Most effective resume advice follows the same basic principles: Keep things clear, sober, short, and straightforward. A great resume walks a perfect line between standing out and fitting in.
But these rules only apply to official resumes—the resumes that are requested by employers and submitted along with equally standardized cover letters. While these documents both come with a set of constraints that applicants are wise to obey, an applicant’s online resume and supporting materials are a completely different story.
Your Online Resume: Break All the Rules
Once managers voluntarily head online to search for more information about you, the sky is the limit. So take advantage of this if you can. Consider these online resume tips, and use the internet to give employers a look at the details of your candidacy that didn’t make it into your official application.
- Embed links in your resume to your blog and webpage, and when employers click on these links, tell them—and show them—a little more about yourself. It’s not appropriate to include photos of yourself in your official resume, but once employers make the voluntary move online to explore your supporting materials, it’s okay to let this rule go. A professional, friendly photo of yourself is a great place to start.
- Go nuts. An official resume is one page long (two at the most), but your online resume can be twenty pages long if you like. Feel free to go into great detail about your work history, your areas of specific focus, and your special skill sets. Discuss these things in any tone you choose—funny, serious, aggressive, charming, whatever best showcases your personality.
- Use info-graphics to liven up the dull parts of your story. Quantify your claims with numbers and present these numbers with flair. Use sound files, colors, gifs, and animations, and engage in interactive story telling. Consider a photo montage of your proudest accomplishments with explanations for each one.
- Videos can also help you make your case. Embed a video of you speaking directly to your reader, or upload video footage of you addressing a crowd during a recent event, leading a team on a hike, or giving an interview.
- There’s no need to spend hours and hours working on your online resume when there are more efficient ways to reach out to your contacts and pursue your leads, but if you’re in a creative, IT, or design field, consider this time an investment in your future. If you can provide employers with a rich, interactive, and memorable online experience, you’ll elevate your chances of being called in for an interview.
Take a Few Extra Steps & Set Yourself Apart from the Crowd
Once you’ve submitted your professional resume and invited employers to explore your online supporting materials, you’ll need to follow through with a great interview. And in your face-to-face meeting, colorful info-graphics won’t help you. So be ready to follow through and present employers with the same dynamic person they met online. A little rehearsal can help. Visit LiveCareer for interview advice so you can dazzle employers on the screen AND in real life.