In a world where it is more difficult to land a job than ever before, and sometimes with hundreds of people applying for the same position, it is crucial for the applicant to stand out above their competition with a brilliant resume. It would also be good if they could do it in just a few seconds, because that’s how long it takes for the recruiters to decide whether or not they should be invited for an interview.
Jennifer Roberts, who is a professional resume writer for resumesplanet.com, highlighted the importance of getting to know the company first: “Having a creative resume is great, but before you go out and create it, do some research about the company you are applying for a job with. They might prefer something more traditional, and not having a classical resume will get you eliminated very quickly.
"On the other hand, if you are applying for a job in IT, video production, or design, producing a video or infographic resume would be a great idea.”
The following list includes tips on how to create a spectacular and effective infographic resume, along with some advice on what practices to avoid.
1. Consider if an Infographic Resume is the Best Way to Go.
As previously pointed out, some companies and recruiters may take the entire process more seriously than others, which means they prefer to look at a traditional resumes, which highlight the applicant’s education and employment history. Also, a resume should contain skills and qualities that are essential for that particular job.
If it’s not your first job, make it a point to highlight your experience, as well as awards and accolades, because those can go a long way towards establishing you as ambitious, talented, and hard-working in the eyes of the recruiter.
2. Send it as an Addition to Regular Resume.
Some jobs will be a bit more flexible, so you may be able to include your infographic resume as accompanying piece to your regular resume. If the job requires someone who is artistically oriented, or if it’s a designer position, an infographic resume can help you convey a lot more about your talent and skills than just having words scribbled down on a piece of plain white paper.
That way, the recruiters will have a more traditional flowing resume to look at, plus your infographic one as a practical demonstration of your knowledge.
3. Stick to Design Principles.
Creating a stunning infographic resume is a lot more than throwing some colors and different shapes into the mix. There are rules as to what makes a certain visual presentation pleasing to the human eye.
If you are a designer, you are already familiar with these principles. If you are not, don’t worry, because there are plenty of apps out there designed to help you put together some compelling and visually potent infographics. Before we get into those, let’s go over a few design guidelines.
Keep it Clean and Simple: Although you are introducing visual elements, don’t make a mess of it. Just as you would break up chunks of text into paragraphs and subheadings to make your resume an easier read, you should also aim to make your infographics clean and streamlined. Don’t mix and match random colors and backgrounds. Background should be light, and as for colors, it is best if you use just one, but in few different tones. Blue and green are always a safe choice, because they inspire trust.
Don’t Use Style to Mask the Lack of Substance: Your infographic resume should not just be an exercise in style. Remember, the whole point of having one is to present your skills and experience in an aesthetically pleasing way that is easier to digest for the recruiter, because people respond better to visuals.
Cool graphics will attract attention, but if they are not used to highlight you and your skills, they’re pretty much an example of style over substance.
Use the Following Visual Elements:
Photos: Having a professional or at least decent shot of you on your resume is something that is absolutely necessary. It’s your chance to make a good impression.
Stats: Make those numbers work for you by using visual stats. You can use them to illustrate your years of experience, skill level, client satisfaction, number of completed projects, received awards, and so on.
Quotes/Mentions: If you can get a quote or a reference from your former employer or client, that sort of thing really stands out on your infographic resume, plus it’s not just a case of you bragging, because it’s someone else’s relevant recommendation.
Timeline: Timeline is one of the best ways to present the flow of your career, important dates, promotion, and milestones, and arguably the biggest advantage of infographics over plain text.
Company Logos: Featuring the logo of a company you’ve worked for is a lot more effective than just listing them on your resume, because people respond to brands. In addition to that, this sort of thing improves your credibility.
And the best part of it is, you don’t have to limit yourself to just former employers. If your article was featured somewhere online, use that website’s logo. If you have volunteered for a certain organization, or if you actively support their cause, feature their official logo, as well.
Headlines: You can create a catchy headline that will attract the attention of the recruiters, which will at the same time provide them with all the essential information about your skills.
4. Learn to Use Specialized Software.
If design is not one of your strong suits, check out one of the following infographic apps:
easel.ly: One of the most efficient infographic-creating apps which is a crowd-favorite because of its user-friendly interface and plenty of pre-made templates which you can also use to create your infographic resume.
canva.com: In addition to probably being the best known app of this type, you can also use it to create not just your resume, but posters and cover images for you social media account, so if the recruiter decides to check out your online presence, they will know that your visual skills extend beyond just your resume.
vizualize.me: This app was designed with the intention of helping you create infographic resumes, so it’s probably the easiest to use of the bunch. You can choose from a variety of different themes, charts, bubbles, timelines, pictograms, and so on.
Another thing you can do is to check out as many examples as you can, especially those that have helped their authors land that dream job.
Infographic resumes can be extremely effective, but before you decide to create and send one, think long and hard about whether or not it would be the best solution, considering the type of a job you are applying for, as well as reputation of the company. Some like to play it straight, while others are a bit more flexible, and it’s your job to figure their preference.
Stick to the design guidelines we have laid out for you here, but also keep in mind that it’s OK to bend the rules a little bit from time to time, if you want to stand out from the crowd.
In the end, it’s about you convincing them that you are the best possible candidate for the job, and infographics are just there to help.
Michael Gilmore is a resume writer and editor.
This article was originally published on careercast.com