Organizations say they struggle to find talent. They want individuals who are unique and creative. As I thought about my job search, I wanted to demonstrate just that. You see, as a Career Consultant I have worked with hundreds, if not thousands, of clients over the years. Each one is unique. But when it comes to their resumes, the way they communicate on the documents, even the way they interview – sometimes it is hard to see those differences. I loved the task of trying to bring those unique qualities to the surface. Once discovered, it was easy to give a speech to the client about who they are and what makes them so unique. I helped them develop their stories (if there were willing to go that far), and once I did they were now that unique talent which stand out for employers. Now that I am diving into my own job search, I wanted to demonstrate uniqueness and decided to get creative with an Instagram resume. It received great feedback right out of the gate. My only goal was is for one employer to see it and want to meet with me. The launch of that resume is today; I will give you an update later on to see if it works.
If you are interested in using a tool you already love as a platform for a resume, here is how I did it. I hope this helps you.
Why an Instagram resume?
The one word I can think of is opportunity. There are currently only 212 images connected with the hashtag Instagramresume. Out of those hashtags only 8-12 people (including me) have completed their resume on Instagram. Do you want to stand out? Do you want to seize an opportunity? This would be one that you could and should grab onto.
Create a new username
The resume should be different than your private account. I went with @andreadtresume. This allows viewers and employers to know that this is the right Instagram account. My other Instagram accounts are locked down.
Have resume headings/sections
It is a resume after all. Have sections that allow people (hiring managers mainly) to go to key images to check out where you have worked, what you have accomplished, etc. To make my sections, I used a letter board (as seen in the image above).
Tell a story
This is a great way to tell a story about you and your career to date. Or even if you don’t have a cohesive story, outline what career you are seeking and why you would be a good fit. Everyone loves a story.
Invite a couple friends
Let a couple friends know what you are doing and invite them right away. This way they can see your work and give you feedback (which will usually be cheer-leading). This will keep your momentum going.
Capture your brand and diversity
Have you worked for diverse industries? That demonstrates your agility.
Have you worked for the key companies in your industry? That demonstrates your industry knowledge.
Have you made a few career pivots? That let’s them know you have wide skill sets.
Have you focused on projects? That demonstrates your project management skills (OK, that one was a given).
Whatever your strengths, demonstrate them through your brand.
Include your personality
This one is very important. Obviously treat this like a first date and don’t show us your collection of cabbage patch dolls or He-Man toys. That’s a “before we get married there is something you should know” moment. Show the best sides of yourself that you would probably let people know in the workplace. I knew someone once who had the most massive Coca Cola swag collection I had ever seen. There are parts of that which he could have let us know about in the resume, but taking pictures of his overly crowded house may not be a good idea. Show a little of your interests, but don’t let that dominate the resume.
Images are everything
This goes without saying – it is Instagram. Pictures are a thousand words. In my case I felt a piece of me, and my iPhone, needed to make the images. I love art walls in my city, so I captured many pictures with those murals in the background. It was a hit. Maybe you like sports. Any chance you can visit football fields, arenas, or basketball courts and capture shots with you or something that connects to the point of interest you are trying to showcase? Maybe you like chocolate. In Calgary we have Bernard Callebaut, we have death by chocolate events, we have amazing ice cream places, and much more. There are ways you can incorporate your love for chocolate with your career. Maybe wrap diverse chocolate bars with the resume headings and take pictures. Bring your interests into the overall theme of the resume.
I love Canva.com. So, I used it. It’s a great tool to keep my images clean and to create graphics. It’s very quick and simple, and worth it. If you don’t want to take your own pictures, I recommend Canva even more. They have several free and paid images at your disposal. It can make this task much easier.
This one can be tough because as you start building your resume of image, you will want to change it. I changed mine about three times and then I found the tool of all tools. It’s an app called Preview and it saved this project. It allowed me to dump all my Instagram thoughts in there for this project. I was able to arrange them and visually see what it would look like before I posted the finished product.
Share the resume
Post a link on your LinkedIn page. Send it out on Twitter to those companies you may be interested in. Get the word out. It will not only capture attention, it will lead to people connecting with you.
In my busy world, this took me a couple of hours a day over the course of a week to complete. The bulk of those hours was coming up with ideas and capturing the pictures. You may already have them in mind or you might just want to use stock photos. This can certainly save time.
Combine your creative side with your skills, and show employers why you stand out from the rest.