Ask anyone running a successful digital marketing operation about what sort of content lights up the scoreboard, and they’ll say infographics. Good infographics generate a lot of engagement and are highly shareable. Readers stick around longer, want to know more, and tend to share what they found on social media.
Infographics make all this happen by visualizing information that can be quantified, ordered, or compared. Infographics appeal to our innate cognitive ability to recognize patterns. They tell a story with data, and in such a way that you feel smarter for having read it through.
This might get you thinking: in the age of the digital job search, how do I stand out? Is an infographic resume the way to do it?
The short answer is nearly every jobseeker still needs to create a resume—that is, a traditional resume. However, an infographic resume is a uniquely effective asset for many kinds of jjob seekers and it is worth considering whether you are one of them.
Should you have an infographic resume?
The first thing to determine is whether an infographic resume is an acceptable candidate deliverable for the roles you are targeting. Some of the most common include digital marketing, media, design, illustration, UX/UI, sales, advertising, and in general anything that could be called a creative profession.
If an infographic resume is acceptable, it is absolutely critical to determine whether it will be submitted through an ATS. Most infographic resumes are not machine-readable. And if they are, they seldom contain the keyword richness needed to get selected for the next round.
Even in situations where an infographic resume is acceptable, recruiters and hiring managers still expect a traditional resume. While it won’t likely be your primary resume, an infographic resume can be an excellent supplement to it. For example, an infographic resume can be used as a cover letter, especially in situations where you cannot customize your primary resume, and so you need to stand out in other ways.
Regardless of the situation, it is also necessary to consider what you want the reader to do next, and whether an infographic resume will engage them enough to do so. You may need to include a call to action, or a link to your online portfolio of work. Keep in mind an infographic resume is also a professional work sample, and therefore likely to weigh more heavily on the decision whether to engage further.
Three tips for visualizing your way into your next job
1. Go high-concept
In your traditional resume, you went into depth about your background and accomplishments and presented them in a linear manner. That’s what recruiters and hiring managers expect to see—the story of your career.
In your infographic resume, you want that story to be high-concept. That is, it needs to be fully self-contained, easily understood at a glance, and able to be communicated to others in just a few words. Done especially well, it can reveal something truly unique about you, maybe even your X-factor. And it can be used in other job search situations, such as a networking email, an informational interview request, a leave-behind, or as a part of your online professional profile.
2. Keep it simple (and note that simple is in the eye of the beholder)
When creating an infographic resume, you need to adapt to the recruiter and hiring manager notion of simplicity. They are smart, savvy business professionals who want to get what you’re about, but have very limited time and attention to do so.
A good way to simulate what they are likely to see in the 6 seconds they allot to you is by applying the squint test. Hold your infographic at an arm’s length and then squint your eyes. Is your story still discernible? Choosing an effective color scheme is one of the best ways to assure your infographic gets every bit of attention it deserves.
3. Think engagement and shareability
Finally, remember what infographics do best. Use infographic resumes in situations where you want to increase engagement, or get introduced to someone through a share.
When working with recruiters, infographic resumes can provide much richer information, which can help them make a stronger case for you across the whole organization. When networking or getting an introduction, infographic resumes are the necessary marketing collateral, which in turn can be shared.
With a little luck, you’ll soon be asked for your traditional resume, and it’ll be more of a formality.