The Visual Resume: Why It Works


LinkedIn is “the world’s largest professional network with more than 135 million members worldwide, today released the most overused words and phrases in members’ LinkedIn Profiles for 2011. The number one most overused buzzword in LinkedIn Profiles globally and for professionals based in the United States is ‘creative'” (Source).

LinkedIn’s top 10 words or phrases that are overused on resumes and cover letters in the United States are as follows:

1.  Creative

2.  Organizational

3.  Effective

4.  Extensive experience

5.  Track record

6.  Motivated

7.  Innovative

8.  Problem solving

9.  Communication skills

10.  Dynamic


So I think I use every single one of these on my LinkedIn profile, resume, and cover letter.  What can we do to avoid these overused words or phrases?  Don’t tell… show.

Enter the visual resume.

The first time I ever heard the term “visual resume” was in David McCandless’s TED Talk.  Other great sources of inspiration for your own visual resume include Vizual Resume, visual resumes on Slideshare, and the blog of the one and only Chiara Ojeda.  Inspiration always comes from viewing fantastic visual resumes designed by other people.

Remember that at this point in time, nothing will replace the traditional resume.  However, the supplemental visual resume gives specific examples that prove you’re a creative and dynamic problem solver without having to include overused words #1, #8, and #10.  Your visual resume doesn’t have to be a slideshow or a PDF… Use the medium that best shows off your talents and expresses your personality and skills.


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