In the business world, resumes are incredibly, incredibly dull. Largely by design. Many large corporations shun any real creativity in resume design, and prefer what basically amounts to a list of bullet points listing your previous employers with sub-bullets citing your roles and responsibilities. I've been on the hiring end of things before, and trust me, they're very tedious. Even the very well written ones.
On the other end of the spectrum are artists and designers. Their job is to be creative, and their artistic skills are therefore given more weight and merit than their credentials. So the focus tends to be more on their portfolios -- their actual work.
This holds especially in comics. Tom Brevoort doesn't want to see your resume; he wants to see a dozen issues you worked on for a smaller publisher. Like, actual published comics. Hell, even Jim Steranko had to do a stint at Charlton before Stan Lee picked him up.
But with so many options open these days -- with many small press operations, plus the ease of self-publishing, not to mention online -- it's hard to keep things up to date and in one place. A few years ago, an artist could put together a maintain a decent website, but that's gotten complex enough that you really need a separate skillset to do one worth looking at these days. And that doesn't even take into account writers, who often aren't as visually inclined in the first place!
They said, look, you can easily post basic resume style information online already via LinkedIn or a blog or whatever. And you can post your portfolio work via Flickr or deviantART or whatever. But there's not a good way to really pull all your info together to present a more complete image of you as a potential employee that's informative (like a resume) but still visually interesting and engaging (like with art). The technology's there to be able to create something like that, but you'd have to be an expert in Adobe Flash to do anything. So why not create a tool that takes your data and make it into something interesting to look at, and do it in a way that's easy for users to work with?
So what Vizify does is connect with your existing social media accounts (notably LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare) and presents back what amounts to a summary of what it finds. Your job history becomes a visual timeline. Your Tweets get analyzed, scored by the number of times you repeat certain words, and placed on a graph. It brings in a couple photos from Facebook and highlights a Tweet to personalize things a bit. It does all this by default, so once you're signed up, you have a working presentation almost immediately. But you can go back in a make modifications -- correcting any data that was missing, for example, or changing photos, or adding/removing whole pages. Your options are not unlimited, but there's enough there to customize.
Now, I could provide you with a screenshot of what mine looks like, but I won't. Because it's laid out on the fly, based on your screen size, browser, etc. You're presented with the same information, but it's formatted differently to more closely match what you're viewing it with. But I will link to what I put together for myself. I think I spent maybe an hour putting everything together, and most of that was for a brand new image I created specifically for this presentation.
Interestingly, in developing this, I had a natural inclination to focus on my work as a writer-of-comic-book-stuff, as opposed to my day job as a designer or a broader picture of me in general. This is a result of the content that I post online, in most venues, centers around comics. By comparison, I simply don't talk about my work all that much, and Vizify automatically reflected that preference back at me. Which seems to run oddly counter to how the Vizify people seem to have wanted to develop things.
But as I thought about it, it makes sense. For me, at least. If I'm looking for a design position, I'm not going to send somebody to a site that's largely designed by somebody else. But as a writer, I'm not concerned about that. Furthermore, my typical day job circles still prefer the more traditional resume format anyway, whereas virtually all of my career as a writer has been decidedly less formal, several jobs beginning with an email, "Hey, Sean, you wanna write something for us?" So a more casual approach to a writer's resume here makes sense.
I don't know if Vizify will be the Next Big ThingTM but it's an interesting and engaging solution to creating something that's more than a resume for people who might not really want/need to work in a more old school format. Kind of interesting to look at, even if you don't want/need their services.
Also, if you know of anyone who might be interested in hiring me as a writer-of-comics-stuff, feel free to send them a link to my Vizify page: https://www.vizify.com/sean-kleefeld. I'm always open to doing more paid writing gigs in comicdom!
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