Multimedia Resumes: Worth it?

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

My Experience

There are many free services that will help you create your own multimedia resume – Purzue, VisualCV, and Visualize.me.

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.

The Verdict

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?

My Multimedia Resumes

Purzue Resume

Visualize.me Resume

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InfoCamp Seattle 2012

Pitching sessions with schedule boards in the background

Pitching Sessions in Mary Gates Hall

Over this past weekend I attended my first unconference, InfoCamp Seattle. I had publicly stated through Twitter and maybe a few other social media avenues that InfoCamp intimidated me. Yes you heard correctly, the unconference which is suppose to remove the barriers and rigidness of professional conferences scared me to my organized, librarian core. Also I knew that InfoCamp had a rabid following. What if I was the only one who didn’t know what was going on? What if I wasn’t interested in any sessions? What if I had nothing worth while to contribute in discussions?

If such fears have held you back from an unconference, let me assure you they are pretty much groundless. First off there were a TON of first time people at Infocamp. We all bumbled through it together. Also after the first “pitch session” (pictured above) where different people explain what their session is about (I was afraid we might be asked to vote or something – not the case) the rhythm is pretty much established and you can pretty much know what to expect. Also I was always interested in at least one session per time slot (if not more which is the real problem). Also I found I had plenty to contribute since I went to session about topics I was interested in.

Now I could begin talking about the sessions I attended but I feel like each session could easily each be its own blog entry (so that would mean this blog entry would end up being way too long). I will list the sessions I attended and if you are interested in hearing more please say so in the comments and I’ll make it into a blog post for you! I attended sessions on personal digital archiving (focusing on a new app for it!), gaining that 2 years experience for jobs, marketing the library in modern times, making a digital creator space in Seattle, confessions of a marketing consultant, digital intellectual rights Northwest, and taxonomy madness. As you can see the variety of session topics is incredible and it reflects the variety of people attending so if you don’t think you are the target audience of Infocamp you might want to reconsider.

Now I want to highlight one of the most enjoyable parts of Infocamp that caught me by surprise – networking. I will admit I’m not one of the best networkers out there. I’ll chit chat with my neighbors at events, but I they always seem to be students or job seekers just like me. Probably good connections years down the line, but not those connections that will give me that “in” when I hit the job market. However I did not have that problem at Infocamp! I met some great people in different LIS fields in Seattle that I am interested in. A few even started following me on Twitter so hopefully I will even continue to stay on their radar even after the weekend is a distant memory.

So I hope next there are even MORE Infocamp newbies!

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Pinterest: Not just for weddings

Pinterest Picture

My Pinterest Story

For the past year or so I have avoided Pinterest. Why? Well the responsible part of my brain will say that I’m a graduate student and I really just don’t have the extra time to pick up yet another social media platform. I do not need another distraction while sitting at my computer trying to do work. The carefree side of my mind was convinced it was a website that people used to endless pass around crafts, wedding ideas, and pretty pictures with little rhyme or reason. Therefore Pinterest was just something I was not interested in.

However, my impression of Pinterest began to change as I saw how others (friends and family) chose to use it. I was beginning to see the practicality of Pinterest. I especially was drawn to the numerous recipe boards. I’d see a Pinterest update on Facebook for a recipe and I’d find myself clicking on it, but unlike other Pinterest users I had no where to put this interesting recipe I wanted to try. A tab in my internet browser would languish for days or weeks until I got around to making the dish. I slowly began to consider the upside to having a place to stash all of my beloved internet recipes.

It was not until a just over a week ago that I finally decided to take the plunge into Pinterest world. I was pushed over the edge by an article I read in Wired Magazine. In Clive Thompson’s article “In Defense of Pinterest”, he states that “Pinterest’s appeal is that it gives us curiously powerful visual way to communicate, think, and remember.” I was also brought in by the ideas of “categorical thinking” (I am in Library School after all) and “visual memory locker”. The latter idea put forth the notion of creating boards showing off one’s digital bookshelf. That way the reader has a way to visually connect with their digital books just like when one stands infront of their physical bookshelves. Thompson also backs up Bianca Bosker who argues that “Facebook and Twitter are inwardly focused (“Look at me!”) while Pinterest is outwardly focused (Look at this!).” I loved that idea. I needed some outward focus after worrying over Twitter and this blog.

My Pin Boards: Recipes, Kindle Bookshelf, Cosplay Ideas, Inforgraphics, Library Porn (pretty pics of libraries), and Christmas List

How I use Pinterest

Now what exactly did I do with Pinterest once I signed up? I know that the purpose of Pinterest and its benefits to the user is what is stopping many of us from joining. So I am sharing my boards with you. Like I mentioned above, my first order of business was bringing together all of my recipes from all over the Internet and putting them in one place. Before I had an ungainly Google Spreadsheet that I shared with my husband. It was a quick, dirty way of keeping all my favorite recipes in one place, but it was lacking the visual appeal of most cookbooks. My new pin board, however, is nothing if not visually appetizing. Also I get quick links to all my recipes and since Pinterest is totally public my husband can easily look at the board as well.

I have also taken Clive Thompson’s suggestion and created a Kindle Bookshelf. I enjoyed the exercise. I am not sold on the long lasting benefit of the board, but it is probably good for my memory to link books to their covers. I have also added some more personal boards (Cosplay Ideas & Christmas List) that are like the Recipes board functioning as link or idea buckets. I can gather up ideas from all over the Internet and post them in one central easily accessible location.

The Values of Pinterest

I believe this is the reason why Pinterest has grown so fast and so easily. It allows us to tap into the visual portion of our mind in an Internet that is inherently textual. Instead of my textual list of food blog links, I now have beautiful food pictures (which is half the appeal of food blogs). Also Pinterest allows us to categorize our visual links any which way we want. I have seen people split their recipes into “carbful” and “carbless”. I have seen nibbles, sandwiches, desserts, favorites, to-do, done and the list goes on. I even wander unto a Pinterest page where the user had divided art by dominate color. Then we have the practicality of Pinterest. It gives us a place to bring together all of the neat, useful, wonderful things we have seen across the Internet on different websites, blogs, social media, etc and put it in one place that allows us to “refind” it later. As an information professional I find Pinterest a wonderland of information behavior. People self- categorizing and showing us what is important enough to bring together from all over the Internet so it can be found again.

I greatly encourage library students to check out Pinterest. If you are visual person and you need a place to dump all of those awesome book display ideas for your Youth Services internship, man have I got a wonderful place for you.

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Taking Access to the User Online

Yesterday morning I participated in the Library 2.012 Virtual, Worldwide Conference. It was my first conference presentation experience, and even though it was totally virtual and I did not have to stare into the eyes of my attendees I still got those nerves right before I started. However, everything went smoothly and I got some very nice questions at the end of my presentation so I gauge it a success!

I would highly suggest this conference for any student wanting to have presentation experience. There is NO COST attached to the presentation (well besides your time & effort). I gave my presentation from my home computer with my cat sitting next to me as moral support. Also the presentation software is very easy to use especially if you are an online student use to online collaboration.

I have decided to share my slides with you all here as well. I’ll add some annotations to explain some of the pictures. If you would like to listen/watch the actual session it was recorded and can be found on the Library 2.012 website.

In case some of you haven’t seen a picture of me before!

A South Asian American is another with a heritage of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka.

An entity on SAADA was a contributor, author, or subject. I created entries for a few South Asian women who came to America for medical degrees in the early 20th century.

It is hard to see, but the “code” looks like this:
* [www.saadigitalarchive.org The South Asian American Digital Archive]
The phrase after the url is what is displayed as a hyperlink on the Wikipedia page.

After my first day working on these Wikipedia links, we had a user come in from one page I edited and he looked at 4 pages on the website and stayed for 14 minutes! Almost instant results on my work.

If you like the Gandhi/Tolstoy connection, please check out the archive! Indian revolutionaries interacted with other revolutionaries around the globe including the Irish!

The graph is the nifty metrics one gets as a Facebook admin for a page. The high point on the graph is for the week of 9/17-9/23 when SAADA reached 4,916 people. That week 5 posts were published. Of which one was a picture, two were educational posts and two were updates about the archive.

Our Achilles heel of user engagement. The effort of interacting with users on Twitter is almost nonexistent and our numbers reflect our lack of effort

You get what you put into social networks is the lesson here.

During the Q& A I also suggested looking into Flickr and Pinterest (which is the subject of an upcoming post). Both of these platforms could be a big boost. Pinterest is a very interesting service to look into. Archives, libraries, and museum that have interesting visual collections could be a big hit on the site. There is even a history category that these materials fall into and that can be easily browsed allowing browsing users to discover your materials. However, there are myriad copyright issues when considering this route so I’d closely read the terms of agreement before adding material or even putting much thought & energy into it.

I hope more library students take advantage of this conference in the future! Please if you have any questions about my presentation or about presenting at Library 2.012 in general leave a comment.

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Filed under Archives, Conference, Digital Archives, Library School

The Beginning of Year 2

I know that my East Coast Library School brethren have been at the books for almost a month now and I am finally joining them. Today has been a hectic day of hurriedly reading new class websites, downloading pdfs to read, and watching introductory lectures. UW has moved to a new online educational platform, Canvas, which I have only used once previously in tandem with our previous Catalyst tools. Let’s just say that the new shift has me feeling like a first year student all over again as I scramble to relearn the platform. I think scrambling is a great way to describe how I always feel on the first day of class. Scrambling to understand what classes want of me and scrambling to finish the first set of readings and assignments. The first week of the quarter is always a scramble.

The new school year will also bring about some changes to this blog. I am enrolled in a Social Media special topics class which means I will be revamping some parts of this blog (About page I’m looking at you) as well as writing social media geared posts. I am hoping this class will take me from being a dabbling library student to a fine tuned social media machine. My first action on this road was finally claiming this blog on Technorati.

Also I want to extend a hearty welcome to my fellow classmates who are reading my blog for the first time! I’m looking forward to an interesting quarter.

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The Summer of Two Internships

Today  my student ALA chapter posted a blog entry I wrote about my experience this summer interning with the Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library and the South Asian American Digital Archive.

Also please check out all the other posts written by other UW iSchool students and their experiences in many different types of intern positions! The variety is pretty awesome.

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The Year Two To-Do List

Unlike many library students my degree is actually planned out to be two or three years since I am an online student. So I luckily (or unlikely?) get more time in library school than the average girl. Now I went into the program wanting to finish in two years, but after the first quarter I decided maybe slow and steady would win the day. I have also decided that if I’m going to go over two years I might as well make it count and complete a final masters project during my third year. That way I can get some project planning and implementation under my belt before heading out on the big-girl job market.

Now for my second year of library school I have decided to set some goals. My first year’s goal was just to get use to a fully online program mode and make it work for me. This year I have some more specific things in mind.

  • Volunteer at ALA Midwinter – This year it is taking place in Seattle so I’m assuming UW’s iSchool will be hijacked during the conference. Who wouldn’t sneak off to an ALA conference when it is just a bus ride across town? Once school starts I should start asking around about how I can get involved.
  • Complete a DFW – This is a Directed Field Work or to some a practicum or an unpaid internship for credit. Now I know many students dislike unpaid internships for credit since the student ends up in the red, but our DFW system at UW allows me to get in on the ground floor with some local organizations that usually don’t offer intern positions otherwise. This is great for me since I am tied geographically to this area after grad school (I can’t complain my husband has a great job!). I’m hoping for a position that allows me to interact with archive patrons, donors, or at least fellow colleagues. I’ve had too many jobs where I just sit alone in a room and do my own thing.
  • Present at a conference (either a paper or poster) – Right now I’m thinking a smaller conference like the Washington Library Association or Northwest Archivists, but who knows maybe something interesting will cross my path and I’ll take a leap and submit something to SAA or ALA. I really have no ideas right now, but I’m not sweating it (yet).
  • Keep expanding my knowledge of archives, digital services, digital humanities, metadata, & cataloging – So besides taking classes geared toward this, I’m planning on learning more about the Digital Humanities via this awesome LibGuide from Boston College. I’ve also recently discovered iTunesU which is free and has free lectures series about tons of different topics. I have several downloaded (some from the Library of Congress) that I’m trying to fit in. Also I’m going to learn the basics of HTML/XML from this book recommended by my programmer husband so I can take the more intensive version of the HTML class offered in my program come the spring quarter.
  • Continue to write blog posts – It is so easy for me to just let everything else fall by the wayside while taking classes. One of those things that gets neglected is this blog. I will probably try a few tricks to keep this active like connecting posts to my class work or writing responses to other library/archive blog posts.
  • Get a summer internship – I have one internship in mind that I would like to have in the summer of 2013, but by March or April that could all change. However, I need to remember to apply, apply, apply and keep my eyes on the student jobs listserv, inalj, and archivesgig.
  • Attend more conferences – Okay well this goal is kind of already wrapped up, but I think it stills needs to be here. Last year I only attended one professional conference. This year I plan on attending InfoCamp Seattle (even though it intimidates me), Museum Computer Network (it’s in Seattle and there are GLAMWiki sessions), ALA Midwinter, and then it is a toss up between Northwest Archivists and WLA/OLA. I really wish I could go to SXSW, but the conference costs plus travel costs just puts it out of reach.

I’m not quite sure if these goals are all doable without overextending myself, but we’ll see. I’m pretty sure I can complete all of this by May 2013. There may be some rough times here or there, but it’ll be a fun ride! My third year will be the kicker with my final project, fitting in the last of my electives, and looking for a job. However, I’m very glad that I have opted for the three year plan. If I was graduating this year, I’d feel a bit cheated. I’ve just figured this whole grad school thing out and now I have to  leave and go figure out the professional world?!

Good Luck everyone who starts back to library school in August! (I don’t go back to September 24th! So I’m off to enjoy my last few weeks of summer.)

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