Mark Gilbert's Blog

Science and technology, served light and fluffy.

Visual Resume

A while back, Jim Holmes posted that he had converted his resume to be more visual, following in the footsteps of Jef Newsom.  I thought it was a cool idea, so naturally I had to see what my resume would look like, so converted:

Visual Resume Thumbnail

(Click to enbiggen)

Like Jim, I used Visio to lay this out.  I started out with a vertical timeline, but I couldn’t get all of the pieces to lay out nicely, so I switched it to the horizontal layout you see.

When I have a diagram that gets this dense, I will frequently use color to make similar logical groups stand out.  The Yellow group here are specific platforms or programming languages that I’ve worked with; the Green is a methodology that I wanted to call out; the Purple are the organizations that I’ve worked for; and the Blue are the community groups that I am involved with.

Then I took the coloration a shade further – pun intended: the more brilliant hues represent the most recent or most relevant experience or points in my background.

The overwhelming majority of resumes that I’ve come across are arranged in portrait mode.  In my case, nearly everything on my visual resume is arranged in landscape.  So, to make it easier to a recruiter or HR person to access mine when it’s in a stack, I put my name and contact information both horizontally and vertically (email and phone removed for the purposes of this post).

I don’t think it turned out too bad, but I’m curious if I would be more or less likely to get an interview based on this.  It is certainly eye-catching, and would definitely stand out among the traditional text-heavy resumes, but would the layout be more conducive to finding a candidate with a particular skillset or background?  Or would you have to put too much energy into deciphering it, and therefore ultimately toss it?  If this were saved as a PDF and published on the web, how would it fare with search engines?  Questions, questions…

At any rate, it was an interesting exercise.


May 28, 2011 - Posted by | General

1 Comment

  1. Mark – Came across this on a random Google image search. As a former HR guy, I really like this. For the right role/company, this would really stand out as a creative approach. Nice work.

    Tom Murray

    Comment by Tom Murray | June 3, 2011

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