Are you memorable?
Whether you’re striving to attract potential clients or looking to land a coveted position at a new employer, chances are you’re not the only one vying for their attention.
Hagan Blount is there to make sure you get it. The 34-year-old New Yorker will craft your experience and qualifications into a vibrant and unique infographic for anywhere between $500 and $2,000.
After finding a way to merge his creative abilities with his entrepreneurial ambitions, Blount built a base of clients — ranging from hackers to VPs — who have used his creations to successfully land new opportunities.
Peter Bell, a hacker who enlisted Blount’s services on the recommendation of a friend, labeled the finished product as “a cohesive picture of the impact that my multiple facets can have when working with high-impact tech organizations.” His resume is featured below.
FreeEnterprise.com spoke with Blount about why investing in your resume is a wise move, what hiring managers are looking for, and what’s it’s been like to be his own boss.
Any individual can craft a conventional resume at no cost. What makes an infographic worth the investment?
There are a lot of sites out there that give you some kind of template to work from, but templates are just that — a copy of something that someone already used. I don’t think you can template creativity. When clients work with me, the design is unique and proprietary to them. When someone says, “I’ve never seen anything like that,” I know it’s the truth. You’re unique, so your resume should be unique.
Is it worth it? I have had clients tell me that they’d sent out 50-plus resumes with no response prior to working with me and that they went three for three on callbacks when they started sending out the new resume. If you aren’t working, and this document gets you a job a month sooner, it’s worth the investment. If you dislike your job, and this document gets you out of it a month sooner, it’s worth the investment. The only thing the infographic does is get you in the door sooner.
What do people in hiring positions at sought-after entities say they are looking for?
They all say the same thing: They want to know in the shortest possible time if they want to follow up with this person. By drawing the important parts out with larger numbers or graphs, I make sure the candidate’s potential impact to the employer’s bottom line is clear at first glance.
I create every one of these resumes with this thought in mind: Everyone wants the next resume they look at to be the last one they look at.
How and why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve always had entrepreneurship in my blood. I own about 40 domains that I have not started or have started but didn’t do anything of substance with. I have about six business plans that I’ve followed through on to varying degrees. I’ve always thought of myself as making my own way somehow.
What really helped me was unemployment. I was a 99-weeker before this really started taking off. I wasn’t really making any money doing the businesses that I had been working on — I made a food blog and tried to sell stickers online. I was dead broke with no money coming in before this actually started working. As a last-ditch effort, I put a poster board on my back and went out to talk to people about doing social media at work. Someone gave me the idea about making a creative resume, and I think my resume was one of the first that was creatively designed, but not focused on achieving a design-oriented role.
To tell you the truth, I lucked into this. It just so happens that it’s really fun and rewarding for me and I get to work with really awesome people.
How do you develop your strategy for each unique resume? How much input does the client have?
I have a 15-question document I send to all my clients. The questions range from the standard career questions (What job title will you be looking to attain?) to the more personal questions (What makes you different — hobbies, awards outside of work you’ve received?). As graphically driven as these are, I really feel the flow and the story is the most important thing. When the intended target reads it, I want them to feel like they’re not only going to be well suited for the role, but also a great fit for the team.
The client has input at all steps of the process. I tell clients “No” all the time, but usually it’s because their suggestion isn’t the greatest design idea or it’s contrary to the design of the document. I try and make each one of these as if it was my own and the client has plenty of opportunities for feedback.
What are the challenges and advantages of being your own boss?
How hard I’ll work. There are some days where I just bag everything and do whatever I want, and then there are some days where I don’t have the time to get distracted by a website/news article I might be curious about. It’s great to work that way sometimes, but I haven’t found a rhythm that I like yet.
The biggest advantage is that I get to work wherever I want. I was just in Colombia for two months and then I took a sailboat to Panama. I was just at Coachella last weekend with my brother, and I just bought a car in LA and will be driving it across the country and selling it in NYC. Flexibility is awesome. I don’t have all the money I need to do everything I want to just yet, but I am reinvesting in my business and getting closer to that.