5 reasons why infographic resumes might not be a good idea?

Recently I went through dozens of resumes for a client. My client was looking for a UX Director. Out of 30 odd candidates, only 8 used infographics resumes. At first glance, infographic resumes seem to be a great way to tell a story. With all those images and narrative style, it sure does stand out from the crowd. To me, it is perplexing. Isn’t infographic resume an obvious choice? Did someone ask you not to do so? Else, what could be the reason that prevents you from doing so?


My quest did not end there. Would infographic resumes work for everyone? Or only for design candidates? In an attempt to help candidates and recruiters out there, I did some research. Here are the results.


1. Resumes follow a specific format: Hiring managers are used to this format for years now. At a time when recruiters spend seconds scanning resumes, following infographic resumes can be tedious. Listing experiences chronologically are still the best way to go. Fancy fonts and designs can at times be distracting. It seems only infographic companies are promoting such resumes. I am yet to come across real world hiring managers who have gone out of their way to appreciate these resumes.


2. Infographic resumes are fun to look at: Does that reduce the seriousness of your application? Maybe. Do you work in an industry that appreciates infographic resumes? Even if this is the case, ask yourself. Who is the first person who would screen your resume? If it is a recruiter from the HR team, good luck with that. Traditional companies insist on specific formats such as .doc, .pdf, .rtf while applying. So what about creative positions? The answer is still, no. Our clients demand traditional resumes with links to a portfolio or a website, not an infographic resume.


3. The world of ATS: ATS or Applicant Tracking Systems are used by large multinational companies to process job applications. Startups rely on cloud-based ATSs. ATS are built to scan and read resumes. At times candidates and recruiters are required to input data into fields on the ATS. Traditional resumes make the job easier of scanning and reading data. If the company you apply to uses a text scanning software, then it makes an infographic resume riskier.


4. Are you creative? At first glance, infographic resumes may make you look smart. Ask yourself, are you skilled enough to create an appealing infographic? To build an infographics resume, you should be good at fonts, images, statistics, colours. Good luck with that. If you goof up, it could do more damage than good. It is time-consuming as well. Many infographics resume creating apps makes it sound all fun and easy. Some are free to use too. Try them at your own risk. End of the day, recruiters look for content, not style.


5. I still want to use Infographic resumes: Good luck with that. Even before you decide to do so, here are a few inputs.

  1. Decide if infographics are the best way to represent your experience. An outstanding career or education looks good on infographics, else would do more damage than good.
  2. Make sure it is easy to understand. Don’t make a mess with too many visual elements. Also, the choice of colours and background has to be sensitive.
  3. Focus on storytelling than mere text and images. It is important that in the run to create infographic resume, you don’t lose out on the critical information elements.
  4. Try to keep the infographics simple. There are lots of online sites that help in creating an appealing infographic resume. Wherever possible, send it along with a regular resume. This way recruiters don’t have issues with your infographic resume.

To me, infographic resumes are only an option. They are not a replacement to traditional resumes. While you are applying for jobs, it still makes sense to send a word doc resume to the recruiter. You may use an infographic resume on your social media pages along with your profile. While uploading your resume to a job site or ATS, if there is an option to upload multiple files, then you may upload an infographic resume as well.


Happy Hiring!