This Week in ADDWSU: The Infographic Resume and Certifications, oh my!

This week in Advanced Social Media and Personal Branding, we tackled what was hailed as one of the most difficult projects the class had to offer: the infographic resume. We all heard the horror stories of how difficult it was to put together a resume that got across all of our skills, certifications, education and other relevant experience while using a minimal amount of words, instead utilizing visuals. As someone who struggles to be concise (have you caught onto this yet?), it was a challenge, but I feel as though we all rose to it and put forth some visually appealing and telling resumes. I’m not even going to talk about the Inbound Marketing certification, because that would mean I’d have to say “smarketing” more than once, and I refuse to do that.

Is an infographic resume really all it’s cracked up to be?

After all the work we’ve put in over the past few weeks and hearing from multiple classmates that they would never use their infographic, I did some research into just how valuable these forms of resumes can be. As mentioned in class, certain resumes would fit the style for certain companies, but for others, your application would likely get thrown in the trash, never to be seen again. As stated by Fast Company, you need to know your audience before attempting to use these. If you’re looking to apply for a larger, more professional company (such as Apple, Microsoft, Sony, etc), you might want to stray away from the infographs and stick to something a little more traditional. However, if you’re applying for a company that’s actively looking for these levels of creativity, by all means, send them all the visuals you can! Just keep them simple and easy to understand.

infographic resume

However, as stated by Big Interview, it’s crucial to make sure that if you’re going to use an infographic resume, make sure you do it well. Given the fact that they’re a less traditional medium and they’re only beginning to become more popular. If you choose to use one of these, you can end up immediately putting yourself at a disadvantage. If an employer isn’t a big fan of them, you have to work against that, and even if they are, you have to make sure they’re aesthetically pleasing, easily understood and still professional enough to come across as a resume. It’s for that exact reason that it’s becoming more commonly recommended that, instead of using an infographic resume in place of a traditional resume, you can use them to supplement a resume. This way, you’re giving your potential employer the best of both worlds.

infographic resume

All in all, I feel like an infographic resume is a tricky thing to do. There’s so much at stake with them that it begins to feel like a total case of “if you can’t do it, don’t.” I’ve never been one to tell people what they can and cannot do, but when it comes to something this difficult to execute properly, you have to ask yourself whether or not the reward outweighs the risk. For those of us who felt comfortable with our infographic resumes and would utilize them, by all means, go for it! Just keep in mind where you’re applying and whether or not you should just use it as a supplement instead. If you don’t feel comfortable, that’s totally fine! The traditional route is still much more accepted and you might still find more success that route! The world is your oyster, go out and find what works for you!

Good luck!

 

Questions:

1. Would you ever use the infographic resume you created when applying for a job? Why or why not?

2. Do you think they would work better as a supplement to a traditional resume or should they act as a standalone device?

3. If you were hiring someone, would you prefer a traditional resume or an infographic one?

4. What do you think the best ratio of text to graphics would be? For example, 25% text to 75% graphics, 50% text to 50% graphics, etc.

23 thoughts on “Infographic Resume: To Do or Not to Do?

  • February 12, 2017 at 11:42 am
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    Would you ever use the infographic resume you created when applying for a job? Why or why not?
    The infographic I actually submitted, no. When Ike said my two graphics were the least important, yet they were the biggest pieces on the photo/infographic, I felt defeated once again. I had made like NINE different versions of essentially the same thing. I felt it was never complete or good enough. So no, I would never use the infographic resume that I currently have.

    Do you think they would work better as a supplement to a traditional resume or should they act as a standalone device?
    I think turning in both would be more than just depending on your infographic resume to get the job done. I think the traditional resume is still the way to go, and hell, half the time, applications are online and a resume is never seen, or not until an interview is scheduled. So, again, an infographic can be a supplement, sure, but I highly doubt it would be enough to be a standalone device.

    If you were hiring someone, would you prefer a traditional resume or an infographic one?
    In all honesty, if I were the big wig looking for creative people, I would want both. I would want the traditional with as much background and information about the person, and then an infographic highlighting the main portions of the resume in which the applicant deems more important.

    What do you think the best ratio of text to graphics would be? For example, 25% text to 75% graphics, 50% text to 50% graphics, etc.
    I would say it depends on the job you are applying for. Sales and Marketing? 75/25, including graphics and such. However, I think text is likely to be small on any infographic, so I think it should be as more visual than text.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 12:39 am
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      I agree with everything that you’ve said, especially about creative agencies being a good place to use the visual infographic to supplement a traditional resume. But, as you also said, based on class feedback and the numerous drafts that it took, it definitely seems like it’s something that really has to be used selectively and only if someone feels like it’ll really help their portfolio and not hinder it in anyway! I also think the 75/25 ratio would be ideal!

      Reply
  • February 12, 2017 at 7:41 pm
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    I think you hit the nail on the head. You have to know your audience and if you do decide to submit an info-graphic resume it needs to be top notch. This being said, I will more than likely stick with my traditional resume, however, I think a clean and professional info-graphic resume is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Depending on where I end up applying, I would like to have both available for whatever I feel will best suit the circumstance.

    If it were up to me to choose between the two resumes as an employer, I would more than likely go with a traditional resume. Should it fit better with the creativity in a more visual position, the info-graphic resume would stand a pretty solid chance but I feel that it should be accompanied by a professional, by-the-book traditional resume.

    As you said, the info-graphic resume is a tricky mistress of visual content versus effectively communicating what you want to showcase in a concise series of information blocks. This being said, if accompanied with a traditional resume I think an info-graphic resume should be mainly visual with little text to simply add context of what you’re saying.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 12:41 am
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      I can definitely understand why sticking with a traditional resume seems to be the common response. Even though I was happy with how my infographic turned out, I would still prefer to use it as a supplement more than anything else, because it definitely could be a hindrance instead. I like how you explained the ratios as well. It really does need to be minimal words that accentuate what you’re trying to get across, instead of point blank explaining it.

      Reply
  • February 14, 2017 at 12:07 am
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    Great post, Serenity! I wouldn’t have thought at first that an infographic could be a disadvantage in that way.

    1. I would use my infographic resume to apply for a job, if and only if it would be appropriate to use it, and I had revised version I could send. As you mentioned in your post, infographic could make our break the hiring chances someone has depending on the company, but it is a nice thing to do if done well. Which would be my other trepidation about using my infographic. I do not think the one I have is bad, but as everyone pointed out in class when we looked at it, there are places it could be improved.

    2. From what you have shown us in the research for your post, and my personal opinion, I think an infographic should supplement a traditional resume. Traditional resumes are a way of showing a potential employer some work history that probably won’t be going out of style for some time, and you never know how employers are going to react to something like an infographic, it just depends. Since traditional resumes have been around longer than infographics, it would definitely be a safe idea to keep a traditional resume along with the infographic just in case.

    3. If I was hiring someone, I would want to see a traditional resume personally, but that really depends on what kind of company I run too. Depending on what I would be hiring the person for, a well-done infographic may score them some points when compared to the other potential hire-ees.

    4. Since infographics are purely based on the visual aspects, but so many visuals will likely need text to do some explaining, it’d have to say 70% visuals, 30% text. With this ratio, the text can never outshine the visuals, because 70% contrasted against 30% of the whole infographic is no contest!

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 12:43 am
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      I completely agree on wanting to see a traditional resume. As much as I like the way that the infographic resumes work, I don’t feel as though they fully can describe what you did and what any achievements and/or responsibilities were quite as well as being able to write them out can. I do think, however, that it could be an interesting overview to a resume — sort of like a highlight reel of a sort. It could work as something that showcases who you are and catches someone’s eye, but the traditional resume can be used to answer any further questions the given employer might have.

      Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 9:46 am
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    Thanks for the post, Serenity! Well done!

    1. Would you ever use the infographic resume you created when applying for a job? Why or why not?
    Personally, I probably wouldn’t use an infographic resume to apply for a job, at least not initially. I don’t know, I just feel like my resume is probably one of the first impressions an employer will have of me, and I’d like that impression to be one of professionalism. This isn’t to say that these can’t be professional, but unless an employer really encourages that kind of creativity during the application process, I think it’d be best to stick to more traditional resumes.

    2. Do you think they would work better as a supplement to a traditional resume or should they act as a standalone device?
    Oh, I can definitely see infographics being a really interesting supplement to a resume. Especially digitally, they have a ton of flare that, depending on what companies are looking at you, could really set you apart from other applicants. They’d certainly look beautiful on a LinkedIn profile and, if designed well as yours was, would be a nice display of skill in design and creativity.

    3. If you were hiring someone, would you prefer a traditional resume or an infographic one?
    If I were hiring, I think I’d prefer more of a traditional resume format simply because they’re easier to judge. Especially for a company who sees a high volume of applicants, you kind of have to streamline your employee prospects pretty quickly just to get through all of the applications without taking too much time on each one, and traditional resumes don’t feel like they’d take as much attention to sort through. Not only that, but since most resumes kind of follow a similar format, they’re just easier to compare to one another. Maybe an infographic would be a cool thing to see for a second interview or something, though!

    4. What do you think the best ratio of text to graphics would be? For example, 25% text to 75% graphics, 50% text to 50% graphics, etc.
    I’m not sure if there’s a hard and fast rule for this, so I don’t know if I can give it a percentage. However, I think for this medium, being able to show is better than being able to tell. If a designer can represent their key points in graphics that look clean, are concise, and are coherent, then I say go for it!

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 12:45 am
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      Definitely a valid point about the ratios not being able to be a hard and fast thing! It really is all about what you’re trying to convey and what you feel most effectively gets the point across. I also agree with what you said about wanting to have an air of professionalism when applying for a job. Unfortunately, as aesthetically pleasing and interesting as the infographics can be, if that’s not what a company is looking for or what you’re trying to get hired on for, it’s not going to do you much good and could actually end up a detriment instead. Knowing your audience is definitely a crucial thing to keep in mind with these.

      Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 2:18 pm
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    I would not use the infographic that was showcased to the class to a potential employer because I do not think that it is good enough, I would try to make a whole new and much better one if I was trying to use an infographic to get a job. Mine did not showcase exactly how good I am I know I can do much better then that one.

    If you are going to use a infographic I think it should stand alone. There really is little use for having a traditional resume and then turning in a infographic with all the same information on it just in a more glittery form, it’s redundant. I think you should use one or the other depending on the audience like said above.

    If I was hiring I would want infographics over resumes one hundred percent, I feel I would know ten times more about the person looking at a infographic than a resume. When you do a infographic you are able to provide evidence or back up the skills you say you have with links or pictures. You can also show personality which is important to me.

    My ratio of text to pics in a infographic would be sixty/forty, I don’t care which is more or which is less but I want to see more of one than the other just depends on what the infographic is about or for.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 12:49 am
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      I found it really interesting that you thought the infographic should standalone rather than be a supplement, as many other people in the class thought, but I can definitely see where you’re coming from with it! There’s a chance that submitting it as a supplement (especially for a first interview) might be submitting a little bit too much and giving a potential employer more to look at than they were hoping for. It’s not a guaranteed way to work your way out of even getting an interview, but I can also see how hiring managers could potentially get annoyed by that sort of thing. Great point!

      Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 5:14 pm
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    1. Would you ever use the infographic resume you created when applying for a job? Why or why not?
    I dont think i would use the specific one I made for the class but I would definitely use one because I feel like it allows you to really highlight the main points that might help you get the job.

    2. Do you think they would work better as a supplement to a traditional resume or should they act as a standalone device?
    I dont think that they should be the only thing you submit with the application, I think it should be more of like a “sneak peek” to your whole resume.

    3. If you were hiring someone, would you prefer a traditional resume or an infographic one?
    It would depend on what the job was but I think infographic resumes show personality and creativity that help people stand out against competitors.

    4. What do you think the best ratio of text to graphics would be? For example, 25% text to 75% graphics, 50% text to 50% graphics, etc.
    I think it should be about 25% text to 75% graphic because if I were to look at an infographic resume that was mostly text I would just ask the person why they didnt just submit their actual resume.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 12:50 am
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      I really like what you said about the infographic being a “sneak peek” to your resume, because that’s how I’ve been starting to see them! They could be a nice way for an employer to get an overview of who you are and what your skills are, and if that catches their interest, then they can move onto your resume to ensure that you really are the sort of candidate that they’re looking for. I think it’d be a nice way to set resumes apart from the same old traditional ones as well. However, it’s up in the air as to whether or not that sort of difference would be welcomed or not.

      Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 5:21 pm
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    I absolutely would use an infographic resume when applying for a job. This is one of the things that I found to be a very fun activity, and I think that more and more companies are going towards a creative direction. This is a great way to show my creativity and to express who I am along with my skills and qualifications.

    I think that if they are a supplement to a traditional resume then many employers will overlook them. If it is a standalone device then whoever makes the best representation will be the standout. However, fitting all of your resume onto a graphic is hard, so a system of starting with an infographic resume then having a next round of traditional resumes from the candidates. Then taking both would be a good idea. Taking them both is a good idea, but taking them separately.

    I would like an infographic to grab my attention and to see how well that the person can decide what is important. What a person puts on their graphic is a big tell to who they are.

    I would like a 60% text to 40% graphics, but I would also like some text explaining some of the graphics. This balance is something that is very hard to accomplish, and I would also like quite a bit of ‘white space’.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 12:52 am
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      I definitely agree with what you said about utilizing both the traditional resume and the infographic version, but at two different points in time, not together. I hadn’t entirely thought about it that way when I posed the question, but the more I think about it, I can see how it could be potentially overwhelming. It might be a nice thing to submit to get yourself noticed and get your foot in the door and to that initial interview. From there, bringing a traditional resume to further represent one’s skills doesn’t seem like a bad idea. I’m glad someone else was fond of using an infographic and the assignment as a whole, though! It was definitely one that I enjoyed.

      Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 8:12 pm
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    Great job with your post Serenity!

    First, I believe having multiple ways to describe yourself to potential employers is essential to standing out in interviews. As others have discussed in earlier posts, the decision to use an infographic during a job hunt weighs significantly on the job. However, it doesn’t hurt to have options. Also, finding new ways to describe yourself and the accomplishments you’ve achieved will be very beneficial.

    The key to the infographic is to use it as a supplement to your resume. This doesn’t mean our resumes should be lengthy or wordy. On the contrary, the resume should be short and sweet leaving the employer to want to know more about you. The same goes for the infographic. If you want to give your life story build a website!

    If I was running a company and as a part of our pillars of success was to be innovative adding young staff that thought outside the box I would definitely prefer an infographic over a resume. However, if I was in charge of hiring in a federal job or hiring medical staff an infographic may be inappropriate. Really depends on the type of company and job.

    Finally if your going to create an infographic, the majority of the space should be visual. At least a 75/25 split between visuals and text. The reason for such a high percentage is to highlight the significance of the text that you do add. As well as, creating more aesthetic appeal.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 12:55 am
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      I like your point about keeping thing concise! The infographic assignment forced us to be a little more concise, especially since we were instructed to keep things mostly visual and the mediums we had available to work with only allowed for a certain amount of space, but that definitely applies to a traditional resume as well. I feel as though too many people make the mistake of putting every little detail on a resume, instead of catering a resume to a job. If you’re applying for a job with a marketing firm, I’m sure that time you worked at a restaurant in high school probably wouldn’t be entirely relevant, so you could leave it off. When you only have a limited amount of time to catch someone’s attention, it really is key to make sure you’re putting the best version of yourself forward.

      Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 11:35 pm
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    Serenity you did a great job with this post!

    I would use the infographic resume that I created when applying for jobs. I worked on my Infographic resume for a couple of hours and was pleased with the final product. It was a good draft and I spent another hour tweaking my original creation using the feedback that I received in class. I think that my Infographic has all the information that I would want future employees to see. These components include links to my articles, statistics, photos that I have taken, and other relevant personal information.

    I think that my Infographic should act as a companion piece to my traditional resume. My resume has everything that I have done including previous jobs, skills, and other relevant information. My Infographic is designed to be a visual summary of my actual resume, a tasting of sorts.

    If I was hiring someone I would prefer both a traditional and infographic resume. That way I am able to see a detailed account of their work history but at the same time I would use the Infographic as a guide to pick out the most relevant information. Essentially the quality of the Infographic would determine whether or not I look at the traditional resume, the better the Infographic, a higher chance I look at the resume, a higher chance you get the job.

    I think the best ratio of text to graphics would be 25% text and 75% graphics.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 12:57 am
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      Great point about the quality of the infographic being an important factor! One of the biggest points that kept coming up when I was doing the research for this post was that if you didn’t feel confident that you could put forward an aesthetically pleasing and well put together infographic, you were better off not taking chances with it. Since they’re such a new medium, employers are definitely going to be critical of them. Additionally, when you’re doing something in the form of these graphics, it really shows the skills you have in that particular area. Sure, there’s a certain level of finesse to designing a resume and making that look good, but when you take an infographic into account, it becomes a whole new ball game.

      Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 11:49 pm
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    I would use mine. I put a lot of thought into it and I love how it turned out. I feel like they are good opportunities to test out different ways to showcase yourself, they don’t take the time and commitment of a website. They are easy to share, simple to ready, and I can use all of the pink I want! I love infographics!
    I like the traditionalism of a standard resume. I feel like this should be the add on opportunity to show the creative side a candidate posses. This leads to my opinion on if I was looking for an employee. I would like both. I think giving people the opportunity to show you how creative they are, can give you a truer sense of how they would fit in your company. The infograpics allow personality to show, which is just as important (in my field) as how well they work.
    I prefer more text. I associate graphics, images, and charts with presentations (which I also love). And resumes with only text. In my mind, infograpics are the perfect medium; plentiful context and imagery. Simple things like brackground, font design and icons count as images, so having text content that gives detail and explanation is important. Icons leave much room for interpretation, which is why it’s ok in presentations. So because I can’t speak to the people viewing my infograpic on the web, I prefer more text.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 1:00 am
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      I think you had a really good point about why people should use both, as well as the overall structure of them. I can see where you’re coming from with the preference to ensure you use enough text to cover everything as thoroughly as needed to get the point across, because I can definitely see how things could get convoluted, especially in terms of experiences. With the skills and certifications, it’s not as bad, because some of those are more recognizable, but in terms of using them to represent former employment or experiences, it could easily get confused or be too vague. You definitely want to be concise, but you don’t want to be so concise that no one can understand what you were trying to stay. Great points!

      Reply
  • February 15, 2017 at 11:55 pm
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    I don’t think I would create an infographic for a job I’d apply for. Sure, they’re nice to look at, but something about them says, “look at me, I’m an edgy 12 year old with a hair flip.” Like, no Jan. I don’t think it would work well in a traditional corporate setting. Now, if I were to apply for a flash-in-the-pan type of company that would most likely go bankrupt in 5 years, sure.

    I think an infographic would work better as supplemental material, you know, kinda like a pre-order bonus. Since infographics work well with numbers, maybe you could do more reaching…I mean, put your reach on there rather than on the standard black and white resume. It would definitely work as a “by the numbers” kind of thing.

    If I were to hire someone, I’d rather them submit a traditional resume rather than an infographic. Imagine if someone submitted an infographic with a tragic color scheme, like with red text, and actually thought is was okay. What would I do? Delete, delete…delete, delete, delete. I feel like a traditional resume might represent one’s work better than an infohraphic.

    I honestly don’t know about the ration, but I do know this: if you use images, PUHLEASE don’t use ones with a white background if the background of your infographic isn’t white. It looks very google images, ctrl+c, ctrl+v, Mariah Carey NYE performance level of tragic. You betta open Photoshop, use the magic wand, ctrl+x the white, and save the image as a .png. Also, use the same kind of graphics. Use all flat, or all 3D, but don’t mix them.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 1:03 am
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      I can definitely see where you’re coming from with the quality of the infographic. That’s one of the riskiest things about using them in my opinion. If they’re done well and the employer agrees, great, but if not, that becomes troublesome. For example, if you were looking for a job designing something for a creative based company, but they didn’t like the style of your infographic, that could disqualify you from the position, even if you might’ve had a supplementary portfolio that was more their style. I also wholeheartedly agree on using vector images. It definitely doesn’t give the impression that people want to give when there’s a white background of a logo over a colored background of the overall infographic. It’s a relatively easy process to go through, so there’s definitely no excuses there.

      Reply
  • February 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm
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    I will absolutely use my infographic when applying for jobs. My infographic really visually helps employers what I have truly accomplished with NO BULL, especially with the additions of the videos for the events I helped put together, I think using my graphic will help them understand visually over my original resume.

    If I was hiring someone, I think I would ask for an infographic because I would want to understand that person’s style. Plus an infographic is more fun too look at than a resume.

    I think it would depend on how much text you use, but I think the text should be very too the point. I would say 25% text to 75% graphic.

    Reply

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