VisualCV Thinks It's Time to Update That Resume

visualcv.pngPhillip Merrick thinks it is time to update your resume. The co-founder of webMethods has a new startup that just launched today, VisualCV, that wants to replace the paper or e-mailed resume with a profile page that lives on the Web. He’s raised $5 million from headunting firm Heidrick & Struggles and Valhalla Partners.

You can think of VisualCV as the serious profile page you want to present to potential employers. (Don’t think they won’t look up your Facebook page as well, though). The VisualCV is very much like a regular resume in that it is one page with a summary of your achievements, work history, education, and interests.

visualcv-small.pngYou can literally highlight parts of the text, add links, upload a video to express your personality, as well as career charts showing how you’ve progressed in the workplace. You can keep the VisualCV private, share it with a select group, or make it public on the Internet. Here is Merrick’s VisualCV. Companies can also create their own interactive page to communicate to potential employees why they might want to apply for a job. Through partnerships with CapitalIQ/Standard & Poor’s and VentureSource, hovering over a company name in someone’s VisualCV will trigger a pop-up revealing revenues, number of employees, investors, and a short description.

The service is free for individuals and the basic functionality is free for corporations. Merrick plans to sell premium services to corporations and white-label the site as well to consultants, recruiters, and the like. He explains:

After our commercial launch in the spring, we will begin charging employers for enhanced capabilities. These will include the ability to create “binders” of VisualCVs who are shortlisted for open positions, then route them around their company to the hiring managers who can make their own annotations on the VisualCVs. We will also charge for premium placement of company VisualCVs (e.g. above the fold positioning when a candidate searches for, say, software companies). Additionally, we will also make a “white label” private version of the service available to large companies for talent management.

There is a social networking aspect as well in that both job-seekers and companies can see who has checked out their VisualCV pages. VisualCV isn’t alone in trying to reinvent the resume, or the job site in general. Recently we’ve written about NotchUp’s pay-per-interview approach and StandoutJobs, which also tries to humanize corporate HR pages with videos and social elements. I have a feeling we are going to see a lot more efforts along these lines.

The single-spaced, typed resume is already an artifact of another age. I don’t think I’ve updated mine since 1993. But I am not sure that what will replace it is a sanitized profile page. Any smart manager will at least Google an applicant before calling him or her in for an interview. Increasingly, our professional and personal lives are becoming transparent for all to see online. Whether or not you decide to link to your blog or Flickr photos or Facebook page, the person you present on your VisualCV better not be too different from the person you really are on the easily searchable Web.