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The Best Resumes On Tableau Public

Every so often I’ve stumbled upon resumes in Tableau Public – it’s such an obvious way to showcase both your experience and your skills in one place, not least since it would be placed among your portfolio. Seems like an obvious area to turn my attention to.

Having just started a new job however, I’m not in a panic to show off my own, so have time to scour the rest of Tableau Public to check out others’ handywork for inspiration. But seeing as I couldn’t find a gallery of examples of the best work out there, I thought I would compile one, sharing my findings with a wider audience here. Then, if I find sufficient inspiration, at some stage I’ll look to pull my own effort together and will write a further post detailing my own process and final outcome.

I will confess to being slightly disappointed when I conducted my search. There absolutely are some good resumes out there, but there are some really ghastly ones too. And I mean really bad. I absolutely won’t highlight those that I didn’t like, but a simple search for ‘CV’ or ‘Resume’ on Tableau Public will lead you to a fair few. This sounds critical, but if I’m looking for inspiration and guidance, it’s just as valuable to identify what doesn’t work well as what does.

Starting Out

First up, there’s a blogpost on Tableau Public itself providing some guidance. I don’t subscribe to all of it, but there are a lot of good groundrules and basics to follow here. The viz embedded in the blogpost has been viewed almost 12,000 times, so I’d like to think people are finding this useful as a resource. But Lani’s approach is just one, and having reviewed somewhere between 50-100 Tableau Public resumes I can confirm that there are many others out there.

Among other things there are Resumes containing histograms, packed bubbles, wordclouds, lollipop charts, pie charts, donut charts, treemaps and all sorts of visualisations. Others make use of large text tables, or dedicate separate tabs to full, classic-style CVs as backup. Almost all contain a Gantt chart, and many also include photos, with links to other social media profiles etc.

The Cream Of The Crop

So here, then, are the best I’ve found so far (and please do share details of others if they are worthy of adding to this Wall of Fame. First up is Adam Crahen, with probably the best out there. The heading with the contact info alongside his profile photo is very clean and the experience breakdown retains focus. Being as amazing as he is, his gallery is also a powerful addition towards the end. I also really liked how this didn’t take the full page width:

As you’d hope to expect of an IronViz champ, Curtis Harris uses the colour scheme and icons to great effect. The experience details text boxes are clear and concise and the carefully-shaped logos and images each link to other relevant websites.

Product of The Data School, Gwilym Lockwood’s take is simple on detail but pretty sleek. The dots on the map connect neatly with the experience detail in the Gantt, and the font management is really careful and tidy.

And, finally, Tableau Public’s own Ben Jones produced his way back in 2013 in Desktop version 8! I love how clean this looks with plenty of whitespace, no borders or lines anywhere.


The Resume Manifesto

In addition to the examples outlined above, I also came across other good ideas, such as coloured Gantt bars with shades picked from company logos. Some also used external links to other personal stuff (blogs, videos etc.) to great effect. In spite of those fine examples however, I found plenty of elements that I really didn’t like in others – the following list of faux-pas and missed opportunities comprise the parts I really wouldn’t like to include in a version I created.
– skillset self assessments (you’ve got 4 out of 5 stars on Tableau?!)
– really busy vizzes with too much content packed into too little space
– use of wordclouds, packed bubbles and other chart types that don’t make for easy comprehension of your skillset
– trying to show off (that’s what your wider profile should be for!)
– items which are clickable but don’t drive dashboard actions
– purely black and white vizzes, wasting the chance to use even subtle colours
– failure to tell a story of your career, mixing interests with experience where there’s no overlap

The key lessons I take from this therefore, are:
– be honest and factual
– use whitespace effectively
– only use chart types appropriate for the content
– connect sections with simple dashboard actions

Those four items seem like a suitable manifesto for building a visualised CV or resume. It’ll be a good test to return to this list and see how well I managed to see this vision through.

About The Author

Mark Edwards

A statistician at heart, Mark’s approach is always numbers-led. Already visualising data in other side-projects, Mark was introduced to the world of Tableau in 2016, when he and Pablo started working together in financial services. A keen participant in social Tableau challenges, Mark is building his skills and appreciation of powerful visuals, discovering interesting and untapped data sets, a path that has already led to a new career and a range of further opportunities.

2 Comments

    • Mark Edwards

      Cool design, Mesum.

      The only thing I would suggest to change would be the Skills and Expertise section. I’m never really convinced how meaningful it is to grade these things out of five like this. What criteria are required to be a “4” in Tableau Desktop or a “1” in SQL Server? How can the two pieces of software be compared and how do we ensure that everyone has the same understanding of what it takes to be a 5/5?

      Reply

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