If you are looking for a way to differentiate yourself from other job seekers and build your personal brand, creating an infographic resume should be on your to-do list.
Savvy job seekers know today’s job market is highly competitive. To make matters worse, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are designed to weed out candidates and often results in the dreaded “black hole” of no response.
Technology has enabled job seekers to break out of the standard “apply online and wait” mould. By applying out-of-the-box marketing strategies such as social media campaigns, personal websites and infographic resumes, job seekers can do more to stand out and garner the attention they crave (and deserve).
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Why Is An Infographic Resume Your Secret Weapon?
Infographics and visual elements appear more often in newspapers, marketing materials and social media.
Why is this happening?
Our brains process images faster than words (3M Corporation, 2001). But there are other reasons we are seeing an increase. Infographics are engaging, easy to digest and people love to share them, especially on social media. You will be one of a handful of candidates using these highly engaging tools to market your qualifications.
Who Should Use An Infographic Resume?
If you are seeking a job in a creative field, such as design, marketing or advertising, using visuals is an obvious way to prove your creativity.
Smaller companies and startups, with fewer resources for screening resumes, tend to look for standout candidates who can demonstrate multifaceted skills and entrepreneurial spirit. Data analysts and data visualization specialists are occupations on the rise, given the large quantities of information companies collect.
Simplifying your personal qualifications provides proof you can simplify complex data. Using visuals is like winning the lottery–you can’t win unless you buy a ticket!
Will An Infographic Resume Work?
The novelty of an infographic resume is one of its key assets, but there are three important rules to remember if you want to use one:
- An infographic resume is a supplement to the traditional resume. Do not use one to apply via an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) because it cannot read visual content. Also keep in mind that human resources and recruiters want to see the traditional text resume. They have to review hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes and do not have time to search your infographic for skills and work history. A better strategy is to send your infographic resume to the actual hiring manager or to a contact you have made inside the organization.
- The quality of your wording matters A LOT, almost as much as the high quality graphics you create. Avoid writing a boring list of job duties. Use quantifiable data.
- Don’t let your infographic sit on your desktop. Publish it on social media and share it during networking meetings and interviews.
How to Make an Infographic Resume
1. Map Your Story
Before you dig in and start playing with graphics, it pays to map out the story you want to tell.
The first steps are to plan and brainstorm. Identify the job requirements you posses and list the most important assets the reader should know about you.
Next, search the internet for infographic resumes to brainstorm ideas on how you might present and layout your infographic message.
The next step is to layout your infographic on paper. Sketch it out to help you determine where to place important information. Keep in mind as you create your infographic resume that you will want to include many of the same sections from your resume such as:
- Contact information, including social networks
- Summary or short bio
- Key skills
2. Choose Design Elements
Color palette, font styles and graphics all help tell your story and brand your message. By selecting the right combination of design elements, your infographic resume will be unique to you.
Expert designers recommend that you choose no more than two font types to keep your design simple.
Select complementary color combinations and the appropriate charts to highlight your data.
Pie or donut charts can show your daily responsibilities or skills.
Bar or line graphs can be used to show profit or growth.
Bubbles can represent skills or areas of knowledge.
Word clouds can help show relevant key words.
Pictographs are a fun way to show level of interest or mastery. If you need creative inspiration, take note of the types of charts and graphs, fonts and themes used in other infographic resumes.
3. Add Punch To Your Infographic Resume
Your infographic resume should include more than your work history timeline.
Add company logos, especially if you have worked for well-recognized organizations.
But don’t stop there.
Consider using a testimonial or quote from your references or satisfied clients. Another way to emphasize special achievements is to highlight numbers. For example, 50 satisfied clients or 14,000 new Facebook fans are strong points to call out in a circle or other shape.
Don’t forget to include your tagline or unique value proposition to entice the reader, and make sure it addresses the problem you solve and how you do it uniquely.
4. Post and Share Your Infographic Resume
Once your infographic resume is complete, be sure you name the file with your name and keywords, either job title or skills. This can help ensure it shows up in search results if someone is searching for your name. Using the right keywords in the document name can also help recruiters find your resume when they are searching the internet.
There are many places to upload your infographic resume.
Start by embedding it in your LinkedIn summary. You can also upload it to Pinterest and Slideshare, and be sure to use the description boxes to list key words and skills recruiters would use to discover your qualifications.
Now you can begin sharing it as a status update.
Upload the file or share the Pinterest or Slideshare link as a status update on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. Make your status stand out by requesting feedback or asking your network to share your infographic resume.
Also, status updates with images are more likely to receive engagement.
Plan to update your status regularly for maximum exposure. Your network may miss it if you only share it once, since not everyone uses social media regularly.
Last but not least, present your infographic resume in person. When networking with people, bring your infographic resume to the meeting and share it to guide the conversation. And why not bring an infographic resume to an interview to impress the interviewers?
Want to create your own infographic resume? Start with one of our templates.