I know there are hundreds of voices out there (maybe more, sometimes it seems like millions) giving advice on the job search. Everything from initial networking to resumes to applications to interviews to salary negotiations. More infuriating no one seems to agree on anything. I think this is best seen for library students in the Hiring Librarians blog. The lovely author, Emily, publishes graphs summarizing her findings from her survey. In those graphs it is plainly shown that hiring managers don’t even agree on how many pages a cover letter should be! So basically there is no Right way, but I’m guessing plenty of wrong ways that might have right components (otherwise we’d all have jobs right?).
One new way of standing out from the crowd during the job search is having a multimedia resume. I know this just sounds like another buzz word, but in this case a multimedia resume is exactly what it sounds like – a resume that moves beyond the text only word do or pdf file and into the land of graphics, pictures, videos, and web content. The most common ways job searchers make their resumes multimedia is through
1.) Adding a video
2.) Adding Infographics
3.) Adding links to a social media profile (Think LinkedIn or a professionally geared Twitter account)
4.) Showing off your personal blog or website
However, is it worth it? In many of the articles I read it was concluded that job seekers have little to lose, but I think we do. We can lose money (one job seeker actually spent $400 dollars to create a professional video for his resume & many of these free services have paid tiers that offer more content or help) and more importantly we can lose our time! Time we can spend searching jobs, networking, or you know completing that degree (not to mention having a life away from all this job stuff). So I decided to give these different services a test run and see what all the fuss is about.
First off I decided to try the most mention websites – Purzue and Visual CV. Out of the two I liked Purzue better for a few reasons. 1.) Their website is just slicker & I am a sucker for a nice, intuitive layout 2.) You can import all of your job information from LinkedIn (!) Which cuts way down on the effort and time commitment. Purzue will allow you to add media like a youtube video if you so choose which is what really makes this a “multimedia” resume. You can also add a picture of yourself to go along with your name at the top. However, since I don’t have a youtube video to add this is just a copy of my LinkedIn profile. So is this one worth the effort? Well yes if you have a video to share, but if you don’t just send a link to your LinkedIn profile. Also when choosing your employment area there is no category for information professionals. Should we choose Information Technology or Education or Research? Even with choosing three subcategories (including analyst, customer service, and consulting) I still wasn’t happy with my choices there. Oh and as for Visual CV – I didn’t even finish my resume because it has no import feature and I didn’t want to spend a whole evening typing everything in just to have another copy of my LinkedIn profile.
Now Visualize.me is another story. It nicely takes all the information from your LinkedIn profile and creates an infographic based on that information. You need to add a little bit of information that isn’t included in a LinkedIn profile like your proficiency and years of experience for your listed skills or just how well you speak the extra languages you listed. There are several different layouts to choose from and several color schemes and the option to fiddle around with the colors via hexadecimal. Personally as an information person I loved this! My favorite part is how Visualize.me easily shows how one’s education pairs up with their work history. This service offers something totally different from LinkedIn (though it still is all the same information). The effort to awesome ratio here is totally in the job hunter’s favor. I’d check it out.
Are these multimedia resumes the wave of the future? Well maybe. I have applied to many internships where I applied via email and just added a cover letter and resume as attachments In such situation I could easily add links to multimedia resumes as well. However, I would only do this if I believed my multimedia resume adds something above and beyond what my “normal” resume offers. If you multimedia resume has links to references, projects, a video, or other content then yes add it! However, if it is just a rehashing of your resume then don’t. You don’t want the hiring committee to feel like you are wasting their time! However, I have also applied to jobs using a company’s own job application website. Some of these sites force you to create a resume using their own forms. Others (like USAJOBS) allow you to upload your resume. In both these instances, multimedia resumes seem to be at a disadvantage. However, you can always find a way to add in the URL to a multimedia resume either in your cover letter or resume.
As for me, I am very intrigued by the idea. I’m not totally won over since my LinkedIn profile seems to do as much as most of these services, but I’m going to keep it in mind. Has anyone else created a multimedia resume? Has anyone sent in a multimedia resume as part of a job application and how was it received by the hiring manager/committee?