Imagine (or perhaps it’s a reality) you’re working on perfecting your resume and want to ensure it stands out against others. It makes sense as a recruiter or hiring manager, that you know how easy it is for resumes to blend together. All resumes have experience, descriptions, and certifications. What do you do next to stand out? Some candidates use artistic elements, thus creating an infographic resume. Some love this type of resume, while the majority of recruiters and many hiring managers hate them. What follows is the rationale for and against using this type of resume in your next HR or payroll job search. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Infographic resumes are resumes with dramatic text, fancy borders, and/or images. In my experience, I’ve seen candidates use headshots, graphs, images, and, most shockingly, emojis to dress up resumes. These candidates want their resume to stand out and hope the aesthetics will speak louder than the words themselves. Candidates seeking a position within a creative space may also use an infographic resume to showcase their talent. Then it becomes a method of communicating experiences and showcasing their design capabilities.
Why graphic resumes aren’t always the best option
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone sees the same things as nice or beautiful. While you may have put a lot of effort into making your resume look good to you, the viewer may not feel the same.
What’s more is graphics and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) don’t play well together. As technology advances it significantly impacts recruiting as more companies adopt systems to better vet candidate resumes. These systems are designed to identify keywords on a resume that are also in the job description. Yet when resumes have too many graphics on them they can parse skewed or the document may not open at all.
If you are not seeking a creative role, infographics can make you look unprofessional. Infographics can make a resume tough to read and complicate a candidate’s background. Typically, the more graphics on a resume the less content. The result is not having space to articulate your experience and you could be viewed as not having the right job experience. Resumes that have a candidate’s headshot or even an emoji to express emotion will likely send the wrong message. What’s more, including a headshot or emoji can encourage the recruiter’s unconscious biases based on a number of factors, including age, race, gender, and appearance. Before submitting a resume with a graphic, consider if the feature is relevant to your background, experience, and/or abilities to do the job you are applying for. Chances are high that as an HR or payroll professional, the relevance isn’t there.
When should you use a graphic resume?
Are you a graphic designer or illustrator? Then, proceed with caution with an infographic resume. However, there’s a high chance that if you are in one of those positions, this isn’t the blog for you.
In the rare case an infographic resume is requested, be prepared to submit one. It’s more likely in the HR and payroll realm that you would be asked for more information on major projects and initiatives. Make sure you always have those handy.
Just because an infographic resume isn’t the way to go when applying for your next HR or payroll job, doesn’t mean your resume shouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing. We recommend using bold and concise headers, white space, and to highlight the parts of your resume that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Don’t forget to customize each resume with context and relevant data. If you’re looking for more resume recommendations, check out our resume e-book.