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Hey! Jim Stroud here. (Connect with me on LinkedIn!) I had the good fortune of chatting with Andrea Martins and her promising new startup – Story Résumés. My interview of her is below.
Hello Andrea, how are you?
I’m well, Jim, and you?
I’m great. So, what is a Story Resume?
A Story Resume is a visually awesome resume that tells your story and gets you noticed. It transforms your ordinary resume into something extraordinary, via infographics, illustrations and animated video.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
The idea came from my own job-hunting experience. After taking a parenting break and living abroad for nine years, I struggled to get noticed for jobs – even though I had built an excellent online reputation by building the large online community platform ExpatWomen.com.
Out of desperation, I decided to turn my resume into a story and I found an illustrator to bring it to life in ten PowerPoint slides.
What happened next genuinely took me by surprise. If I didn’t live through it, I almost wouldn’t believe it.
Recruiters and company founders (on the other side of the world) started writing personal responses to my job applications, calling me within hours of receiving my resume, inviting me for interviews and offering me jobs.
The key learning for me from that experience was that the hardest part of getting a job is just getting noticed in the first place.
What are the advantages of a story resume versus a regular resume?
With hundreds of resumes crossing a recruiter’s desk every week, it comes down to the math. If a recruiter only spends an average of six seconds on each resume (according to a study by The Ladders), what are the odds of my regular, traditional-style resume beating out all the other resumes in those six seconds, versus the odds a visually captivating resume helping me to grab attention in that tiny window of opportunity?
If I was going for my dream job and/or I didn’t want to sit income-less on the unemployment line, I know which option I would choose next time around. I learnt the hard way that it doesn’t matter how much talent you have, the reality is that you don’t always get noticed for the jobs you apply for – especially if there is anything in your resume that differs from the norm.
I believe that the more effort you put into getting noticed, the better your chances are of actually getting noticed!
What would be a good way one could promote their story resume?
In my case, all I had to do was send my illustrated resume (together with my traditional resume) directly to recruiters/employers in response to specific job advertisements. I didn’t need any extra promotion to secure interviews and job offers.
However if you did want to promote your Story Resume more broadly, our gorgeous illustrations would look great on any social media channel, on your own site/blog/LinkedIn profile, tweeted as links to your specific companies that you would love to work for, and shared in your Facebook feed and groups. The possibilities are almost endless.
Any success stories you can share?
We’ve only been open for a few weeks, so in lieu of our own stories we’ve tracked down some of the most inspiring creative resume stories and interviewed those jobseekers on our Success Stories blog instead.
We’ve showcased: Claudio Nader – the guy who scored his dream job via a Facebook resume; João Dornellas – the guy who created the first iPad resume app; and Mark Johnson – the guy who pinned his resume on Pinterest.
We understand that creative resumes are still a new concept to many, so we have plenty more interviews in the works to help gather as much evidence as possible that creative resumes do successfully help you get noticed faster for jobs.
Anything else you care to add?
Story Resumes are not for everyone. If you don’t have the skills to wow a recruiter at the interview stage, you’d have to question the value of a creative resume.
But if you do have the skills and you aren’t someone to sit back and wait passively for jobs to come to you, I’d like to hope that a Story Resume will help you score your dream job much faster and that you’ll be able to recoup your investment in your first week on the job.
In my own job search, if I had known then what I know now, I would have used a creative resume much earlier in the process and saved myself months of frustration and heartache. But as they say… hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Here is a sample of a Story Résumé:
ABOUT MY GUEST
Andrea Martins is the founder of Story Résumés. Click here to see her Story Résumé.