Visual CVs are fairly uncommon in the UK, but have gained traction elsewhere – the US in particular. In May this year, Harvard graduate Jeanne Hwang turned her enthusiasm for online pinboard Pinterest into a genuine career opportunity, taking the time and effort to transform her Pinterest page into a bona fide curriculum vitae, demonstrating just how good a fit she was to work at the trendy social media company. Hwang’s initiative and creative thinking ended up garnering considerable interest from a number of creative marketing agencies.
Pathbrite, a newly launched, San Francisco-based digital platform, seems to be taking its cue from Pinterest (with just a dash of Facebook’s Timeline function), offering students and young jobseekers a canvas on which to “holistically” present their achievements, much like a collage or storyboard. Marketed as “a next generation portfolio product”, Pathbrite user profiles are based around collections of clickable images which highlight interests and achievements, such as snapshots and video clips of design work, sporting activities or travel. Christopher Gray, Pathbrite’s chief product officer, claims “it makes it easy for learners of all ages to showcase the best work they’ve done”.
It is easy to see the appeal of such an approach; individuals have an opportunity to make their resume truly unique, while recruiters get to see a little something of the person, and not just the candidate. In other words, visuals add an emotional and intuitive layer to the overall texture of a CV. Which is ideal for artists, designers and other creative types. But what about the lawyers, accountants, and financial analysts? There are arguably more professions which place importance on facts and figures, accuracy and efficiency, than there are which value images. In these professions, candidates must be succinct and to the point; something which can be accomplished much more easily through a few well-placed words than any YouTube link.
While platforms such as Pinterest and Pathbrite offer a fresh and innovative way to present oneself career-wise, they have yet to achieve widespread use. LinkedIn remains the professional network to beat, most likely because of its resemblance to the traditional CV.
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