Should You Use an Infographic Resume?

By , June 7, 2013

Infographic resumes are the latest hiring trend. These are resumes that use artistic and imaginative methods to showcasing your skills. Here’s a collection from Pinterest.

Since your resume is the keystone to the job hunt, job seekers must weigh the pros and cons before jumping on the infographic trend, to ensure it doesn’t backfire. Some things to consider:

Why use an infographic resume?

Utah-based Art City Design’s creative director, Jason Orr explains that an infographic resume has the chance to stand out of the stack, where it really counts. “The point of the resu-graphic is that you can get that second glance,” he explains. Also, infographic resumes offer the chance to memorably demonstrate your experience and accomplishments through your personality and creativity. Owner of Red Sapphire Consulting, Lisa Andrew recalls an origami resume received 12 years ago. There were “instructions on how to configure her resume. I followed the directions,” Andrew explains, “and it turned the resume into one of those folded paper games from the 80s. Each square of the fold had the pieces of her resume. She was hired.”

How can an infographic give a job seeker with a disability an edge?

One thing for certain is that individuals with disabilities have a unique outlook on life. Why not boast a resume to match? Whether it is a heightened level of patience when it comes to performing day-to-day tasks from a wheelchair, or the problem-solving attitude of someone with a visual impairment using work-around methods of communication every day, individuals with disabilities bring unique minds to the workplace. Traditional resumes may not encapsulate that uniqueness. Furthermore, for those who lack extensive job experience or have gaps in employment, infographic resumes like this one are organized to focus on skill and abilities and be more forgiving regarding education and work history.

What are some examples of infographic resumes?

You can browse through these examples on Pinterest and workawesome to quickly understand that infographic resumes are native to the arts, graphic design and marketing job seekers. Still, Eric Bowitz, a professional resume consultant for ResumeCompanion, reminds job seekers that only four percent of all businesses are in the creative industry, the ideal target for an infographic resume. “Statistically speaking, infographic resumes are not for you,” he mentions.

Are there any pitfalls to consider?

The trick, as with many things, is to know your audience. Jeff Boag, a recruiter with 15 years of experience, explains that large corporations with high volumes of applications use keyword searches to rank them in a program called the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). “If your resume can’t produce the right key words you will not even be considered,” he says. “The only place [infographic resumes] work is a startup or at a career fair where someone will look at it on paper…if you are applying online I would strongly advise against it.” One study that used tracking software to measure the eye movements of recruiters determined that recruiters spend an average of six seconds on each resume.

Infographic resumes are ideal for a niche recruiting market of startups, creative types and design firms; in most other fields, it is safer to stick to traditional molds. With such a short time to impress a reader with a short attention span, it’s best to present an infographic resume to a captive audience, such as at a networking event. As the saying goes, Content is King, so your resume should carry its weight in valuable content regardless of format.

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Author: Suzanne Robitaille

Suzanne Robitaille is the founder of abledbody.com, a website on disability issues. She is the former assistive technology columnist for BusinessWeek.com, giving rise to her fascination with technology that helps people with disabilities surmount barriers in the workplace and life space. She is also the author of The Illustrated Guide to Assistive Technology & Devices. As a writer and blogger, Suzanne is a trusted source of disability information for The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, HealthDay, Media Post, Ability Magazine, Disaboom and more. Suzanne lost her hearing at age four and grew up profoundly deaf. In 2002 she received a cochlear implant, which she credits as "the ultimate assistive technology."