She'll instantly get discarded from consideration for most 'sit in a cubicle all day and take directions from 5 committees' jobs, and that's probably exactly what she wants.
It completely fails as a tool for communicating how good she is at what she "does". I guess it's Rails? The CV is confusing.
Also, it gives the impression that the person is more interested in style than substance. I guess that's okay if you're an artist/designer (?), not so good if you're a programmer. The CV gives me the feeling this person is a programmer, but probably not a good one, she should really be a designer.
Overall, I think the problem is what's communicated in the programmer /\ designer Venn-diagram. She's trying to communicate that she's a designer programmer, but it comes across "forced". Her designer part made this infographic, which isn't very good, and we can't really tell if she's a good programmer, and suspect that she's not.
Other than the list of tools, I thought it was well done and showed she had an eye for aesthetics, which most developers either lack or actively shun.
Which is not to say that some people don't absorb the information better in different ways. That's probably why there's a "Plaintext" link at the top.
* Has a graphic which must be interpreted simply to find the last few projects the candidate worked on.
* Uses a proportional diagram scheme that is (a) worse than pie charts (an achievement) and (b) requires a color coded legend to illustrate the simple clause: "[Project Name]: Rails, CSS, jQuery".
* Straightjackets the candidate's work experience into "technology used" instead of "accomplishments earned".
* Attempts a comparative analysis of experience with different tools both as a "developer" and a "designer" without explaining the significance of either term; what's a "Photoshop CS5 Developer" or a "Textmate Designer"?
* Or is the blue "frequency" and the orange "expertise"? Why is the graphic laid out so that the cutesy venn diagram looks like a color key?
* Spends something like 1/3 of the real estate of the graphic on an almost entirely uninteresting attribute of the candidate (what terminal she uses, what text editor she uses, what browsers [seriously.] she uses). Designers can be expected to know Photoshop. Nobody cares about your editor.
* I have no idea what the subway-map illustration of command line tools and web services even means; the impression I get is, "this person will add baffling complexity to things in order to avoid boredom". Whoah, where do I sign?
* Extraordinarily inefficient representation of the candidate's Rails experience; a simple resume would lead with "Rails developer with over 5 years experience" instead of burying the lede in another cutesy picture.
* No reasonable employer cares about college credits earned in high school, the age you were when you coded your first website, or what platforms you tech-supported in school, and yet that material consumes more visual weight than the number of years the candidate has doing Rails development.
Resume tip. Here is the terrible thing about spending time on your resume pointing out your favorite dog breed or color-coding your choice of text editors: people with real accomplishments would never, ever do that, because they only have two pages of heavily-bulleted text to convey those accomplishments in. What you say with a resume like this is, "I hope someday to have major accomplishments" --- whether that's true or not.
It's not just that infographics are a crappy format for resumes (and, they simply are.). It's that this is not a good infographic. In fact, since we're all so familiar with resumes here, it's actually a really good example of the problem with all the cheesy infographics that have been floating around for the past year.
The blogger who highlighted this "graphical resume" did a disservice to the person who created it; I have no doubt the author is an totally reasonable human being who sends normal resumes to people when resumes are what's called for.
Yes, for pure coders, this is a terrible resume. It looks like she is using the right side of the brain for something left-sided. But, that's the point.
How many coders do you know can show an interest in both design and code (same for designers)? To have an aptitude and interest in both code and design is something very hard to find, and to be able to express the fusion of the two is a challenging process for many who are aching to stretch the boundary set by text heavy, information-only resumes that do not communicate nearly what you want it to. (How much design skill, creativity, and passion can you communicate with just information?)
Yes, I would never hire her for algorithm optimization, but if she was building a website that doesn't innovate technologically but rather creates social, cultural, aesthetic or other value (which the majority of startups do) - I would take a second look.
For what its worth though, I do think the graphs are a little hard to read but not hard to navigate, especially if I'm looking for a particular skill to hire for. Its easy to see if she has Ruby skills, for instance - but its hard to see the overall picture of what skills she has without spending a lot of time on it.
Urgh... I really hate to go into rant mode because I know what you're trying to say isn't really relevant to this. However, as an incredibly right-brained person who is a good programmer (or so I like to think :-) and has absolutely zero design skill, I'm always a bit annoyed by this. The whole "right-brained people are creative artists, left-brained people are engineers and scientists" is a 3 or 4 decade old view of how the brain works. Yes, the left brain tends to be a bit more textual while the right brain tends to be more visual, but that doesn't mean that right-brained skills aren't useful to coders or that left-brained people don't have design skills. And even if it did, people can still tap into the other side of their brain.
Ok, that's my rant for the day. :-)
Can somebody explain what's wrong with this design?
The message this resume is communicating is that the author also feels that design is just about ornamentation, and the only way it could be more obvious is if the diagram were in the shape of a giant duck. I have to assume she doesn't actually believe that, not least since she hasn't asked for us to psychoanalyse her and it's really, really unfair to try to do so based on this completely decontextualised link. But even so, the design seems unsuccessful to me because it's communicating the wrong message.
As it stands, all I can say about her is that she has decent mastery of Photoshop but no understanding of good design.
So would I.
> Yes, I would never hire her for algorithm optimization, but if she was building a website that doesn't innovate technologically but rather creates social, cultural, aesthetic or other value (which the majority of startups do) - I would take a second look.
She'd also probably be good at doing design / front-end parts of a website while communicating with back-end developers (who might be doing algorithm optimisation).
I expect she'd be good at talking to designers from a coders point of view too.
One can take her resume idea even further and create a CV in an interactive form, so it could meet everyones needs.
The issue of thinking in pictures versus words has always interested me. Wiki says 30% of us are explicitly picture thinkers, 25% think in words and the rest combine both methods. Most entrepreneurs (not sure about the ones dealing with start-ups) tend to drift towards the right, because it's usually easier to generalize your idea by visualizing it, rather than coming to a logical conclusion by using words only. Which, I think, would be slower in this case. So, how come are most (if not all?) of the current cv-websites featuring only long walls of text?
 = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picture_thinking
I'd suspect anyone who calls themselves a designer/developer is probably good at other things to, like writing, designing meaningful infographics, and playing the resume game with subtlety.
If I posted my resume with two pages of bulleted accomplishments to HN, it would be met with a deafening thud.
I'm not sure about that. When I interviewed at Google, everybody seemed very impressed that I finished half my Honours degree before I graduated from high school at age 17. I had far more questions about my experience with concurrent high school and university than I did about doing my doctorate at Oxford.
But on the broader point, I absolutely agree -- if I was looking to hire someone, this would get an immediate reaction of "this takes way too much work to comprehend; trash it and move on to the next candidate".
Probably not. Most "college credit" earned in US high schools is unfocused coursework that gets you out of (some of) your general-ed requirements. Lots of universities won't even transfer the stuff, and if they do, it's not typically treated as real college credit.
Aside from that, thanks to the prevalence of AP courses it's much easier (and more common) for high school kids to get college credits today. It's definitely not as impressive as it used to be, and citing the number of credits earned as if it were some kind of score is silly, at best. It's the sort of thing you brag about when you have nothing real to brag about.
One thing I hate about bragging about that sort of thing is that it's (unfortunately) more of a reflection on the quality of the high school you attended than it is on your character. The best students at the worst high schools in the US don't have the same access to AP courses as the average student at the best high schools.
With that having been said, what do suggest we can do to help out with districts with less resources? I've done a lot of outreach, but it often feels like a drop in the bucket....
A number of my friends did this though, so I don't think it's quite as big of an accomplishment in the US than elsewhere. Though I'll be the first to admit that my group of friends tended to be the high achievers in high school/university.
-- A undergraduate in CS/Mathematics
But, we take students from some magnet schools here to intern and they're amazing (multivariate calc, AP physics, and a year of Java--before senior year. The student had worked on a team project and was commenting his code unprompted...). I invited a Canadian colleague to a group meeting where they presented what they were working on she was stunned...I think that in the US when students have opportunities, it's great--the difficulty is how to improve the average....
At the best high school in Illinois you'd have roughly 2% of the graduating class be within shooting distance of that number, just to give you an approximation.
It's at least equivalent to bragging about your SAT score.
It really tell you knowing abut how the employee is going to approach problems and how creative their solutions will be.
She is applying for a design / developer job. This is a phenomenal resume because: it shows that she can present things attractively and, most importantly, can be creative.
Lastly, it would appear that it's interactive, but we only have a link to the static image. I think it would be a lot more appealing if you could hover and learn more.
Bug or feature? This could very well cause a potential employer to stop and spend more time on the resume, and end up getting to know more about her than the person whose first couple lines of plain text did not catch the employer's interest.
"Straightjackets the candidate's work experience into "technology used" instead of "accomplishments earned"."
To me, the single thing that popped out the most was the quotation highlighting detailed accomplishments ("incredible job managing the launch", "delivered a product", etc.).
"Or is the blue "frequency" and the orange "expertise"? Why is the graphic laid out so that the cutesy venn diagram looks like a color key?"
This absolutely does not work at all and should be scrapped.
"a simple resume would lead with "Rails developer with over 5 years experience" instead of burying the lede in another cutesy picture."
Who gives a damn about yet another "Rails developer with over five years experience"? Was that experience building anything good? Did she learn anything and get better? Did she understand the customer needs and meet them? Was the site usable? Did it perform well? Did it stay up?
There are a lot of potentially better ledes than "Rails developer with over 5 years experience".
Also, in the interactive version, I'm assuming the related experience circles "pop" for the various projects when you hover over the key. That's at least a more interesting way to examine history with a technology than the standard "list technology key words next to as many projects as possible in big wall of text" used in standard resumes.
"What you say with a resume like this is, "I hope someday to have major accomplishments""
And what's wrong with that? If this is the resume of a young person with experience but not enough to fill two pages with small font, bulleted text of major accomplishments, maybe this isn't a bad way to draw attention to yourself and get an employer to take a chance on you?
Lastly, an over-riding fact here, I think, is the "View Plaintext" link. If you were the one considering hiring her, you could have just clicked that and got all the stuff you wanted, probably.
Or it could cause the employer to stare at the bafflingly unfamiliar format for the alloted 30 seconds and then move the application into the not-selected pile.
One of things that bug me about most resume recommendations is that it's incredibly difficult to make a truly general one. For every screener who will be impressed by your cover letter/section X/feature X there is another one who holds the exact opposite opinion, and most of the time you don't know who will be screening your application or what their preferences are. Very few of these recommendation/good resume template/excellent resume showcase posts mention this.
I think this is a ridiculous statement, but we almost certainly have a different definition of what makes an employer (cough) reasonable.
My priorities in a resume read are passion, then applied intelligence, then experience. The information you're ignoring here is valuable with essentially no additional variables (doesn't matter much where they went to high school, or what the website did). How long someone I don't know paid you to write code in whatever technology is almost useless information to me.
OK, I admit, I have dedicated 4 whole lines (3-5% maybe) on my C.V. to my personal interests. If I get an inexperienced interviewer who wants to make me comfortable they provide easy openers (it's cool, I'd rather get straight to business and talk about their business), and emphasise I am not my job.
More broadly, I feel like "technology used" is a pretty weak indicator of how well they'll do. An applicant may have used C for 20 years and be a "C expert," but have poor application/system design sense.
Many hiring managers (and their technical staff) I've talked to lately have been only superficially interested in the technologies (languages, frameworks, etc.) I've used, and much more curious about how I go about solving problems and designing overall solutions. Several have flat-out said they're hiring smart, motivated, creative people, and are happy to train new hires on parts of their technology stack with which they're unfamiliar.
So I agree that an accomplishments-based approach might make more sense. I think it's useful to still indicate what technologies you've used, as it can show things like technical breadth, and a willingness and desire to learn new things. But, "I'm a C expert of 20 years, and I can fill in function bodies based on other people's designs like a pro," is much less impressive than, "I just started learning Ruby 3 months ago, but I designed and built Complex System from scratch with it." Sure, there's a lot of room in between those two extremes, but focusing on "technologies used" doesn't really give you much information.
Infographics ON a resume, good or mediocre: OK.
Infographics AS a resume, if amazing: OK.
Infographics AS a resume, if not amazing: VERY BAD.
Yes, her infographic isn't flawless. But it isn't bad either, it is in fact pretty damn good. And most certainly good enough to stand out in a pile of standard-resumes, which is about as much as it can possibly accomplish.
(b) Instead of simply saying "you're wrong!", why not tell me some things you specifically like about this infographic as an infographic? I am seriously interested in what stories you think this graphic does a good job of telling.
b) I don't disagree with most of the formal concerns that you listed in the top comment. I'm just saying that I think you're judging her too hard.
The goal of a resume is to score an interview. I do think that this one is well enough executed to score above average.
Case in point, so far it's been good enough to score a "Best resume I've ever seen" blog-post and a >60pt Hacker News thread.
For someone who's interest is in working in design and development this is a very distinctive marketing document. Yes it could be improved, but the fact that it is attracting attention means it worked.
It's an interpretation error, the bars indicate expertise and frequency of use (shown below).
One might even go further and say that "people with real accomplishments" wouldn't bother having a 'resume' (in a standard plain format) in the first place. Their work/accomplishments should speak for themselves.
Everything needed is there. So vuala. I think this is great. You still need an interview to get details on projects. What else can you expect? A resume that removes the need for an interview?
Sorry I am french I had to point that out :)
(Actually, in comparison to most self-declared artists out there, her work is pretty considering the limits of her experience and she read, and probably reread the memo suggesting that she get her ass on Git and by quite possibly has a Github/Gitorious/Unfuddle account where here code can be scrutinized. I'd probably hire her)
Is it the best infographic? Parts are pretty serviceable. Is it the worst? Not by a long shot. Does it use a lot of common styles seen today, yup.
Will it infuriate some people? Oh hell yes from Ptack's reaction. But did it work? Yes.
"Logical" left brained types get hung up on exact meanings of graphics when sometimes it's the fact you have a visually interesting doodad out there is all that counts to get the attention to your whatzit.
Does she have some stupid stuff on their and weird phrasing? No more than most people who haven't looked at lots of resumes. (Apple terminal caught my eye).
Would I hire her for a top level rails position? Likely not without more convincing. Would I think about hiring her for a midlevel position where there is significant art issues, yeah, I'd definitely consider calling her for an interview.
She should likely redo parts of it to sound better, (like many people have to do with their resume).
Your example is about a stunt unrelated to showing qualifications. This actually shows some. It shows some history, and shows what skills were used where.
Is she a perfect ubergod? Nope. Does she smile and perfect ruby fall from the sky? Probably not. Does she probably have a good enough knowledge of rails and photoshop to do many a task? I'm guessing she could do all of 4 gigs I know of at the moment using skills she has. Are they the epitome of grand rails design, nope, but they likely fit her skillset.
Hacker News people have this very odd elitism thing going on expecting everyone to be functionally speaking manga cum laud from Stanford.
For anything else, particularly development, it'd be in the discard pile pretty quick.
In other words, legitimate Rails/jQ skills do not require clever resumes in this market to get noticed, so from a job search perspective a simpler, more traditional resume makes more sense.
I think this invalidates some of my comments in reply to your comment at the top of this thread. :)
I suspect she can program better than you give her credit for (better than straight copy/paste/tweak from tutorials), but probably won't be straying far from straightforward use of rails. Perhaps that level of programming coupled with design ability is a sort of "sweet spot" for many projects?
I'm certainly far more on the programming side of this continuum (and so would never attempt a CV like this), but I can believe this resume might persuasively communicate her combination of skills to her intended audience.
A bit nitpicky; it wouldn't be an instant drop, but I'd still look at the rest a bit more cautiously. Oddly enough I only notice a resume's "tools" section when there's something weird in it.
That catched my eye too, along with the 'TextMate' proficiency. If you start putting those things on your resume you might as well also put '90% Keyboard skills' and '100% expert Mouse user' on it.
FIVE!!!!!! 5555555 5 5 5 5 5 55 5 5 Five five five five five
That's how it makes me feel. In general if you treat somebody as if he is stupid, it'll make him feel stupid. Infographics treat people as if they are stupid - bright shiny colors, big fonts, short sentences...
Maybe it already has to do with chunking. "5" is really just one chunk, the number 5. But a big, ginormous 5 doesn't fit into one brain slot anymore. It fill the whole brain and bounces around inside of it.
Anyway, I don't like infographics...
2: The number of cats I own.
This kind of thing targets a certain type of company. This could be a way of flushing out the type of companies you don't want to be involved with (stodgy, old-school traditional).
it's a fair concern, but i don't agree this is the right way to solve it. imo, brevity can speak louder than pictures and colors. even if i were to give the author the benefit of the doubt here, this particular resume/graphic doesn't strike me as exemplary.
When I was looking for a job, a fair number of the resumes I sent out were either sent by fax or given out in printed form. Either way - they were in black & white. Requiring your resume to be in color in order to be readable seems like a terrible way to actually go looking for work.
The color coded tree is animated and reconfigures itself as you hover over the various items in the legend. We are seeing a static screenshot. There is also a text version available which we are not seeing.
She does hit the spot between developer and designer. That statement seems to be confusing a lot of people. I am not confused by that. Those are exactly the type of people I need. I guess it is just not in everyone's argot.
Maybe there are some nits to be picked, but just the fact that she broke new ground in this manner says a lot to me, and it is all positive.
This is just true of me. Maybe it is not right for everyone. I thought the HN crowd would dig this a lot more. My mind is a little blown by all the nitpicking and bashing. Maybe there is a little bit of pissing contest going on here.
The infographics you link to are gray, crowded, artsy and overdone. They pushed me back so hard that I didn't even bother to figure out what they are about.
I respect your competancy in the security realm. But I doubt you're competant enough in the infographics genre to justify the eleborate bashing that you posted higher up in this thread.
I'm happy to argue about graphic design and will concede up front that I'm not an expert.
My criticism of the OP's resume, though, are about the resume infographic as a resume infographic. Like many, many people on HN, I'm certainly qualified to "elaborately bash" a bad resume.
Next, while I respect that you might disagree about the Feltron annual reports, it's certainly not a personal quirk that I like them; I learned about them from the Kottke/Gruber nexus on the web, and other people (notably, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Creative Review, Print Magazine, Slate, and AIGA) have called the reports out as well.
Finally, I hope you understand that I'm addressing the "style" part of the "style vs. substance" issue with this resume by citing Feltron.
Yes and I don't agree with this apples vs oranges comparison, which is why I pointed out how unsuitable the Feltron infographics would be for a resume - no matter how well they may work in the context of an annual report.
The goal of her infographic is to catch attention and force-feed information while glancing. If that resume landed on my desk then I would look at it longer than at most others, simply because it's visually pleasing and interesting (read: different).
I agree that I wouldn't want to receive such a resume for the position of, say, a security researcher or for a (wait for it) infographics designer. But for the position of a web-designer or rails-developer I don't think this deserves the flak you were giving it.
Which doesn't mean that either Kite or Felton are bad designers; I'm sure both are competent. What it does mean is that different readers like different styles.
I do wonder what ueful place recruiters still have in the process; they often seem to be providing a service that amounts to little more than running an advert and forwarding emails so why are they so highly paid for a variant on secretarial work?
b) Developer-for developer we need to see code. Way of thinking and way of writing. Cool tools or technologies are irrelevant to see quality of programmers.
If you are CEO, entrepreneur or business owner, and you don't have any designer/developer background, hire someone with enough professional experience to pick right people for you. Don't think that because you pay the money or manage business you know everything. Don't fool yourself with assumption. Good teams are built by design or by accident. But accident ones always bring disaster.
Odesk includes the hours worked on a given project. Even so: I'm not sure that tells me if the programmer has any real fluency. I suppose measures like that and/or certifications are the closest thing to what you're asking for... But maybe a Topcoder ranking and/or contractor satisfaction index for the sought-after skill set would be more relevant...something/anything which quantifies narrative comments from hiring parties, or contextualizes a programmer among their peers...that would be more valuable to me.
"If you were to pair this with a data output that is machine readable, google's problem of 75,000 resume's per week could be significantly made easier to wade through. HR people in enterprise companies look for keywords, bottom line."
People who sift through resumes look for keywords. Interviewers, hiring managers, business owners look for something else... How many interviews have you been on where the interviewer picks up the resume, glances at it, sets it down, and then proceeds to ask questions clearly indicating they did not read the resume? That's the real disconnect in the present resume model. Rather than build a machine readable way to screen fluency, or allow oneself to be charmed by the most visually disruptive document, why not build a better way for employers to simply test--en masse--for certain personal qualities AND technical qualifications? (Heck...deficiencies in psychometrics and testing methodology is a real bottleneck in America's capacity to suss out competency...in any number of domains. I love tests like the GRE which offer questions, for example, like "An Apple is to an Orange like a Doctor is to a A) Veternarian, B) Osteopath, C) Architect, or D) Accountant." How the hell is someone who's not a native speaker supposed to answer a question like that?) Often what's needed to get the job done is too subtle to communicate on any number of pages...or "pages" as they exist now, and it'd be a stretch for any machine to vibe out a candidate to such an extent. It's probably why video resumes are so useful.
Even when you go above and beyond, winning over the hiring director is still a game of chance.
Does the person reading my resume actually know what the job entails? Will they see my writing style as clever and witty? Or will my attempts to seem serious come off as stuffy and arrogant? Do I list all my experience and risk being underbid by some young hotshot? Or do I try for the job even after being told every other candidate has several more years of experience? Or in this case, I've designed an infographic to set myself apart from every other applicant, but will it be viewed as creative initiative or gimmicky for not conveying enough/the right kind of information?
The current job market is far from the only reason I'm doing my own thing, but being able to avoid that nonsense is certainly a great motivator.
That said I reviewed a friend's CV two weeks ago. He was lucky it was over the net and he wasn't in the room... I think someone 10 years younger could probably do a better CV. Sheesh!
On a related note, I think I just might be at a point in my career where I never need to send a resume out ever again. I definitely bias to not sending them. I think resumes are, like the commute-9-to-5-yes-boss job paradigm, just another relic of the Industrial Age for blue collar workers.
Can you imagine Roger Waters of Pink Floyd "applying" for a job as a musician/singer? "Sir, you'll have to fill out this form and submit a resume, k thanks." He hands them The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon, etc. "Sorry sir, not good enough. Yo have to eat all your meat like everyone else otherwise we can't give you any pudding."
Ken: "Uh... 37 years?"