By Meaghan Marshall, May 27 2017 02:22PM
If you are busy putting together your resume, and have just googled “infographic resume” and scrolled through the image results, you are probably feeling a little intimidated.
There are some amazing eye catching resumes there, and you can easily get overwhelmed imagining your resume landing in a pile with these.
It is a competitive job market and understandably candidates are looking for creative ways to stand out. Let’s take a closer look.
One thing you need to know, is that the infographic format is incompatible with applicant tracking systems. If you think the company will be first scanning your resume with a tracking system then the infographic resume is probably not the way to go.
A common element on the infographic resume is the use of pie charts and bar graphs. Data is good. Providing a potential employer with measurable results is exactly what we need to do. Showing key metrics in an engaging way is a good idea, but turning information on your resume into an image for simply cosmetic reasons isn’t.
An example is using a line or bar graph for your skills. It looks visually interesting, but listing a skill and then highlighting that you are only 50% proficient, is not very persuasive. It isn’t even persuasive to have a 100% bar. Most people are going to colour in their bar to 100%. So, unless the data you provide is actually measurable then it is unlikely to offer any value or be persuasive to a potential employer.
As always, the best way to demonstrate your skills, is to provide hard evidence. A testimonial from a colleague, an award celebrating collaboration, or share a team achievement.
Another pitfall of an infographic resume, is that they are a static document. Unless you are a graphic designer or have good knowledge of design software, once created, the infographic resume is more difficult to update, or even just tweak to target a specific role or company.
There are some advantages of an infographic resume. The obvious, is that for a candidate in a creative field, the infographic resume offers an immediate opportunity to showcase your creativity and design skills.
Another benefit of the infographic resume, is the flexibility in formatting. Modern careers don’t fit neatly into a chorological sequence. Many of us are no longer employed in a traditional way. We might be holding multiple part time jobs, freelancing, or contracting for multiple employers. The way we are employed today doesn’t always fit into a traditional chronological resume. The infographic resume can allow you to visually represent a non-traditional career path.
For most us, the ideal approach is a compromise between the highly visual graphic resume and plain text. Keeping your resume in MS Word, but adding visual elements including charts, graphs, colour, call-out boxes, and breakaway text to increase visual appeal and impact, but also allowing the resume to be updated for each application, and to be guaranteed successful scanning by the APS.
Always keep your focus on quality content. Use examples from your past performance to demonstrate your skills, and where possible always quantify your achievements.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your resume should be integrated with your online profile. You have the opportunity within these tools, LinkedIn, social media, or a personal website, to showcase your creativity and give additional insight to your personality.
If you are in a creative field and using an infographic resume, you should make sure the content of your resume is also strong. Don’t assume the quality of your graphic design will get you over the line. You should still highlight your achievements and target your resume specifically to your desired role.
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