First impressions are everything – otherwise, we wouldn’t obsess over our interview suit or worry so much about the broccoli undoubtedly lodged in our teeth. There must be something to the adage, “You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

In the professional world, resumes serve as the first impression.  

Competitive employment for people who experience cognitive and developmental differences is a highly individualized, innovative industry. Many employers are under informed and hesitant to open the door to an interview, largely because they are going solely from a traditional resume. For people without a varied history of employment, it can be a difficult task to highlight skills and contributions that would be valuable to the industry where they are pursuing employment.

The answer to this is a visual resume.

Graphics, lively presentations, slideshows, and videos are just some of the visual content that can be used to boost your traditional resume and entice the eye of potential employers. Plus, they are fun and imaginative!

Step 1: Decide what type of visual content you are going to use.

  • PowerPoint
  • Infographic
  • Video
  • Portfolio

Step 2: Introduce Yourself

  • Use an “intro” sentence to briefly describe yourself
  • State your purpose clearly

Step 3: Highlight Your Previous Work Experience

  • State your previous place(s) of employment, including locality
  • Start with your last place of employment
  • State your job title
  • Describe the job duties you had


Step 4: Highlight Your Skills & Characteristics

  • Use descriptive words to illustrate why you’ll be an asset to the company

Step 5: Highlight Job Tasks You Can Do

  • List the job tasks you have done
  • During previous employment
  • Internships
  • Volunteer experiences
  • Family experiences (chores)
  • Assessments and vocational trials

Step 6: Thank Your Potential Employer

  • Thank you potential employers for viewing your visual resume.
  • Let them know how excited you are for the opportunity to work with them.
  • Also, provide them with contact information so that they can contact you.

When making a visual resume, you have free reign to make it your own. Be creative! Be bold! Are you in the market for employment, but not sure you’re qualified? Check out our Branches employment services to see if we’re a good fit for you!