When the popular graphic design platform Canva came onto the scene about a decade ago, it didn’t reinvent the wheel by introducing complicated design tools to the average user. Instead, Canva made content creation easy for those who weren’t classically trained in visual design.
Fast forward to 2024. Canva now has over 170 million monthly active users across 190 countries. With AI products added to its suite of solutions, the company’s revenue has risen to A$2.7 billion (US$1.7 billion).
Canva’s entry into AI-powered design is expected to be a game changer for millions of users.
In India, for example, people are shifting away from complex design tools to more intuitive AI-powered apps as they create visually appealing documents – not the least of which are digital portfolios and resumés among job candidates aiming to stand out.
Four in every five hiring managers in India (81%) expect the standard text-based resumé to become obsolete in five years, while a greater percentage (93%) welcome the idea of jobseekers using generative AI to enhance their application materials, according to data from Canva.
“Hiring managers are quite concerned,” Canva said. “Almost half of the resumes that reach them have either too much text or extend to too many pages.”
India leads the trend of more creative portfolios and resumés
Creative visuals and a splash of colour can go a long way to enhancing the application process.
“Our research highlights how creativity and the use of gen AI have notably lowered obstacles for jobseekers in shaping their professional brands, allowing them to stand out in the crowd and land their dream jobs,” said Amy Schultz, Global Head of Talent Acquisition, Canva, who recently sat down with People Matters for an exclusive interview.
“Hiring managers in India have shown openness in integrating gen AI to boost creativity, leading to improvement in the quality of talent discussions going forward,” Schultz said.
How AI and visual design improve the job application process
Most hiring managers (84%) say they prefer candidates who present a digital portfolio to those who don’t. However, changes to one’s application materials can be simple. Hiring managers say they wish to see interactive elements in resumés, such as images and graphics (66%) and colours (61%).
“Candidates who lean into visual, interactive, and dynamic elements in their job application materials are the ones who are going to stand out from the crowd. But levelling up your resume and creating a digital portfolio doesn’t have to be daunting,” Schultz said.
“For folks who may be starting the new year wanting to find a new job out there, gen AI can be a great creative starting-off point to help make that jobseeking process a little less daunting.”
Towards a more visual job search process
For years, the job search process observed by employers in India has gradually become “more and more visual,” Schultz said.
“We’ve been leveraging social media platforms for quite some time … On average, recruiters spend between seven to eight seconds reviewing a resume before deciding whether it looks like a candidate they would want to screen.”
Often inundated with numerous applicants, hiring managers in India want candidates to be more creative. And so, the role of Canva as a graphic design solution is to boost a candidate’s confidence as they kick off the application process, Schultz said.
“Jobseekers may have felt previously held back when being creative, be it because of skills or lack of time,” she said. “We want resumes that will cut through. I think there are ways that jobseekers can shine in the digital age and impress hiring managers with their creativity by creating things such as digital portfolios.”
For Schultz, one way for jobseekers to demonstrate their creativity is through a well-crafted resumé or portfolio.