Infographic resumes are gaining popularity in conversations about recruiting new talent.
Think about it: how many resumes have you sent off to employers only to receive no response? Jobs that you’re confident you could do well?
Your applications aren’t necessarily turning up empty-handed because you aren’t qualified for the position. Your resume may simply have gotten lost in the mix. According to a report by CareerXroads that analyzed 250 companies, the average job posting receives about 74 applications. And according to a CareerBuilder study, 1 in 5 managers spend less than 30 seconds reviewing applications.
And if you’re a recruiter, then you’re probably all too familiar with the process of sifting through a pile of applications.
Here’s how you can create an infographic resume to grab the attention of recruiters and communicate your value quickly.
Figure out what your story is.
First you will have to figure out what your story is. What inspired you to seek a career in your field, and what events and past positions got you to this point in your career journey?
The majority of the information on your infographic resume will be your work experience, but you should also take this opportunity to highlight your interests, talents and any formative experiences. A lot of those elements can be expressed through your design.
Pick only the most important information.
Infographics typically do not have too much text. They use charts, diagrams and other visuals to convey information. Because space for text is limited, pull out only the most important pieces of information from your standard resume. Use point form lists when you can and keep paragraphs to one to three short sentences, maximum.
Your infographic resume should be able to effectively answer these three questions:
- 1. Can you do the job?
- 2. Will do you the job?
- 3. Will I like working with you?
Pick a layout that best tells your story.
Now, pick a layout that will best tell your story. If you’re not a designer by vocation, it’s easier to start with a template (there are numerous sites online that offer infographic templates, just do a quick search).
Many people choose to create a timeline infographic to show their education and job history. But you could also divide your infographic into sections dedicated to, for example, your skill levels, educational experience, awards, and even brief testimonials from past employers. You may also choose to create one data visualization as the focus of your infographic resume.
Whether you choose to take a super creative route, or you simply decide to create a more visual version of your traditional infographic, remember that the most important thing is that your infographic resume should be easy to read and understand!
Personalize your resume template to fit your persona.
Here’s where you can really let your personality shine through!
Pick a color scheme that not only suits you, but that will appeal to the company. Consider the impression certain colors will make on someone who is viewing your resume for the first time. For example, “pure” colors come across as energetic, youthful and cool, while tints come across as calming and peaceful.
Pick fonts that also reflects your personality or that are used popularly in your industry. Just take a look around at the kinds of fonts companies in the industry are using on their pages. When in doubt, stick to classics like Baskerville, Computer Modern, Georgia, Trebuchet, Helvetica, Times New Roman.
And don’t forget to spruce up your design with embellishments like icons. You could, for example, include icons of recognizable companies you’ve worked at.
Turn certain information into data visualizations.
The beauty of an infographic resume is that you can use data visualization to communicate information in less space than paragraphs of text. And you may be surprised by some of the ways that you can use charts and graphs to visualize your career story.
Here are some examples of how you can turn resume information into data visualization:
- Create a timeline of places you have studied and companies you have worked at.
- Breakdown your position-related skills into a pie chart.
- Rate your skill level for particular skills and tasks using a pictogram or bar graph.
- Turn your experience into statistics. For example, the number of cases closed you closed in a previous position, the number of connections you made at an event, the number of goals that you achieved. You can show statistics using text, pictograms, or even bar charts.
- Break down your personality traits into a pie chart.
There are plenty of other ways to visualize your experience--try to be creative!
Use Your Infographic Resume as a Supplementary Document
Realistically, you won’t be able to totally replace your traditional resume. Oftentimes, application portals won’t even allow you to include an image. Instead, offer your infographic resume as something extra--instead, include it in your email along with your standard resume, and bring a printed out copy to interviews. Use an infographic resume you set you apart from the other applicants, but exercise your judgement on a case by case basis.