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.
When should you use an infographic resume? Never
This 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.
We will go through the reasons why you should never use an infographic resume.
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. Those which don’t meet the qualifications are rejected and the resume is never seen by a human.
You need to be tailoring your resume to each position you apply to. That includes changing some of the content (Summary, keywords and work experience) to better match the job posting. Sending the same resume to every position you apply to is not effective. It does take some time to tailor your resume but you will really start to notice those call backs.
Infographic resumes are very difficult to tailor. Changing the design or adjusting the text could be challenging with an infogrpahic resume.
Stick to a standard resume format. We wrote a good post here on which resume format to use.
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.
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?
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.
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 gets you the interview – not the design of your resume. Focus on writing a resume that really helps you stand out from the competition.
So what does a good resume format look like?
Here is a good example:
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.
Hiring managers also prefer a traditional resume format.
Focus your attention on developing a resume that highlights relevant skills and experience rather than colors and graphics.
Best of luck with your job search!