How To Use Visual CV For Job Search
Visual CV's have a different purpose than a standard resume. They are not exactly the same thing... A Visual CV is an effective tool for networking purposes. It is a step up from just handing out your business card while networking. It is a step towards branding your name, your service, and all that you have to offer.
Visual CVs are NOT ATS-friendly (Applicant Tracking Systems). There are over 40 attributes one can unwittingly build into a resume that will cause ATS difficulty reading. Some will cause ATS to not be able to read anything at all.
A major contributor to problems is graphics. But that is not the only problem. In fact, it goes beyond graphics. File types such as PDF's, font choice, mixed fonts, how certain information is laid out, even section tiles, can cause problems depending upon who the ATS software vendor is.
With over 200 ATS software providers and no standard to uphold, it's no wonder people fail to get responses or are rejected regardless of qualifications.
Visual CVs are fine IF, ... IF you can hand the resume to a human. The computers that read them are blind. That is why a Visual CV is best used only for networking purposes. A more classic resume is still your most powerful tool to navigate through the job search process.
Classic Resume vs Visual CV
TRADITIONAL RESUMES WIN EVERY TIME
No visual resume has “perfect fit” formatting for most people and it’s like trying to reinvent the wheel to make visual resumes bend to your wishes. Visual resumes ARE slick to look at. Use them for networking at a job fair where somebody has already met you and you just want them to remember you.
Visual resumes are usually created with complex formatting features such as images, graphics, text boxes (most ATS systems can't read information in a text box or in the header or footer), columns, etc. Images, color, and "fancy" elements on a resume just interfere with the ATS and are visually distracting for most people reading and comparing Visual CVs to a normal, easy-to-read classic resume.
Visual CVs with a picture of the jobseeker are considered automatic disqualification by most HR Managers. In fact, it is close to illegal for an HR Manager to even have talents’ photo(s) on hand (on one's computer).
What to do about References on a resume
Should I or shouldn't I include a "References" heading at the bottom of my resume?
A professional resume writing service can only be provided by an expert resume writer who can easily explain every strategy that is implemented in writing a new resume. But there is much controversy when it comes to including or not including References as a heading at the bottom of your resume.
The truth is that reference-checking is still a widespread practice and there are effective strategies to professionally handle the reference checking process.
I see time and time again, in various articles, that the line "References available upon request" is outdated. I find the advice so wrong that I like to search and learn more about the professional backgrounds of the writers who spread this futile advice online. Often I find that most of them have not worked A DAY as a Recruiter! But I have! In fact, I have been a Recruiter for more than two decades. I have called on countless jobseekers' references, and have heard all kinds of details from employers, communicated verbally, or otherwise. So, you must believe me when I say that not everybody has shiny references. Employers have their ways of letting Recruiters know that.... And recruiters are professionally trained to dig for details; that's what they are paid for, among other things.
In my recruiting days, whenever I came across a resume that did not include the clause "References available upon request", at the very least, I would frown. I could not help but wonder if this person has bad references, otherwise "what would it take to just include that clause in the resume for us????? How hard could it be???" And that is why I would insert that resume at the BOTTOM OF THE PILE.
Considering the number of resumes I had to review on ANY given day which would actually offer me the information I needed, I wasn't going to call "Mr/Ms Mysterious" to find out the thought process behind not including that simple clause about References at the bottom of their resume. I would just call the resumes who made it clear that if I need to check references, it "WILL BE" available upon request.
I have not only applied this rule to those resumes that have crossed my desk, but over the years, I have also trained many other recruiters to do the same. Needless to say, they all found this internal strategy to be an efficient one, in terms of time management.
My 2 cents comes from first-hand experience, from the other side of the interviewing desk... Only because I have been there, COUNTLESS times... Today, I share that with you, here.
Here is a list of tried-and-true strategies to prepare yourself for your job search.
Job Search Preparation Guidelines
1. Update your résumé.
While ideally your résumé is customized for a specific job, having an up-to-date Master résumé is the next best thing. So if you are continually doing more at work, or if you’ve changed your career direction, or obtained additional credentials, now is the time to review the various options available at www.market-connections.net, as listed on the Start Here page. (And if you don’t have a résumé at all, now is definitely the time to put one together! Market-Connections Résumé Services can help!)
2. How solid is your LinkedIn presence?
There are distinct differences between a LinkedIn profile and a résumé… While they are not the same thing, your LinkedIn profile complements your résumé. Hiring managers and recruiters routinely conduct searches on LinkedIn and find suitable candidates for almost any and all kinds of professions. Or, someone in your network might be interested in recommending you and forward your LinkedIn profile URL. So make sure you have a LinkedIn profile — and make sure that it’s updated. (Yes, this is something Market-Connections Résumé Services can help you with.)
3. Know what you’re worth: conduct salary research.
One of the most often-cited reasons to consider a job search is to increase your salary. But how do you know what you’re worth? There is more salary research data available than ever before. Websites like Glassdoor.com and Salary.com can help you see how your current salary and benefits package stacks up. There is also a salary calculator tool on this website from PayScale. You can find it here.
4. Build your network.
It’s estimated that 40-80 percent of jobs are found through networking. Networking effectiveness is not just about quality — although that’s important. It’s also about quantity. It’s not just about who you know. It’s about who your contacts know. Many times, it’s the friend-of-a-friend who can help you land your dream job. Grow your network both professionally and personally. Learn how to network your way to your next job. You never know who will be the one to introduce you to your next job opportunity.
5. Manage your online reputation.
More and more hiring managers are checking you out online before they interview you. What will they find when they type your name into Google? How about if they check out your Twitter profile? Or find you on Facebook? Now is the time to audit your social media presence and clean up your online profiles.
6. Define your ideal job.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” That line, from Alice in Wonderland, is important to remember in your job search. This is when a career roadmap is essential. If you don’t know what your dream job looks like, how will you know how to find it? What job title and responsibilities are you interested in? Do you want to work independently, as part of a team, or both? Do you like short-term projects or long-term projects? Who would you report to? Who would report to you? Answering these questions can help you define your ideal position.
7. Create a target list of companies you’d like to work for.
Like your ideal job, you probably have a preference for the type of organization you want as your employer. Things to consider include: company size, industry, culture, location, and structure (public, private, franchise, family-owned, nonprofit, etc.). Once you’ve made your list, look for companies that fit your criteria.
Mandy Fard is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, CMRW) and Recruiter with decades of experience in assisting job seekers, working directly with employers in multiple industries, and writing proven-effective resumes.