Given how many folks are looking for work these days (and desperate for their resumes to stand out in the pile), a startup like Visualize.me was inevitable. Its algorithms and templates take your boring, vanilla C.V. and automagically transform it into a Feltron-esque personal infographic at the push of a button. “In the age of data overload, the text resume is slowly becoming a living anachronism,” the company’s press release intones ominously. “The average resume is now over 2 pages long with more than 1000 words.” Who wants to deal with that?
[A sample resume, using Ashton Kutcher; click to enlarge]
Visualize.me founder Eugene Woo tells Co.Design that he got the inspiration for his startup after seeing Chris Spurlock’s resume go viral (and land him a job at The Huffington Post). “After health, shelter & food, getting a job is one of the basic needs of people. I knew there would be demand for a service that could help you stand out and get your dream job,” Woo explains. “I’ve also done a quite bit of hiring and one thing I never enjoyed was reading text resumes. After a couple, they all sort of look alike. In fact, most CEOs/owners I’ve spoken to about this admitted that they never read cover letters or resumes in detail.” Better for the recruiter, better for the recruitee — everybody wins.
But if anyone can generate a neato visual resume at the push of a button, isn’t that just putting us back where we started? Woo thinks that rich personalization options (a variety of free and paid “themes” will be on offer, similar to Tumblr) and social media integration (raw material can be ported in from Twitter, Facebook, even Foursquare and specialty sites like StackOverflow) will keep things lively enough. Woo says that the software is still being polished up, but the infographic it made out of my LinkedIn qualifications isn’t half bad for a rough draft:
Woo says he got 16,000 sign-up requests from Visualize.me’s beta launch site in just two weeks. “For our early adopters, we were targeting young professionals with LinkedIn profiles, mostly in the creative/design/visual arts/PR/Social media fields,” he tells Co.Design via email. “But from the overwhelming response we’re getting, [we think] this will be a service for everyone.” Which begs the question: What will the next Chris Spurlock do to raise the bar?