Let’s get Visual!

How Visual Storytelling Can Help You Attract Talent or Employers Online

The idea of ‘fit’ has caught fire. The facts that used to anchor a job search (salary, job title, qualifications, requirements) are being replaced with questions of flexibility, personality, benefits and even fun. You know… the kind of  ‘goods’ you can’t always ask about in an interview.

So, to compensate, we spend a lot of time sizing each other up online.

Enter social media and the power of visual storytelling. As each side of the recruitment seesaw (job seekers and employers) spends more and more time trying to get a “feel” for what the other might really be like, it’s increasingly important to “own” your online story.  And, even more so, to bring it to life.

Luckily, online platforms like blogs, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Pinterest, and even Instagram can help you do just that. It’s one thing to write accomplished marketer or flexible employer on a resume or job description, but it’ far more compelling to illustrate those facts through images, graphs, video and content. Each of these virtual pieces help paint the big picture of who you are, inviting onlookers to “visualize” what it might be like to work with you or for you. Glassdoor.com reviews, LinkedIn profile pictures, Facebook photo albums, tweeted articles – they’re all fair game. When it comes to determining fit, each virtual clue is part of your story.

But virtual storytelling can do more than just help you size up an opportunity. It can be an extraordinary tool to curate your own personal or employer brand, bringing desirable candidates and opportunities your way.

With unprecedented levels of interaction happening outside of the traditional interview format, virtual storytelling is your chance to create a sticky, stylized persona that will follow you online and off. Here are two successful examples of how jobseekers and employers are using visual storytelling to #standapart:

 1. Pinterest:

It’s been called “digital crack for women,” and for good reason. Social networking site, Pinterest, has grown leaps and bounds from its start as a recipe collecting and wedding planning resource. Marketers are still tinkering with the mechanics of pin-success, but results are being seen and the channel is growing (50 million users to date!).

Pinterest is by no means a job board, but it’s being used in increasingly creative ways by job seekers and employers alike. One of our favourites? Using Pinterest to build a visual resume.  With its clean, simple design, large images and addictive layout, you can build a personalized career story featuring links to articles or blogs you’ve written, panels you’ve spoken on, awards and achievements you’ve earned, etc. My Resume and The Living Resume offer two great examples of how you can bring your career story to life using Pinterest’s easy-to-use platform.

2. Instagram

Here’s the big picture: if Pinterest is a giant online mood board, Instagram is your treasured shoebox of Polaroids from the summer of ’69. Recruiters are jumping on the old-school nostalgia of captured ‘moments’ and capitalizing on Instagram’s huge engagement potential. Starbucks HQ in Seattle has received great feedback for their board, StarbucksJobs, featuring “freshly brewed” images from one of their employer brand specialists. The board gives job seekers a intimate look into what it might be like #tobeapartner at Starbucks: everything from welcome baskets to intimate CEO sessions to the coffee trees decorating your future co-workers’ desks. As if we weren’t already sold on coffee!

Whatever your side of the recruitment dance, there are so many new, creative ways to tell your online story through images, video, design, blogs and more. All these tools can all be used to create a palpable user-experience and share what makes you #standapart. The trick is to make sure all those personal snippets come together in a unified and consistent story. Make sure you’re selling the real goods, not just a pretty picture.

Now, we’d like you to leave a comment and tell us: What online platforms and tools are you using to #standapart and get noticed? Is it all too forced? What’s your favourite place to check out potential employers or candidates? Any #standapart examples you’d like to share?