“I hate sorting resumes.”
That was probably the first thing I said as a hiring manager back in 2002. My colleague handed me a stack of resumes six inches thick for about a dozen part time job openings. That was before automated parsing and sorting helped matters out (somewhat). I spent days sorting and scheduling interviews for positions that could net as few as 10 hours a week.
And even with new technology, it doesn’t necessarily make the process less exhausting. In fact, it just means you get more workload. Which is why I am always a bit weary of resume enhancements like video resumes, Powerpoint presentations and the like. But if you could do it easily and in a compelling way, could it be worth it? A new start-up called Storyvite aims to find out.
When I was at the Recruiting Innovation Summit in May, I met Storyvite founder Satish Sallakonda. He’s been self-funding Storyvite with four developers, a part-time graphic designer and himself for the last few months and has started to roll it out to some beta users.
When I sat down and accepted his invite to look at the product, I was pretty impressed, especially for a project that is just getting off the ground.
After you sign up for the service, you are able to import your LinkedIn profile. And while there has been some controversy about LinkedIn cutting off access to some applications, it seems doubtful in this instance. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a more mature Storyvite product integrated with LinkedIn in the future.
The most important thing is that it builds a pretty compelling visual profile in a matter of seconds if you have a reasonably complete LinkedIn profile. It will import your work and educational history, skills, and whatever else you have in there. Sallakonda also said they’ve been working on ways to better display blog posts that you’ve written or portfolios for designers and developers. Assuming they can keep it as simple as the current process, it will be a winner.
After a few minutes of setup and tweaking, you have a public visual profile that you can share on your resume or in online profiles. The presentation itself reminds me a bit of Prezi-styled presentations.
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Will it work?
As I said, I always have my doubts about products like this because the amount of time they usually take to create isn’t worth the value they create. This isn’t a resume replacement and Sallakonda has positioned it purposefully in that way. In the initial stages of screening, you’re probably not going to bring up the Storyvite profile.
If you had spent hours creating that profile, it would be one thing. But for those opportunities that you make it past the screening process and the recruiter has a few minutes before the phone interview, they can pull up that visual profile and take a look. And since much of the work has already been done (assuming you have a filled out LinkedIn profile), the 15-30 minutes you put into creating the profile is not too bad. Even if only a few people click through to watch it, it can be worth the time invested.
Can it work beyond that level? Sallakonda and the entire Storyvite team hopes so. I’m not sure, although I’m also not sure it matters. I think it has value as is, especially for the time invested.
What do you think?
Are you interested in checking out Storyvite? Their team has provided some invitation codes for their product. If you enter “tlnt” (without quotes) as the invitation code on signup, you can check it out and give them some feedback about it.
Maybe more importantly, check out the completed visual profiles and see if you find them compelling, not necessarily as a screening tool but as a way to get a better sense of what a candidate can do for your business. For a visual person like me, it helped.