When I saw this article on TLNT about creating a visual resume from your LinkedIn profile I was intrigued and decided to give it a whirl.
I signed in using the free registration code offered in the TLNT article (spoiler: it's 'tlnt'). Not surprisingly, the first step is to pull over your LinkedIn information.
After this things got a little bumpy. I was advised to update my profile, which I ignored because my LinkedIn profile – while not my best work – is fairly complete. Instead, I opted to cut to the chase and go right into the visual profile.
At this point the user experience was reminiscent of working in Powerpoint only without all the options you expect. The tag cloud depicting my strengths and experiences is self-generating and I could never get it to look quite the way I wanted. The slide templates leave you on your own with sizing and alignment and the examples offered for each type of slide weren’t always relevant. The preview looked like a slide show that swirls around in a cluster instead of advancing sequentially.
My first impression was that I could have done a better job in Powerpoint.
So I took a break and came back to it, determined to give it a fair shot. Again I was asked to update my profile and this time I did it, not wanting to be one of those users who ignore polite procedural reuqests and then complain when things don’t work. Suddenly the user experience improved. For example, this time when I elected to ‘play’ the visual profile I got a groovy carousel:
‘OK, this is pretty cool,’ I thought. Powerpoint can’t do that. (Er… can it?)
I think this product needs some work on the user experience side and I’m not sure who wants to watch the Laura Schroeder story but the basic idea of simplifying information is a good one. The result is less complete than my LinkedIn profile but it’s also more inviting.
One more thing: When you update your information you get to this page, which I think would be a good alternative public profile option to offer for people who aren’t into swirling clusters of slides or carousels. Sad, lonely people.
Why not give it a try? It’s free, it's kinda fun and for another few weeks it’ll help you stand out from the crowd. As an added bonus, having your work experience fly around like that will help distract the reader from any missing skills you might have.