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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tag-cloud your professional summary, not your resume!

They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. I’d go a step further and say that ‘a picture of words (effectively designed) is worth a thousand times more’. That brings me to the topic of using tag-clouds as a supplement/complement to your professional summary.

Wikipedia defines as a tag cloud as follows - A tag cloud (word cloud, or weighted list in visual design) is a visual representation of text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata (tags) on websites, or to visualize free form text. Below is an example of what I talking about.
For those who are already aware of this concept, it must have struck you at some point of time as to why it has not made its way into resumes. For now it looks a bit jazzy to see them in your CVs or resumes but it’s worth noting their advantages when you are looking at compressing content effectively where space is a premium.
When used and placed appropriately in resumes, tag-clouds can greatly enhance the content. What is referred to as keywords (a table) in resume can be effectively replaced by tag-clouds. Resume-builders could effectively build some acceptable templates

The keyword here is effective crafting of the summary. You don’t want the picture to reflect that are mostly job requirements as opposed to crucial skill-sets you bring to the table. There are a couple of videos out on the internet that give you examples of this.

What you can do …
If you use one of those online tag cloud generators here are a couple of things you can do

  1. Give weightage to your own words – That is, if you can really visualize how you see the words. Since these programs often operate based on the number of times the word is used, you can literally create a garbled text of these words repeated as many times as you wish (for each word). I have actually seen it to work :) 
  2. Create an effectively designed professional summary – In other words if you have taken pains to create a well-crafted professional summary, you may as well use that and fine tune it a bit. It is here that a well composed summary of your in your #LinkedIn #Profile might actually be of help. Just copy that into your program and watch the results. Play around a bit with the fonts and presentation. You might actually like it!

A final note

There are many online free tag cloud generators. Wordle is by far the popular one but they are getting fancier (fonts, color, presentation etc.).  Tagul allows you play around with shapes (even your own photo upload). I guess it will only be a matter of time before it will become a norm to see it in resumes.

In fact, one of the best places where it can be used effectively is the back of business cards. Imagine every professional business card having this in fancy ways. Or imagine in a Harry Potter style, you can just click on the email in the card and send a video message. Quite fancy eh! My coffee just got spiked again :) 


James Kateron said...

Summarizing and paraphrasing are essential skills for academic writing. You'll almost always rely on them to help present evidence and previous research that support your claims. As such, ensuring they are written well with a corrective English software can have a lot of bearing on what kinds of scores you eventually get on your essays, reports and papers. See more online article summarizer

Natarajan Ganesan said...

True! There is no supplement for 'Summarizing and paraphrasing'. Hence I choose to use this method as a 'supplement/complement' in places where they can carry the punch.