The Pros and Cons of Infographic Resumes

by Vault Careers | September 21, 2011

As traditional means of communication continue to change and people seek information in faster, easier-to-digest ways, infographics continue to grow in importance. What does this visual demand mean for your job search? One recent resume trend has seen the typical resume format transformed into a creative visualization of the data.

Brazen Infographic ResumeFor those of you seeking an alternative to the traditional resume, here are five pros and cons to consider before creating an infographic resume (learn more about Brazen.me infographic resumes, like the one pictured, at www.brazencareerist.com).

1. Readability
Pro - They are interesting to read.
Con - They are new, and when people are receiving hundreds of resumes, information needs to be quick and easy to read. On a traditional resume, people know to look at the bottom of the page for education and publications and the top for your most recent employment. There is not necessarily a logical top or bottom of a page of an infographic resume.

2. Accomplishments
Pro - They can clearly show how your work has progressed over time.
Con - They make it difficult to determine what you accomplished where.

3. Formatting
Pro - Some infographic resume formats make it easier to highlight your years of experience more clearly than on a traditional resume, using numbers rather than the reader needing to add the years you worked in each position on a typical reverse chronological resume. Vizualize.me—a service that converts your LinkedIn profile to an infographic resume—provides these types of formats.
Con - The same formats can highlight gaps in your resume and downward progressions that you can minimize in an accomplishment-driven resume.

4. Colors
Pro - The variety of formats and colors enables a job seeker to personalize his or her resume, matching a target company's logo colors or creating a more specific personal branding image using shapes and colors as one might use font choice in a text-only resume.
Con - Using too many colors and shapes can be just as distracting as using more than one font and a variety of formatting options on a traditional resume.

5. Trends
Pro - Using a trendy and new format can show a potential employer that you can adapt and are informed about new technologies.
Con - Candidate management systems aren't yet built for trendy, and you need your resume to be easily input into an HR department or placement agency's system.

There is definitely room for the infographic resume in a job search. But, a potential employer’s desk may not yet be that place— some people will always prefer to read text, and the infographic resume is just a bit too new for most people. In a few years, however, new types of resumes may be the norm in certain industries. In other fields, like the law and academics—where the ability to write clearly and concisely is valued—infographic resumes will most likely not catch on.

One way to incorporate an infographic resume in your search is to use it as a self-assessment tool. It can give you perspective that basic text cannot. Plus, charts are fun and watching them change over time creates a dynamic way to view your career trajectory.

For an example of an infographic resume, view my visualize.me resume: vizualize.me/JessicaSilverstein

-- Jessica Silverstein

_____________

Jessica Silverstein is the Principal of Attorney’s Counsel, “a career counseling service that focuses on resume and cover letter review as well as interview skills assessment and social media consulting.” A graduate of Brandeis University and Brooklyn Law School, Ms. Silverstein worked in Holocaust restitution and women’s health products liability before entering the field of legal recruiting and career counseling. Ms. Silverstein serves as the Chair of the Law Student Perspectives Committee at the New York City Bar Association, Co-Chair of the Brandeis Alumni Lawyers Network and Co-Facilitator of the Social Media Affinity Group at In Good Company Workplaces.

Attorney’s Counsel offers resume review and career counseling globally with most services, aside from interview skills assessments, available online. Attorney’s Counsel offers an initial 15-minute resume review via telephone for new clients. You can contact Attorney’s counsel via its online form or via telephone.

Filed Under: Job Search | Resumes & Cover Letters


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