The resume is the most important document in your job search. It's the first impression you make on a potential employer. You can be qualified for a position but if your resume isn't polished, you won't get called for the interview.
Many job seekers turn to infographic resumes in hopes of "standing out" from the competition. In reality, it's a challenge for both ATS scans and hiring managers to understand quickly, so you might be costing yourself opportunities by using a non-standard resume.
Our team of career experts agrees that you shouldn't use an infographic resume. It is almost always a terrible idea. No hiring manager is basing their decision around how well you design your resume. Your resume shouldn't look like an art project--which is what many "infographic resumes" end up looking like.
Here are the reasons why you should never use an infographic resume.
Infographic Resume Example:
5 reasons never to use an infographic resume
1. ATS scans don't like infographic resumes
Most employers today use what's called an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to automatically screen resumes. The ATS have a very hard time reading infographic resumes which means the resume could be automatically rejected.
ATS resume scanning software is designed to scan a resume for work experience, skills, education, and other relevant information. If it feels the resume is a good match for the position, it gets sent forward to the hiring manager. The resume that don't meet the qualifications are rejected and the resume is never seen by a human.
2. It's harder to tailor an infographic resume to the job
You need to be tailoring your resume to each position you apply to. That includes changing some of the content (i.e. summary, keywords and work experience) to better match the job posting. Sending the same resume to every position you apply to is not effective. Instead, you should take the time to tailor your resume to fit each job, and watch your callbacks increase!
Infographic resumes are very difficult to tailor. Changing the design or adjusting the text could be challenging with an infographic resume.
Stick to a standard resume format. We wrote a good post here on which resume format to use.
3. Infographic resumes have unusual formatting
Hiring managers only look at a resume for an average of 6 seconds.
They quickly scan for relevant experience, skills, and education. No hiring manager is going to sit there and try to dissect your resume and figure out where the information they're looking for is.
When looking through hundreds of resumes per day, they want to see a resume that fits a traditional format so they can quickly find the information they're looking for.
4. Hiring managers see creative resumes as unprofessional
How do you dress for an interview?
You want to appear as professional as possible. You wouldn't wear a tie dye shirt to an interview to stand out from the competition would you? No--you want to appear as your best, most professional self.
This is the same reason you wouldn't turn your resume into an art project. You want to appear professional at all times during your job search.
5. Infographic resumes distract from the content
Unless you're a graphic designer, it's hard to create an infographic resume. Many job seekers put to much focus on the design of the resume rather than the actual content. Your experience, skills, education, and achievements are what land you the interview: not the design of your resume. Focus on writing a resume that really helps you stand out from the competition.
Example of a good resume format to use instead:
Avoid using an infographic resume for the reasons we laid out above. Many job seekers think it helps give them an "edge," but it could actually be doing more harm than good. Focus your attention on developing a resume that highlights relevant skills and experience rather than colors and graphics.
Hiring managers also prefer a traditional resume format so they can find the information they want quickly.
Best of luck with your job search!
The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.