The rise of infographics
Graphically depicting information is not just a trend on tech blogs, it is also a rising trend with job seekers looking to stand out by visually representing a massive amount of data in a more tangible, memorable way (read: 7 reasons visual storytelling is one of 2012’s breakout trends). There are many who have been generous to share their visual resumes online publicly, so there is a wealth of examples available, but the real question is – do these infographic resumes work? Are they actually welcomed by employers and recruiters?
Michael Harding, co-founder of re.vu, a company that creates resume infographics said, “As a hiring manager, anything that can give me a sense of the whole person quickly is welcome. For the most part, I look at traditional resumes as a chronological list of lies. That’s much harder to pull off when using a dynamic, hyperlinked infographic resume that incorporates evidence of achievements and a history of interactions.”
Harding continued, “Part of the research we did when designing the [re.vu] product was with HR practioners – Recruiters, business partners, and hiring managers. A large majority preferred well crafted infographic resumes though most still wanted the familiarity and security of a traditional resume as well. I tend to believe that the infographic resume alone will be sufficient as people discover the benefits of the infographic approach.”
CareerTipster.com Founder, Robert Starks, Jr. said, “Although infographic resumes are a trend, I am confident there is still a preference for traditional resumes in non-creative industries. I believe the preference is due to familiarity with the traditional print collateral of resumes or Curriculum Vitaes but is also likely due to how resumes are received and analyzed by many companies that have Applicant Tracking Systems.”
Starks added, “However, preference doesn’t necessarily mean they would not be welcomed. Just as any job seeker should incorporate multiple file versions of their resume and many self-marketing strategies into their repertoire, an infographic resume would be another piece of marketing collateral a job seeker could use to effectively communicate their value proposition to an employer. Thus, I believe it would transcend into any career. As I indicated, I believe most employers prefer a traditional resume now but would likely see an infographic resume offered as part of an entire portfolio as an added bonus. Given that most candidates don’t even send thank you letters after an interview, a full portfolio with letters of recommendation, samples of work, and perhaps even an infographic resume, would be impressive. It definitely won’t hurt a job seeker.”
Making a critical note, Starks said, “I do not think it should replace one’s traditional resume, particularly when you are applying via electronic submission because you don’t know how companies screen resumes. It could go directly to a human being or could be filtered by an electronic Applicant Tracking System. Moreover, since traditional resumes are preferred (in my opinion and only as of now), to send an infographic initially may not be the best choice. It would be a great supplement to a traditional resume at this point.”
Case study: which are the most appealing?
Although it does not appear to be a replacement for a traditional resume, Starks and Harding both imply that infographic resumes are, in fact, welcomed by employers. So which visualizations are the most appealing?
We asked Hollyann Wood, Human Resources at big data infrastructure startup, InfoChimps to look at 40 infographic resumes1 (mostly for graphic designers) to tell us which, if any appealed to her, and if she would contact any of the 40 for an interview.
Wood’s top three graphic resumes are shown below, with her most favored at the top.
(Click any image below to see the full resume)
Wood said, “We love data and data visualizations here, and his are simple and easy to understand. They were actually designed to be representative of his skill level/commitment level. Not only that, but all of his [the first choice resume] contact information was clear and easy to find and read.”
Big retailers are opting for refunds instead of returns
(BUSINESS NEWS) Due to increased shipping costs, big companies like Amazon and Walmart are opting to give out a refund rather than accepting small items returned.
The holidays are over, and now some people are ready to return an item that didn’t quite work out or wasn’t on their Christmas list. Whatever the reason, some retailers are giving customers a refund and letting them keep the product, too.
When Vancouver, Washington resident, Lorie Anderson, tried returning makeup from Target and batteries from Walmart she had purchased online, the retailers told her she could keep or donate the products. “They were inexpensive, and it wouldn’t make much financial sense to return them by mail,” said Ms. Anderson, 38. “It’s a hassle to pack up the box and drop it at the post office or UPS. This was one less thing I had to worry about.”
Amazon.com Inc., Walmart Inc., and other companies are changing the way they handle returns this year, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to weigh the costs of processing physical returns versus just issuing a refund and having customers keep the item.
For instance, if it costs more to ship an inexpensive or larger item than it is to refund the purchase price, companies are giving customers a refund and telling them to keep the products also. Due to an increase in online shopping, it makes sense for companies to change how they manage returns.
Locus Robotics chief executive Rick Faulk told the Journal that the biggest expense when it comes to processing returns is shipping costs. “Returning to a store is significantly cheaper because the retailer can save the freight, which can run 15% to 20% of the cost,” Faulk said.
But, returning products to physical stores isn’t something a lot of people are wanting to do. According to the return processing firm Narvar, online returns increased by 70% in 2020. With people still hunkered down because of the pandemic, changing how to handle returns is a good thing for companies to consider to reduce shipping expenses.
While it might be nice to keep the makeup or batteries for free, don’t expect to return that new PS5 and get to keep it for free, too. According to WSJ, a Walmart spokesperson said the company lets someone keep a refunded item only if the company doesn’t plan on reselling it. And, besides taking the economic costs into consideration, the companies look at the customer’s purchase history as well.
Google workers have formed company’s first labor union
(BUSINESS NEWS) A number of Google employees have agreed to commit 1% of their salary to labor union dues to support employee activism and fight workplace discrimination.
On Monday morning, Google workers announced that they have formed a union with the support of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the largest communications and media labor union in the U.S.
The new union, Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) was organized in secret for about a year and formed to support employee activism, and fight discrimination and unfairness in the workplace.
“From fighting the ‘real names’ policy, to opposing Project Maven, to protesting the egregious, multi-million dollar payouts that have been given to executives who’ve committed sexual harassment, we’ve seen first-hand that Alphabet responds when we act collectively. Our new union provides a sustainable structure to ensure that our shared values as Alphabet employees are respected even after the headlines fade,” stated Program Manager Nicki Anselmo in a press release.
AWU is the first union in the company’s history, and it is open to all employees and contractors at any Alphabet company in the United States and Canada. The cost of membership is 1% of an employee’s total compensation, and the money collected will be used to fund the union organization.
In a response to the announcement, Google’s Director of People Operations, Kara Silverstein, said, “We’ve always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our workforce. Of course, our employees have protected labor rights that we support. But as we’ve always done, we’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees.”
Unlike other labor unions, the AWU is considered a “Minority Union”. This means it doesn’t need formal recognition from the National Labor Relations Board. However, it also means Alphabet can’t be forced to meet the union’s demands until a majority of employees support it.
So far, the number of members in the union represents a very small portion of Google’s workforce, but it’s growing every day. When the news of the union was first announced on Monday, roughly 230 employees made up the union. Less than 24 hours later, there were 400 employees in the union, and now that number jumped to over 500 employees.
Unions among Silicon Valley’s tech giants are rare, but labor activism is slowly picking up speed, especially with more workers speaking out and organizing.
“The Alphabet Workers Union will be the structure that ensures Google workers can actively push for real changes at the company, from the kinds of contracts Google accepts to employee classification to wage and compensation issues. All issues relevant to Google as a workplace will be the purview of the union and its members,” stated the AWU in a press release.
Ticketmaster caught red-handed hacking, hit with major fines
(BUSINESS NEWS) Ticketmaster has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after hacking into a competitor’s network specifically to sabotage.
Live Nation’s Ticketmaster agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after admitting to hacking into a competitor’s network and scheming to “choke off” the ticket seller company and “cut [victim company] off at the knees”.
Ticketmaster admitted hiring former employee, Stephen Mead, from startup rival CrowdSurge (which merged with Songkick) in 2013. In 2012, Mead signed a separation agreement to keep his previous company’s information confidential. When he joined Live Nation, Mead provided that confidential information to the former head of the Artist Services division, Zeeshan Zaidi, and other Ticketmaster employees. The hacking information shared with the company included usernames, passwords, data analytics, and other insider secrets.
“When employees walk out of one company and into another, it’s illegal for them to take proprietary information with them. Ticketmaster used stolen information to gain an advantage over its competition, and then promoted the employees who broke the law. This investigation is a perfect example of why these laws exist – to protect consumers from being cheated in what should be a fair market place,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.
In January 2014, Mead gave a Ticketmaster executive multiple sets of login information to Toolboxes, the competitor’s password-protected app that provides real-time data about tickets sold through the company. Later, at an Artists Services Summit, Mead logged into a Toolbox and demonstrated the product to Live Nation and Ticketmaster employees. Information collected from the Toolboxes were used to “benchmark” Ticketmaster’s offerings against the competitor.
“Ticketmaster employees repeatedly – and illegally – accessed a competitor’s computers without authorization using stolen passwords to unlawfully collect business intelligence,” said Acting U.S. Attorney DuCharme in a statement. “Further, Ticketmaster’s employees brazenly held a division-wide ‘summit’ at which the stolen passwords were used to access the victim company’s computers, as if that were an appropriate business tactic.”
The hacking violations were first reported in 2017 when CrowdSurge sued Live Nation for antitrust violations. A spokesperson told The Verge, “Ticketmaster terminated both Zaidi and Mead in 2017, after their conduct came to light. Their actions violated our corporate policies and were inconsistent with our values. We are pleased that this matter is now resolved.”
To resolve the case, Ticketmaster will pay a $10 million criminal penalty, create a compliance and ethics program, and report to the United States Attorney’s Office annually during a three-year term. If the agreement is breached, Ticketmaster will be charged with: “One count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, one count of computer intrusion for commercial advantage, one count of computer intrusion in furtherance of fraud, one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.”
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