The Infographic Resume: The latest and greatest or a flash in the pan?

Getting your resume read and put into the short pile is difficult.  With so many resumes arriving for each and every job posting, job searchers are struggling to find ways to stand out.  Short of spelling out your resume in pepperoni on a pizza, what’s a job searcher to do?

There are so many ways to get noticed in today’s job market.  But are they getting the kind of attention you want them to get?  One of the ones that has come into fashion of late is the infographic resume.  However, there are pros and cons to the infographic resume.

The Pros:

  • They are new and state-of-the-art—shows that you are current and forward thinking no matter how old you are.
  • Colorful and attention grabbing—resumes are best when they are specific to each opening, and this format allows the job searcher to incorporate the company colors and logos into the design.  Doing so will grab the reader’s attention and associate it with the company.
  • Appeal to younger readers—the colorful display and pictures/graphics are appealing to a generation that read books on color display electronics and communicates by texting without using complete words but use emoticons.
  • For creative fields using color and graphics regularly—the creative arts will support this resume type because of their appreciation for visual appeal.  Marketing, design, social media, and web positions are best suited for the infographic resume.
  • Each one is unique—in traditional resumes, there are only a few basic formats, font faces, and text colors. Visual creativity is limited to bullets and lines for the most part.  However, infographic resumes can contain various graphs, pie charts, colors, angles, fonts, and many other options.  No two people will create the same document even if they have the same data.

The Cons

  • HR staff unfamiliar with concept—they are unusual and are likely to be read, but the reader won’t always know how to interpret them and not given serious consideration.
  • Can’t be scanned into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
  • Not all industries embrace a non-traditional type resume—there are some industries and/or companies that are not progressive enough to appreciate something so colorful and edgy.  Think old, solid institutions that have a long history of conservationism; such as financial, legal, medical, etc.
  • Gaps are more noticeable—an achievement based resume does a better job of masking gaps.
  • Color and graphics can be distracting—there is much going on in this type of resume and can be confusing to read and follow the concepts in only a few seconds which traditional resumes are given.

If you are still interested in using an infographic resume, I suggest you follow these tips.

  • Make it the best you can—there is nothing worse than a poorly executed infographic resume.  Think a traditional resume, you won’t send out something less than perfect.  Put the same care and effort into your infographic resume it is an example of your skills and ability.
  • Consider your industry, the company and position you are applying for.  Some industries are more receptive to this resume type.  Do some research to make sure you are using your time wisely.
  • Have a traditional resume for the job you are applying for.  Again not everyone will appreciate your efforts so don’t get shut out by not having something they will read.
  • Use it as collateral material.   An infographic resume is an attention getting leave behind; or a captivating handout at a networking event.

The infographic resume is only one of the latest job search strategies.  Is it going to become the new “traditional” resume at some point?  It’s premature to determine.  But you can be sure that even if does, it won’t be the “traditional” resume for very long as there are many new and exciting options to come along.  In the meantime, eat the pizza and while you are crafting your perfect resume.

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to

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