A VisualCV Belongs in Your Personal Brand Toolkit

by Meg Guiseppi on October 13, 2008

Well, I did it! As of a few weeks ago, I’m the second executive career strategist to become a Certified VisualCV Creator. And I’m all fired up about what this tool can do for my executive clients.

I’ve written about VisualCV here many times, but I’d like to expand upon my initial endorsement and give you the full skinny on the value of the product.

VisualCV claims to have reinvented the resume. It is essentially a FREE personal webpage (of course, having me create your branded VisualCV comes with a price tag), loaded with plenty of rich and nifty multimedia features, where you can house your career portfolio of personally branded marketing communications and materials.

This is a knockout way to extend your online footprint, build brand recognition, and increase visibility for your promise of value. A VisualCV helps you deliver your differentiating message in a compelling, interactive way, with much greater impact than a flat, traditional resume.

Have You Self-Googled Lately? Your VisualCV will land above the fold on the first page of search results when people Google “your name”. Recruiters and hiring decision makers assessing your qualifications and potential value will be led to your VisualCV and find all the on-brand information you need them to see, creating precisely the first impression you want them to have of you.

With this one-stop online destination, they can easily access your whole brand picture with one click – no need to open email attachments.

Many experts in the personal branding space have endorsed and embraced VisualCV for their own online marketing. My blogging friend, Luke Harvey-Palmer, at The Chief Brand Officer, gives it a big thumbs up because, he says, “VisualCV

  • Will improve your Google ranking!
  • Potentially gives employers a better feel for your skills and ‘persona’
  • Allows you to update your skills and talents more frequently
  • Allows you to communicate your skills to a wider audience
  • Encourages you to experiment with new ‘branding’ tools such as video
  • Allows you to tell a little more about yourself other than the norm (employers, titles, hobbies)
  • As an employer, it gives you a better insight to a potential ‘hire’.”

You can add sparkle to your VisualCV, showcasing all you have to offer, with the rich features available. For example:

→ Create and embed media clips or a demo video of what you can do for your target companies.

→ Embed a photo of you accepting a prestigious award, with a brief description of its import.

→ Your Career Portfolio – Link to PDF files of all your supporting career marketing documents: Executive Career Bio, Achievement Summary, Leadership Initiatives Profile, Reference Dossier, etc.

→ Include a high-impact graph to illuminate how you impacted bottom line for past companies.

→ Embed links to your blogging manifestos, white papers, and any online publications that showcase your outstanding writing skill and thought leadership.

→ Embed letters of recommendation and accolades that support your personal brand.

→ Embed any of the following types of files: .doc, .pdf, .ppt, .jpg, .gif, .png, .mov, .wmv and more.

To give you an idea of how the features will bring together your whole brand picture, take a look at the VisualCV I created for a CEO – Global Operations Management.

You can create as many versions of your VisualCV as you want, each with a unique privacy setting, to share with distinct groups. You completely control access to your VisualCVs through privacy settings, and share with recipients you choose – companies, colleagues, customers, and friends. You can track who sees your VisualCV and when.

And there’s more. Whoever reviews your VisualCV is aided with real-time, value-add information:

  • Mouse over companies listed in your VisualCV and they pop up with live, rich data through partnerships with Standard & Poor’s CapitalIQ and Dow Jones’ VentureSource.
  • Mouse over college names to pop up rankings via exclusive partnerships with Princeton Review and QS Quacquarelli Symonds.
  • Industry-specific terms describing your experience expand into definitions, with pop-ups from a variety of sources (coming soon).

The recently launched Marketplace enables VisualCV members to easily find and connect with companies and independent consultants providing value-added services that can help them achieve their career development goals.

A few more clever ways to use your VisualCV:

  • Include your VisualCV badge or link in your email signature.
  • Add a link to your VisualCV at the top of your LinkedIn profile.
  • Use your VisualCV as your anchor website, linking to it when you guest blog, comment on blogs, write book reviews on Amazon, or publish anything online.

You can share your VisualCV with the growing number of major companies and employers who have a VisualCV presence, including Amazon, Sun Microsystems, Duke University, Dayak, Perot Systems, and Citrix.

I got on board with my own VisualCV this past Spring, and I’ve gotten wonderful response from it and connected with some pretty great people. I hope my enthusiasm for VisualCV is infectious and compels you to at least check it out.

Related post:
Is Your Online Identity Sabotaging Your Executive Job Search?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristi Colvin October 13, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Meg, this is wonderful! And I sure do love that shiny badge. Haha!!

Seriously, I hope lots of people will hit you up to help them get their own VisualCV. I am convinced this is THE WAY TO RESUME and wish everyone knew about them, because the one page, interactive resume is so much more powerful than a social profile (which have lots of navigation, ads, comments from others and stuff around them.) I use LinkedIn for my business network, but in conjunction with my VisualCV to show people my background in a very professional way. Whether people need a job right now or not, they need a VisualCV. Congratulations on getting certified!

2 Meg Guiseppi October 13, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Hey there, Kristi,

So glad you chimed in. Considering you’re a VisualCV expert yourself, I appreciate your kind words.

You surely got it right — VisualCV is “the way to resume”. I think pretty soon my clients may want, and be wise, to circumvent a paper or Word document resume entirely, in favor of an interactive, alive VisualCV.

Thanks for helping me try to convince people that a VisualCV is a must for Executive Job Search 2.0.


3 Trace Cohen October 14, 2008 at 6:56 am

First off, congratulations on becoming a Certified VisualCV Creator.

Now I have played with VisualCV since it first launched beta and think it’s a great idea because it’s a lit bit more visually stunning then most and offers a lot of other great features. Unfortunately, I dont like their slogan “Reinventing the resume,” it really turned me off to the service and made it just another template farm for me. Thats like claiming to reinvent the wheel, which is impossible and will never be done.

One site alone will not increase your Google ranking, especially if it is a subdomain, so I recommend to everyone to join as many sites like this as possible and make sure that they’re interlinked in order to increase your chances of being found online.

4 Meg Guiseppi October 14, 2008 at 12:01 pm

Hello Trace,

Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

You’re absolutely right that one website alone won’t significantly build search results. It takes a lot of purposeful and focused efforts, and interlinking sites to each other, as you suggest.


5 Teresa Lindsay February 28, 2009 at 2:15 am

Hi Meg,

I just signed up on Visual CV and I am playing around with it. Seems to be a little tricky. But what got my attention was that I was able to add my Video Resume to show possible Employers my Character. It already worked for me on http://www.mayomann.com and I got quite some respond in a short time period. But I wasn’t able to have my own link to add.

Let’s see how Visual CV will do.



6 Meg Guiseppi February 28, 2009 at 7:09 am

Thanks for commenting, Teresa. The multi-media features are what make VisualCV a great way to extend the value of your “paper” resume. Good luck with it. I think you’ll be very happy you took the time to develop a fully fleshed out VisualCV.


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