By Phillip Newsome: Brandologist And Principal
I see many professionals in transition struggling to refine their resumes. They write, rewrite and revise their career summary and positioning statement over and over. Still, they remain uncertain of whether they are communicating exactly what they intend. If you have experienced this frustration, I have a suggestion for you. Before you give up and spend money to hire a professional resume writer, go to the web. A Word Cloud can bring your points into clear focus quickly and easily.
A Word Cloud is a web application that visualizes word frequency of the provided text. They are frequently used to generate graphic representations of tags and keywords. They can also be used to help you visualize whether the bio or summary of work experience that you have written is projecting an emphasis on your most relevant and valued skills. Programs such as Wordle.com and tagcrowd.net are free and are easy to use.
How do the applications work? They proportionally emphasize words based on the number of times they appear in the source text. For example, if you wish to emphasize that you are a customer satisfaction expert you can expect to see the words customer and satisfaction appear in the graphic larger than other words.
Give it a try:
- Go to www.wordle.net or www.tagcrowd.com
- Paste your source copy from a word file into the text box in the program and
- Click the submit/visualize button.
- A graphic representation of the paragraph(s) that you have input will appear
Should the important words/ideas not stand out, it's because the source copy is not giving the point enough emphasis. Revise your copy and try again.
There are options to limit the number of words that appear in the graphic and in the case of Wordle a significant number of creative options that allow you to generate a design that can be used on a business card or on your website. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use in any way you choose. You may print T-Shirts, business cards, brochures, what have you. There is a small licensing fee involved with the use of images from Tagcrowd.
Word Clouds are a tool that can help everyone to be more clear and concise in their written work. I am not suggesting that you rely solely on the graphic produced from a word cloud program to judge whether or not you have optimized the communication in your resume. Repeating a single word too often does not usually result in compelling copy. Use word clouds along with your own judgement and you will have taken a big step toward polishing your writing.