Should You Make an Infographic Resume?

A family member works in IT at a large corporation. She recently forwarded me this resume they received for a job opening. Apparently, it had been passed around the interview committee with the subject line “Best/Worst Resume Ever?”.

I personally liked this one for the fact that I know how much attention to detail is required to make something like this. It says a lot about this candidate’s persistence, design thinking, and eye for the little stuff.

I get questions all the time about whether people should make infographic resumes. If infographics are today’s marketing currency and a resume is essentially your professional marketing, why not?

Well, I think you have to play to the player.

My sense of the interview team’s view of this resume is that it showed off skills that this job wouldn’t require. No design needed in their IT department, I guess. The infographic format really made some things pop out, like the fact the candidate only gave themselves 2 stars for punctuality! Not the kind of thing you’d see on a more traditional resume. Favorite food seemed to be taking up a lot of real estate. Is a map of the United States really needed?

The things I thought were humorous or cute were total turn offs to the interview committee.

I put this question out there on Twitter as a poll. After 24 hours, the results were:

Elijah Meeks saw the early results, which looked super similar, and said:

So play to the player. If you are applying for a job that requires design, data visualization, creativity, or visuals, an infographic resume could really work. When I hired for my assistant position, I was definitely drawn to the resumes with some design eye. Show me (or Elijah) what you know!

If you are not applying for a job where design and visualization are explicitly in the job description (and that’s most data-related jobs, unfortunately), don’t do it, my friend. Another person commented:

I didn’t even know HR CV ingestion tools were a real thing, so if you are aiming to fill a position at a large corporation, especially think twice.

If you really want to show off your design skills but you need to go with a traditional resume format, here are two ideas: (1) Wait until you get hired, then wow them with your design skills. (2) Pull together a portfolio and include an easy link to it somewhere in your resume.

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