Who will win the war for Resume 2.0? Ten Visual Resume Tools Reviewed.

Before it was easy to build your own blog, before Facebook was hot, before the ability to tweet a message to the world…getting your skills and qualifications in the hands of the right people was much different than it is today.

Not so long ago, job search meant sweating over an IBM typewriter—or in later years—a word processing program, driving to the local stationary store, picking up the parchment paper, and getting just the right stamp for the outside of the envelope. And, most of the time your envelope would be opened by a real person, who would experience your application from both a visual and tactile sense as they unfolded your resume and cover letter and perused the contents. Back in the day, these were just a few of the resume rituals that were quite commonplace.

Fast forward to now. At the push of the button, you can apply to almost any job, anywhere. A job seeker has access to more jobs, more companies, and more opportunities. And, of course, employers have their pick of more candidates, with more experience, from more places. Job seekers have more jobs at their fingertips, but are competing against far more people. Employers have more talent at their disposal, but struggle to identify the best talent amidst the sea of applications.

In the process the resume has been downgraded to mere words in binary format, competing for the attention of computer systems that are the gatekeepers to recruiters. The traditional resume still persists but, as renowned HR expert Peter Weddle recently said, it is about as “inspiring as a brick.” In fact, in a recent Beyond.com poll, over 57% of the HR professionals we polled said that an infographic or visual-style resume would help them more quickly evaluate candidates over a traditional resume. And, 79% of jobseekers said that they wish they had a better way to present themselves online. Resumes are primed for an upgrade.

In the age of social media, your personal brand is king. You are the marketing department for the product of “You”. You are the sales person for yourself. And the cacophony of available self-publishing, self-branding, self-broadcasting tools is exhaustive and overwhelming. Every day, a new social network pops up or some new-fangled job search site promises to give you all the jobs, handle the apply for you, and make your job search quick, easy, and painless. And yet, most job seekers still must rely on a few pages of largely unformatted copy and bullets to get hired.

At present, that is the reality. A more evocative resume doesn’t play well with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs), and 93% of hiring managers are still going to ask for the traditional resume at some point during the hiring process. But, recruiters and HR folks are already stepping outside of their systems to get a fuller picture by searching Google and looking people up on social media to find out who they really are. A growing number of companies are developing alternatives to the traditional resume. Over the next few years, these formats will continue to gain traction, become better integrated with ATS systems and other technology, and grow more widely used and accepted by job seekers and recruiters.

Here’s a look at 10 companies that are leading the charge in enabling professionals to craft a more visual resume and make a better online elevator pitch. I graded each tool based on eight important criteria to demonstrate their value (see addendum).

#1. About.me (http://about.me/joestubblebine)


AboutmeAbout.me is an AOL product that is probably more of a visual calling card then a true online profile. Some of you may be old enough to remember emurse.com, which ran the race  with VisualCV (reviewed below) back in the day. Emurse was acquired by AOL in 2009, and AOL killed the service in July 2012 to focus on about.me and Huntsy.com, a jobseeker job organization tool. About.me provides you with the ability to pop in a paragraph or so about yourself and link up to your other social profiles. Although you can change background pics, drag and drop stuff around, and change some fonts and styles, there’s no resume upload feature, or any other especially useful tools that would be especially helpful for job search. This site may be more useful for public speakers, artists, or singer/songwriters who simply want a visual calling card that is quick and easy to set up and has a
slight artistic flair. Out of all of the profile sites reviewed, this was the only site that had any real traffic outside of LinkedIn, Beyond.com, and Facebook.

Ease of Setup:

A

Editability:

B

Look & Feel:

B

Career Focus:

D

Social Connectivity:

C

Community Value:

D

Sharability & Contactability:

A

comScore Unique Visitors (Feb 2013):

392K

 

#2. Beyond.com (http://Beyond.com/JoeStubblebine)

BeyondOK…full disclosure: I work for Beyond.com, and  I’m a big fan of the Beyond.com Career Portfolio. I had no part in the design of this product, it was in the works before Beyond.com acquired my company. If you still think I’m being biased, try it for yourself and you’llsee. Beyond.com’s new Career Portfolio was just announced about two weeks ago, and literally takes about 2 seconds for a new  user to set up a portfolio. Simply email your resume to portfolio@beyond.com,  and your profile and member account will be created instantly using information parsed from your resume. If you’re one of the 30 million members that already have joined Beyond.com, then the next time you log in you’ll see the start of your personal portfolio based on the information that the site had already received from you.

Beyond.com’s Career Portfolio is a really visual way to clearly display your skills and abilities, and incorporate a few cool marketing snippets that can catch a recruiter’s eye and call out the things that make you unique. Editing and organizing the information is a piece of cake. You can also add videos, references, and an intro/cover letter. Basic customization (i.e. color schemes, header tags, section sorting, etc.) is also provided. The portfolio allows for all types of information to be presented, including certifications, education, interests, skill tags (up to 20), and creates a very nice visual timeline that incorporates both your education and work experience. I especially like the accomplishment chicklets that gives you the ability to quickly create some cool stats to brag about yourself. It’s shareable, and one click to the Text version allows recruiters to cut and paste your resume into their applicant tracking system. This tool is pretty much a one-stop shop for a career-focused portfolio product.

The only drawback is that I can’t pull in my profile from LinkedIn to start the process, but I guess I could dump out my LinkedIn profile as text and just send the text version to the parser at portfolio@beyond.com and it would work. I’d also like to have the ability to plug my other social communication outlets in to my Beyond.com Career Portfolio so that I could display my last few tweets and Facebook comments and make my profile feel alive, current, and connected.Overall, given Beyond.com’s 5.7 million monthly visitors, and the fact that Beyond.com serves the recruitment needs of tens of thousands of employers through its 2,500 niche geographic and industry-specific sites, I’d say that it’s worth the time to set up a profile here.

Ease of Setup

A

Editability

A

Look & Feel

A

Career Focus

A

Social Connectivity

D

Community Value

B

Sharability & Contactability

B

ComScore Unique Visitors (Feb 2013):

5.7M

 

#3. CareerCloud (http://social.careercloud.com/sr/jstubble)


CareercloudA fairly new player on the scene, CareerCloud was built by a friend of mine, Chris Russell. I refer to Chris as the “Mad Scientist of Recruiting”. He’s a very smart entrepreneur who’s always creating new products and new ventures, and he also happens to be a respected player in the online recruitment and product services arena.

Overall, not bad for a first pass. However, providing for only a LinkedIn import as the main source of data, it didn’t give me the option to edit my LinkedIn profile after importing it, or upload a resume. As I was setting up the visual resume, it only allowed me to add up to 8 skills, it didn’t tell me that my glamour URL would be my username, and there was no way to change it after you set it up (thus my ugly glamour URL). Site speeds were fairly slow at times, and the end product--while functional--didn’t wow me visually. On the plus side, setup was a breeze, allowing me to quickly connect
with and pull in my social platforms quickly.

CareerCloud is still in beta, and in recent conversations with Chris, he says he’s adding new features and will be improving site speed in the next few months. If you want to help out a friend of mine, build a profile and provide him some feedback via his CareerCloud profile.

Ease of Setup

C

Editability

D

Look & Feel

D

Career Focus

B

Social Connectivity

A

Community Value

D

Sharability & Contactability

A

ComScore Unique Visitors (Feb 2013):

N/A

 

#4. Facebook (http://Facebook.com/JoeStubblebine)


FacebookWhile Facebook is not a pure-play recruiting platform, it is still worth mentioning here. As Facebook Graph Search continues to be rolled out, more and more employers will turn to Facebook to recruit candidates. I covered this in detail in my Don’t Get Caught with your Pants Down blog post last month. Facebook allows you to publish your “Work and Education” section publicly, and you can choose to allow search engines like Google to index your Facebook account. As this catches on, Facebook has the potential to radically shift where recruiters go to find talent. Although the Work and Education section doesn’t allow an import from LinkedIn, doesn’t allow you to share locally, and is pretty much a boring list of your past jobs, Facebook is the largest social network in the world. And now that employers can search for you based on skills, likes, and employers through Facebook Graph Search, it makes it worth your time to ensure the professional side of your Facebook account is up-to-date and set to be visible to the public.

Ease of Setup

B

Editability

B

Look & Feel

D

Career Focus

D

Social Connectivity

B

Community Value

A

Sharability & Contactability

C

ComScore Unique Visitors (Feb 2013):

143.1M

 

#5. Kinzaa.com (http://Kinzaa.com/JoeStubblebine)


KinzaaThe site still says “beta” at the top, but with the stiff competitors out there, I’m not sure if this one should even make it past beta.

The Kinzaa experience starts by pulling in data from LinkedIn, and provides nifty little visual tool to quickly identify top skill keywords (up to 3) to associate with each job and allocate percentage of time spent on those skills. I hit a couple of site errors that created a bit of a hassle, but setup wasn’t too painful. The result is a pretty standard infographic that left me feeling a bit blah. I wasn’t given the ability to incorporate my social channels, point to my videos on YouTube, or even add more than 4 skills. Social sharability was non-existent.

Ease of Setup

C

Editability

D

Look & Feel

C

Career Focus

C

Social Connectivity

D

Community Value

D

Sharability & Contactability

D

ComScore Unique Visitors (Feb 2013):

N/A

 

#6. LinkedIn (http://linkedin.com/in/joestubblebine)


LinkedinLinkedIn.
The big daddy of online profiles. In just three short years since going public, LinkedIn’s revenues attributed to recruitment grew by 100.7% in 2012 to $523M, while Careerbuilder’s North American revenues only increased 5.4% to $661M. LinkedIn is catching up fast, and employers are shifting dollars quickly to the professional networking giant.

Overall, Linkedin’s profile is fairly unimpressive and generic, but they have HUGE eyeball power, and a LinkedIn presence is a must-have for any jobseeker. Of course, if you didn’t know this, you’ve got bigger problems than I can help you with. Setting up the profile is one thing, but the value that LinkedIn brings to the table (outside of the networking, connections, groups, and the entire social platform), is that the endorsements, recommendations, and connections can be a big boost to create an impressive online image with validation from others in your network.

Establishing and maintaining an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn is a must for everyone, even if you’re not actively looking for a job.

Ease of Setup:

B

Editability:

A

Look & Feel:

B

Career Focus:

A

Social Connectivity:

D

Community Value:

A

Sharability & Contactability:

A

ComScore Unique Visitors (Feb 2013):

42.2 million

 

#7. ResumUP (http://resumup.com/me/5563296#)


ResumupNot just a visual portfolio product, ResumeUp attempts to solve the lofty challenge that has been tried by many throughout the years. Not only does the site allow you to create a marginally attractive infographic, it also provide you with career planning tools that attempt to help you get from where you are now to where you’d like to be. Another heavy user of pulling in LinkedIn data, ResumUp provides a decent interface for allowing you to edit your portfolio once you’ve pulled in your info. I couldn’t find any way to change my Glamour URL, and there was no way to upload a resume.

The biggest differentiator was the fact that ResumeUP provided a career planning tool. However, in my experiments, it didn’t seem all that effective. As a commenter on an earlier product review that Melanie Pinola of LifeHacker pointed out…the recommended path from CEO to US senator: CEO = Natural Sciences Manager = Operations Research Analyst = Human Factors Engineer and Ergonomist = Soil and Plant Scientist = US Senator. Not good. I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time on this one--just get yourself a good career coach.

Ease of Setup

C

Editability

C

Look & Feel

B

Career Focus

A

Social Connectivity

D

Community Value

D

Sharability & Contactability

B

ComScore Unique Visitors (Feb 2013):

N/A

 

#8. Re.vu (http://Re.vu/joestubblebine)


RevuRe.vu is a pretty cool way to create a visual profile. The experience starts with your LinkedIn account, and then provides for the addition of several types of self-promotional data, including skills, education, proficiencies, quotes, and personal stats. Overall, it’s pretty easy to edit and customize, but the graphics don’t wow you visually. It also allows you to provide a “traditional” resume that visitors can download. When logged in, Re.vu displays the number of visitors, time on page, resume downloads, and how many times you’ve been contacted. Overall, not bad, but with traffic figures that are too low to register, building a profile here is like putting a billboard on a deserted island.

Ease of Setup:

B

Editability:

B

Look & Feel:

B

Career Focus:

A

Social Connectivity:

D

Community Value:

D

Sharability & Contactability:

B

ComScore Unique Visitors (Feb 2013):

N/A

 

#9. Vizify (http://Vizify.com/joestubblebine)


VisifyVizify starts the process by putting its hooks into your social profiles, including LinkedIn, Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram…and BAM! Really cool looking profile. Visually, this site’s offering is pretty darn cool. More than just a one-page profile, it presents your information in 15 or 16 pages, creating a sort of visual slideshow that could be tedious to recruiters. For marketing, advertising, creative, or media types who are heavy into social media, this could be neat; but for the average guy who doesn’t tweet, doesn’t really use Instagram, and is reticent to share access to Facebook, this tool may not be for you.

Ease of Setup:

A

Editability:

C

Look & Feel:

A

Career Focus:

C

Social Connectivity:

A

Community Value:

D

Sharability & Contactability:

A

ComScore Unique Visitors (Feb 2013):

N/A

 

#10. VIsualCV (http://VisualCV.com/joestubblebine)


VisualcvVisualCV was one of the early visual resume players to market. When they were on the verge of shutting down in 2011, Talent Technology swooped in to save them at the last minute—yet the site feels a lot like a ghost town today. The site has all of the basic features to build a profile, but the overall functionality and usability is pretty 1.0. The resulting profile isn’t very sexy. They claim to also get you exposure to hiring companies, but clicks to pretty much all of the 6-7 companies on the list that used the site led to broken links. I’m a big fan of Talent Technology and they’ve got some really awesome products, but I think that VisualCV needs some updates to remain competitive.

Ease of Setup

C

Editability

C

Look & Feel

B

Career Focus

B

Social Connectivity

D

Community Value

D

Sharability & Contactability

B

ComScore Unique Visitors (Feb 2013):

N/A

Conclusion

In summary, LinkedIn has the breadth of professionals using their tool. Facebook has active social connections, and a very powerful Social Graph search. Beyond.com may have the edge with a graphical career-oriented tool that also helps get you in front of the eyeballs of employers. Overall, as evidenced by the healthy landscape of online visual resume products, entrepreneurs and innovators are hearing the cry of jobseekers to create better tools. But, we’re still in the early phases. As more and more jobseekers seek and adopt solutions that break the norm, then perhaps the impetus will arrive for the traditional resume—and the thought processes behind it—to evolve.

Addendum:

My Methodology

Category

Description

Ease of Setup

How long does it take to set up a profile? How fast and simple was it?

Editability

Can I quickly edit and customize my profile?

Look & Feel

How am I represented online?
Was the profile visually compelling, and did it tell a good story?

Career Focus

Did the site represent me professionally? Was the site recruiting/hiring
focused? Are recruiters likely to
be there?

Social Connectivity

Can I pull in my Twitter feeds, LinkedIn Data, or Facebook posts into
my profile?

Community Value

Does my setting up a profile on the site give me good exposure? Will I be able to connect and network
with others easily? Does the site
have a large user audience?

Sharability & Contactability

Can I socialize my profile quickly and easily?

 

About the Author:

Stubblebine-j-smiling-smallJoe Stubblebine is Vice President of Corporate Outreach at Beyond.com.  Beyond.com, The Career Network, focuses on helping people grow and succeed professionally through 75 unique career channels and 3,000 industry and regional communities.

Joe has over 14 years of entrepreneurial recruitment products & services experience.
Prior to joining Beyond.com, Joe was the Co-Founder and CEO of JobCircle.com, a robust regional career site. JobCircle.com was acquired by Beyond.com in 2012. Joe was the founder of hired! Magazine, an employment publication in the Greater Philadelphia region. He also founded SocialMediaPlus, a series of B2B social media conferences. Joe has served as an IT consultant & project manager for many notable brands. He has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer “Who’s Who Under 30”, “Top Tech” by Computer User magazine. His company, JobCircle.com, held the 11th spot on the Philadelphia INC 100 List in 2002. He has made appearances on The Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, WWDB Executive Leaders Radio, and The Eye Opener, PHL17 in Philadelphia. Joe attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in Accounting.

 

Views: 346

Comment by Tim Spagnola on April 10, 2013 at 7:55am

Great post Joe and really interesting information. A few of these I never looked at all, but will now. Thanks for sharing with the RBC.

Comment by Joe Stubblebine on April 10, 2013 at 3:21pm

Tim, thanks.   Glad you found it helpful.

Comment by Martin Ellis on April 13, 2013 at 3:47am

Really interesting piece Joe. Will have a look at those I've not seen before.

From a UK perspective, I've held the view that a candidates LinkedIn profile is now more important than their CV/resume. However, I still get a lot out of a CV/resume that I think will remain relevant for some years yet. It tests the individuals ability to communicate what they're about. It can betray thinking (good and bad) in the layout, content and tone. The CV holder won't be able to see that, but a smart recruiter will. Take for example the number of CV's I see crammed onto 2 pages with tiny fonts and the margins moved to the edge - that's a big turn off and tells me I'm likely to meet somebody who gets stuck in detail.

So while I can see where you're coming from, a CV where the author has to make up their own rules tells me much more than many want to tell me. For that reason, I hope it hangs around a while yet.

Comment

You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs

Subscribe

Free Sourcing Tool

Marketing Partners

RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

Recruiting Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2014   Created by RecruitingBlogs.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

scroll to the top