Now here’s something that’s a little off the beaten path.

TagCrowd is a simple site that can take any text file, such as your resume, and create a “text cloud” image of it that visually displays the frequency of the words in the document.  You’ve probably seen a few of these depictions on the Internet previously, on blogs and such, but you may not have known exactly what they were unless you’re a techie or diehard web junkie.  And while I’m still not 100% sure how useful this site will actually be to some of you, in a job search sense, it’s still a lot of fun to try!

You can read a more detailed description of how TagCrowd works by clicking here — which includes the breakdown, as follows, of the various creative potential uses of text cloud analysis:

— as topic summaries for speeches and written works
— as blog tool or website analysis for search engine optimization (SEO)
— for visual analysis of survey data
— as brand clouds that let companies see how they are perceived by the world
— for data mining a text corpus
— for helping writers and students reflect on their work
— as name tags for conferences, cocktail parties or wherever new collaborations start
— as resumes in a single glance
— as visual poetry

It’s the second-to-last application mentioned that caught my eye, and that I’d encourage all of you to try.  Simply open your resume in Microsoft Word, copy all of the text in the document, then paste it into the big box on the TagCrowd main page.  Hit the “visualize” button and voila, the next thing you know you’ll see a box that pops out the most common terms on your resume.  Make sure, though, that you use the copy and paste method versus the option of “uploading” the file, since this process won’t work with Microsoft Word files directly unless you first convert your document to a text-only format.

What’s the point of all this?  Besides just the curiosity factor, some of you might benefit (especially visual learners) by being able to see which words really are being emphasized the most throughout your materials — and if you’re really avant garde, who knows?  Maybe you can copy the visualization box and paste it into the corner of your resume itself, to show off your Internet chops, or print it on the back of your business card as a conversation starter!