Many questions come up while creating an infographic resume:
Should you use a graph in line form or a pie chart?
Should you put a big number right up near the top so everyone can see that important stat?
Should you include company icons along with your job history?
If you set out to make an infographic resume on your own, here are a few key components of these creative resumes and how they affect the impact of your document:
1. The map
What does a map say about you? It could say you’re willing to move for the right opportunity, you’re not afraid of traveling for work or it could say you’re a carefree traveler and haven’t quite made up your mind about what you want to do.
If you’re looking to maximize overseas work or want to show your global reach for strategic management opportunities, using a map is probably a good fit. If you’re simply showing someone you’re adventurous, it could backfire.
When you put a map on a resume, you want to make sure it’s in line with both your personality and the job you’re looking for. If there’s a disconnect between either of those things, it’s probably a good idea to scrap it.
2. The praise, recommendations or quotes section
Often, in a more traditional resume, you’ll see references attached at the end: a name, title, number and maybe an email address for each person. But who says references have to be at the end of a resume as an afterthought?
The question to ask yourself is: Who are the three most important or well-known people (or people with recognizable titles) you could get references from? It’s important that important people think you’re important!
3. The QR code
This is a tricky one. QR codes are often misused and, even more often, don’t offer the kind of interactive experience they promise.
Should you use a QR code? If you’re going to direct somebody to a portfolio or some other interactive area on the Web, then this is acceptable. If you’re not going to give them something useful, forget about it.
If you’re absolutely sure about putting a QR code on your resume, here are some QR dos and don’ts:
DO link to portfolios, reels, an app you made, an interactive online piece you’ve created or a place where someone can buy your stuff.
DON’T link to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, another copy of your resume, a printable version of your resume or a home page.
Instead, make the PDF interactive and include links where relevant. Besides, how often is this really going to get printed?
4. The skills chart
There are many different charts you can use to define skills. Two favorites are the skill bubble and skill growth charts.
Here’s an example of a resume with a skill bubble chart:
You can see the growth in this person’s skills going from tactical to strategic over her career. It shows willingness to take on tasks with higher levels of thinking and responsibility. It’s something an employer interested in developing people for management positions likes to see.
Here’s a resume with a skill growth chart:
You can see what this person has done over time and how he’s learned and augmented his skill set. This chart is powerful for showing growth as well.
If you can show an employer, who might think less of your resume if you haven’t held a job title similar to the one you’re applying for, that your skills add up to awesomeness, that’s a big plus. That’s what these charts can do.
No matter which components you use, everything will convey a different message depending on the way it’s applied. Tailor each attribute of your new, creative resume to the right audience, and you’ll be on your way to infographic resume success.
Hagan Blount is based in New York City and has designed 40+ infographic resumes. He’s worked with everyone from developers in Qatar to risk managers in Kenya to PR professionals leaving Australia for a shot at the Big Apple and is excited to work with new and interesting people from all professions.