Thanks to social media, modern communication is more visual than ever before. And since your resume is your number one communication tool in the job application process, why shouldn’t that be highly visual, too?
And I’m not talking about including a headshot beside your name and contact information. Mapping out your educational background, work experience, and skill set in a crisp, aesthetically pleasing way is the best way to entice a hiring manager to want to learn more.
No graphic design experience? No problem. Check out these five easy digital tools for making your resume as stand-out as you are.
Import your profile data from LinkedIn and Facebook, and ResumUP crafts a gorgeous infographic complete with your work history, skills, achievements, key values, and even your Myers-Briggs personality type. Share it with potential employers by downloading it in PDF or PNG form.
Plus, it’s pretty affordable. While a very basic version of the visual resume is free, a paid version for $4 a month expands the infographic with additional sections, lets you reserve a personal URL to showcase your resume, and gives you access to additional career-planning tools to do things like set goals and map out what skills you’ll need to learn to get there.
Vizualize.me auto-transforms your professional accomplishments into a simple yet compelling data visualization using the data from your LinkedIn profile. Choose from six style themes and dozens of fonts and color schemes to trick out your digital resume to your liking.
A cool “My Stats” section lets you highlight numbers—like years of experience in a certain industry or number of press impressions you secured for a client. Download the infographic as a PDF or PNG or share it as a link. It’s totally free, and totally awesome.
This site provides 23 impressive, easy-to-edit resume templates (from about $4 to $14 each) that are modern, clean, and supremely polished. Best part? They open in Microsoft Word for straightforward plug-and-play. Just customize with your personal information, save (all resume templates come with DOC and PDF file types), and send off.
Once you purchase, the template is forever yours, so you can update whenever you have a title change or want to highlight a recent accomplishment.
Creddle is a completely free resume-making site that tailor-makes an auto-formatted document from your personal information (enter manually or sync from LinkedIn). Select one of nine templates, then change headers, add color, and move sections around at will.
Once you’re done, you can print it, share it online, embed it on your personal website, or send it as a PDF or DOCX file. And get this: You can even use Creddle to quickly create a cover letter with a nameplate and contact links that match your resume. Mic drop!
Like other sites, this resume-building service extracts data from your existing resume or LinkedIn profile, then lets you choose a design, add multimedia items like presentations, images, and embedded videos, and publish to a public custom URL, a private share link, or a PDF export. Unlike most, however, VisualCV uses the same resume-parsing technology that many Fortune 500 companies do, meaning that you can rest assured your VisualCV resume will be read correctly by applicant tracking systems. Plus, the site’s dashboard also lets you manage multiple versions of your resume so you can tweak based on the specific job you’re applying for.
The free version includes three resume designs and basic analytics (how many times your online resume has been viewed, and from what sources). The pro plan, for $36 a year, includes the full suite of resume designs, unlimited versions per resume, and advanced analytics (track unique IP addresses so you know when your resume has been viewed by a specific person). Use this link to get the VisualCV Professional Plan for half price.
You only have one chance to make a first impression when applying for a job. In most cases, that first chance is your resume. Making your resume more visual will help it stand out from the (literal) pack. The tools above help you do that without any design knowledge.
One caveat: Don’t sacrifice clarity and coherence for visual wow. No matter how much your resume pops, if the hiring manager can’t glance through it and get a clear sense of who you are and what you have to offer, you’re not any closer to that offer letter. (Here are the tips you need to do just that.)
Photo of man drawing courtesy of Shutterstock.