Infographic Resumes: Yay or Nay?

Posted on March 29, 2012. Filed under: Resumes, social media | Tags: , , |

infographic resumesby Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)

Yesterday I listened in on the The Recruiting Animal show. Dubbed as a “ROWDY RECRUITING AND CAREER SHOW” (Wednesdays @ 12pm EST), this radio program covers topics related to recruiting, staffing, and sourcing. This week’s guest was Mike Harding, founder of re.vu. re.vu offers a free service to job seekers that converts their traditional resumes to infographics.

The whole discussion made me think about whether this type of media can or will be effective for job seekers. As a personal brand strategist and resume writer, I am constantly watching the latest trends in resumes and job search tactics (usually as they go soaring by to die an untimely death). So I know that it won’t be long before my clients are certain that infographics are going to help them get the next job (much like the QR craze).

Just the Facts

Generally, the recruiters who called into yesterday’s show felt that they wanted a traditional resume format, nothing more. They have hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes to review and content is what really matters. A couple years ago, I wrote an article about “flashy” resumes that covers much of the same discussion (i.e., they aren’t proven to be anymore effective in most cases).

Some recruiters also voiced concern about having to go to a special site to view the graphic, which sounded like an odd comment to me as recruiters are notorious for scouring LinkedIn profiles daily. They don’t seem to mind that. So, if going to LinkedIn isn’t an issue … what if the infographic was embedded into LinkedIn?

Others mentioned concern about Applicant Tracking Systems requiring text-only or traditional resume formats. However, re.vu is set up so that you can click on a link to a traditional resume format for each candidate. Nevertheless, some recruiters still seemed skeptical that they would take the time to do that.

Thus, the general consensus from these recruiters was that although the infographic was catchy, it wasn’t really anymore effective, at least for them.

In my mind as a resume writer, the issue with infographics is more than that:

  • Right now re.vu is set up so that the candidate prepares his or her own infographic. As pointed out in yesterday’s radio program, this leads to issues of poor writing, typos, weak content, or unnecessary info. In other words, all the same issues that candidates often have when they write their own traditional resume.
  • re.vu uses established templates to prepare these documents. As we have seen with Word templates for resumes, you run the risk of lack of creativity in your infographic (once the newness of them wears off).
  • We need to move away from putting so much emphasis on the resume. As one tool in your arsenal, I think an infographic resume is fine. But generally speaking, a savvy job seeker today understands how to present a clear, consistent message across BOTH traditional and social media (beyond just a resume). And audience is numero uno in how you deliver that message. What does your audience want?

Regardless of these obstacles, however, if re.vu can work toward eliminating some of them, I think they could be on to something. Let’s face it. Recruiters aren’t the beginning and end when it comes to hiring, and many hiring managers and smaller business owners will be impressed with an infographic resume.

Graphics impress. It’s that simple. (Just take Pinterest, for example.)

So, to recap, if you can marry traditional and social media approaches as a job seeker, then you are making headway. Prepare a clear, consistent message or “brand” that is backed up by the facts and that is on target with the audience you are trying to reach. And then, and only then, you just might have something worth looking at.

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