Formatting your resume as an infographic?

Mar 28 2018 Published by under advice, industry, life in the office, new job

Via a recent Naturejobs  article about whether or not you should do a post-doc, I landed on an older article that suggests that for jobs outside academia you should/could format your resume like an infographic. Over the course of last year I re-formatted my resume to fit on just one page, and it looks a little like this example with a bar with things like education, courses and keywords describing my personality on the left and my current job and employment history with just a few bullet points for each on the right. Now the resume infographic is clearly a next step, and while I really like how they look and appreciate the creativity in showcasing what people have done, the comments underneath the article already suggest that not everybody is a fan of trying to stand out with your resume.

What do you think, is it worth the effort to turn your resume into an infographic and are there sectors where this would make you positively stand out? Or is it a bad idea overall?

5 responses so far

  • Nat says:

    Personally, I don't like it for most science positions. In a more graphic designer/marketing type position it could be beneficial. But I'm not sure what it adds above the usual categories listed from top to bottom. And I find the use of a left column breaks way I scan a sheet for the relevant information, which is to look down the left for the major groupings/headings. Here I have to jump back and forth between the left column and the main center location. (despite the grey background that should keep the column visually intact).

    Another consideration is that a resume may be scraped by a program to get the information out of it and into a database system that hiring managers then search. The process could get screwed up in formats like this, and then your resume might not be found correctly.

    • Nat says:

      but I should admit, I considered doing exactly the same kind of layout when I recently redid my resume. I just couldn't make it work- so of course now I think it's not possible! 🙂

  • outoftune says:

    I'm a fan of people trying to make their CV stand out a bit and be as easy to read as possible.

    However... I wouldn't hire someone with an "infographic" CV because, at least on these examples, they're way too sparse on actual information. At my work (a national research lab) we're required to base our hiring decisions on clear evidence of the candidates meeting our listed criteria of skills, knowledge, experience, etc. None of the examples on this site come even close to listing specific technical or scientific skillsets or experience so we'd have to throw them out immediately regardless of how pretty they are.

    If someone's applying for a job doing marketing or communications based work, maybe this approach would help as it seems that those are the skills on display here.

  • Another Anon says:

    I agree with both Nat and outoftune.

    As someone who evaluates a lot of resumes for my job, I would suggest that the only job of a resume is to get you information about a candidate's skills and expertise. The only time an overly graphic resume comes in handy is when that is an example of your skills and expertise (so graphic designers, illustrators, etc).

    While I agree that the example you formatted your resume to look like is distinct, it is not easy to find information quickly that a recruiter/hiring manager needs. There's also a propensity to convert useful information (like about skills) into things like donut charts (used in the skills section of the example resume you linked to) that are visually easier to look at but useless when it comes to evaluation. How can you compare one candidate's 3/4 of a donut chart with another's 4 (out of 5) stars? How would you compare those two candidates with a third candidate who has 4 years of copywriting experience? I know which one I would shortlist.

    The most effective resumes I have seen are one-pagers that have distilled (frequently many many) years of work experience into a few crisp, impactful points. I am a big fan of the summary section. These should highlight your expertise as well as skills specific to the job, not some nonsense about your 10-year career plan or your dream job.

  • babyattachmode says:

    Thanks for your comments everyone! Some food for thought about my own resume.

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