Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A picture is worth 1000 words: why I have a visual résumé

Visual résumés have become more and more popular nowadays and I too dedicated some of my time to create my own one.

There are a couple of reasons why:

A picture is worth a thousand words
We are visual animals, we are hardwired to understand images and use images to communicate, that's why images stick better than words.

There's also one of the Universal Principles of Design that deals with that. It's called "Picture superiority effect" and it states:
Pictures are remembered better than words, especially when people are casually exposed to a pice of information for a very limited time. Use the picture superiority effect to improve the recognition and recall of key information. Use pictures and words together, and ensure they reinforce the same information for optimal effect.
Images also support any message on a more emotional level, thus engaging the reader on a different level than the cognitive one. Since we understand and thus remember better concepts that we can relate to our personal experience, once again, images will improve the chances of being remembered.

To show is better than just to say
By having images accompaning your words, you can prove what you're saying straight away.
Images are not just an embellishment, they must be used to support and showcase what you're saying. They are the means through which you prove the extent of your capability.

This is even more valid if the visual résumé comes from a designer. In that case not just the images, but also the presentation per se has a value: it showcases their design ability and their attention to details. Everything matters (images, alignments, weights, …) for the designer work capabilities would be judged through the visual résumé, before even opening their portfolio.

These are the reasons why I worked on my visual rèsumè.
And here it is:

View more presentations from me on slideshare

If you don't know where to start with presentations, here's the first book I read on the topic: Presentation zen. No matter what you do or how confident you are on the topic, this book is full of good hints on how to design good presentations and could really come in handy. :)

If you want some inspiration, here are some good visual résumés I found on Slideshare:
Rethinking Resumes by Karla Wiles
Really Ugly Resumes by @jessedee
Abi Jones: Visual Resume by Abi Jones
My visual resume, Ross McLean by Ross McLean

So c'mon, why don't you give it a try? :)

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