way that I could find improvement opportunities in business and help drive innovation and result. In most case, when I only accepted an offer to moved on to next challenge when I have learned most out of the company & help achieved business results to prove my expertise in the field! (and if there is limited room for growth in the organisation).
One unique experience that I have is a period of startups and entrepreneurship between 2012-2014 when I decided to spend 2 years to further re-invent myself and practice my passion in “integrated innovation“. I’ve worked almost 24/7 to dig deep into areas that I’ve missed in previous work experience, yet they are important experience to reinforce my expertise in integrated innovation, these are digital marketing & social media, e-commerce, business development process, business proposal, VC pitching, finance, P&L, software & programming etc. I’ve found multiple business with various partners and learning by doing to get the most out of the 2 years that equivalent of 4-5 years in a role, and gain some innovation insights and experience that I will never have if didn’t spend those 2 years.
To better communicate those complex experience, and that my knowledge across different industries and multi-disciplinary design are not only inter-related, but also a long-accumulated Advanced level expertise. To do that, I leverage a line chart next to the professional experience to explain the accumulation of knowledge from collages studies across different work experience.
Intuitive Achievements Overviews & leveraging visual icons
In this visual resume, I also use visual elements to list the achievements and commercial results in a more intuitive and easy to navigate visual bullets points. Language and software skills are also visually represented to communicate the advancements.
I hope this visual representation of my resume could better explain my unique and complex experience in a way that is easier to understand than traditional text based resume. However, this visual resume will not replace the traditional resume though, it exists to support.
Visual Resume Supporting Traditional Resume
The fact is that, many nowadays hire managers and HR system are still rely on text keywords to filter and match talents via a massive words document database, while they are great ways to help fulfil traditional talent management, there are no good for identifying T-shaped and multi-disciplinary talents that their value and experience are less ordinary structured.
Leverage Visual Resume to Communication Complex Experience More Effectively
Innovation talent are good in connection seemingly un-related dots, and connect them with insightful and cross disciplinary experience to come up with wonderful ideas and solutions; better innovation talent have more depth across different disciplines and capable of organise and communicating complex concepts and stories with compelling stories and visualisations; yet best innovation specialists are capable of successfully commercialise those compelling concepts in real life with great acumen in business and technology!
To help innovate faster, better and cost effectively, innovation talent MUST have both width and depth across multi-disciplines, but these width and depth will be more difficult to communicate via traditional text based resume without lengthy explanations, and visual resume could be an good tool to use.