Picture this: you’re a manager looking for the next great candidate to join your already successful team. You receive tons of resumes and cover letters, all filled with relevant experience and skills. However, none of them are anything to write home about. That is, none of them are memorable.
Then, you receive a submission from a candidate that may have the same experience as the others, but draws you in in a different way. Yes, they have a resume and a cover letter, but it’s more than that. It’s a visual portfolio of their work.
Yes, it includes the resume — but it is secondary. It opens up with a visual portfolio of their work. It’s colorful, it’s vibrant, it does something that makes you want to know more. It leaves an impact on you.
So, what’s the difference? It actually could be science. 75 percent percent of the sensory neurons in our brains are processing visual information. Additionally, 72 hours after presenting information, the retention rate for text is 10 percent. The retention rate for images and visuals is 90 percent. One year later, retention rates of these same visuals hovered around 63 percent. In basic terms, image retention is greater than text retention.
If we go back to the manager example, the reason why the other candidate was so memorable may have been deeper than just their experience. It may have been because our brains are more attracted to pictures, graphics, or videos. So, if you were a candidate and you wanted to impress a potential employer, having visuals (in addition to great work experience) could be the key you need to not only be noticed, but to be remembered.
This coincides with the way our culture is shifting in general. We like looking at infographics. We like watching YouTube videos. We may even prefer a PowerPoint presentation over a written booklet that says the same thing. It’s not because visuals are necessarily better than text. It’s because many of us learn and remember things in a very innate and natural way–in this case, through images.
So, as a candidate, what’s going to do you the most good? Yeah, you need a resume, but could it be secondary? Think about opening up your cover letter with a true introduction of your work.
Sending a resume or cover letter, or having a visual portfolio of your work that does more than just state that you want the job?
We think the answer is pretty obvious. Tell your story, be memorable, and start being that candidate that an employer can’t stop thinking about. It will work out in your favor. After all, the proof is in the science.
What do you think? Do you believe that images have a greater impact than text when it comes to your professional future?