An infographic resume can make all the difference. It helps you stand out. In the right hands, it can help you land the job of your dreams.
We were inspired by Matthew’s post on landing a job with a Piktochart presentation, so here’s the story of a Piktochart user who used an infographic resume he built with Piktochart to get the final interview for his dream job.
We hope this post will help you take that leap of faith and design a visual resume or CV that will help you get the job you’ve always wanted!
How an Infographic Resume Helped Terry Chapman
Terry Chapman is a technology strategist. He spent the last 20 years working in New Zealand, United Kingdom, and parts of Asia for companies like Microsoft and Fujitsu. He has experience in consulting, strategy, project management, and IT operations.
But if there is something that more than 2 decades in the tech industry taught Terry, it’s that the job market is extremely competitive:
“When an employer is vetting potential job candidates, resumes are typically separated into three piles to determine whether that candidate is likely to be interviewed: yes, maybe and no piles”.
Terry knew that to stand out, he needed to do something different.
After some internal deliberation, it dawned on him that his resume held the answer:
“When you think about it, your resume or CV really just has one purpose and one purpose only – it gets you to the interview stage in the recruitment process. Once you get the interview, your prospective new boss will decide whether or not you are a good fit for their company.
So when I decided to restructure my resume into an infographic, it was with this in mind. I wanted my resume to reflect my professional outlook of being dynamic and progressive… and to help me land in either the ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ pile for any future job interviews.”
Despite his experience in technology, Terry doesn’t describe himself as design-savvy. He went looking for a simple, easy-to-use, and affordable tool to help him turn his information into a visually compelling resume. That’s when he discovered Piktochart.
”I had a good look around the web for tools to help me build my new resume, and I discovered a number of online tools. After experimenting with several, I decided to use Piktochart due to its large collection of beautiful templates and its ease of use.”
Creating an Infographic Resume from Scratch
We took some tips from Terry’s experience and combined them with the expertise of a few Piktochart employees who also created infographics to get the job. The result is this quick guide on how to design your resume!
A Few Tips Before You Start
Creating a visual resume doesn’t take design expertise, but there are a few important tips you’ll want to remember before creating your first design:
- Remember that an infographic resume should not be a copy and paste of your LinkedIn profile or a Microsoft Word doc. It is meant to be easy to digest, so steer clear of big blocks of text like long descriptions.
- There is no way to include absolutely everything in your infographic resume. Make sure to prioritize! Print out your existing resume and cross out things that are less relevant to your current job search.
- Do your research about the role you are applying for. Read up on what makes a great Social Media Strategist, Community Evangelist, or Blog Editor. Try to match the desired skills with your own.
- There are plenty of infographic resume examples out there. Look around on Pinterest to find ones that are similar to the job you’re applying for. Don’t copy, but get inspired and gather ideas. Don’t forget to write them all down!
The Actual Design Process
This is where the fun starts! Now that you have a solid foundation, it’s time you start putting a together a stunning design.
1. Create The Structure
Start by making a note of the essential sections you think your resume should have. Try to go old school and draft it on paper first. That should leave you room for improvement without wasting too much time once you start designing. Here’s an example structure:
Here are the proposed sections with examples:
- A header with your picture and/or current title and your contact information (e.g., your Twitter handle, website, email).
- 3 key areas of expertise – What are you known for? What are your main strengths?
- Your experience – Using icons, list your areas of experience (e.g., web analytics, content creation, social media management, etc.) or map out your previous roles and companies you’ve worked for – whichever you think works best for your situation. You could even map the overlapping skill sets for each position using color-coded circles that correspond to your areas of expertise.
- Achievements – Brainstorm a few things you’ve achieved in your previous roles (e.g., spoke at the ClickZ conference, got Certified by Google, grew online community by 400% in 12 months, etc).
- Languages or other skills – Depending on what’s important for your dream role, list the languages you speak or skills you have and visualize their level with stars or charts.
- Quotation – Think of a quotation that best characterizes you and write it down. What’s something that’s unique about you?
2. Choose an Infographic Template to Design Your Resume
We have a few templates to match your needs. Just search for “CV” and/or “Resume” under the ‘Printables’ format and you’ll find them!
Remember to keep it simple. Now is not the time to experiment with colors and font combinations. Let your experience speak for itself.
Another idea Terry recommends is using a timeline format. As your work history is likely a linear progression that shows a consistent history of employment, it will fit perfectly:
”To create my resume I started with one of the key elements: ‘the timeline’. I held a whole lot of contract roles while working in the UK while I was younger. That was a long time ago, so I wasn’t overly concerned about job details for the older ones”.
Piktochart has a fantastic series of pre-made timeline templates. In fact, Terry used one of them! Try out this one, or search for ‘timeline’ under the infographics tab to see some beautiful designs you can start using in less than a minute.
3. Define Your Opening Act
The next step in your design is to focus on the opening. This is how Terry explains it:
”I wanted to have a strong ‘opening’ to my resume that would provide a teaser to make a potential employer interested enough to want to bring me in for a chat and an icebreaker for the interview conversation.”
For that, he copied a circular picture, used a big, clear title with his name, and crafted a simple, short, to-the-point description of what he does and who he is.
4. Refine Your Style
For the rest of the sections, follow the same process – after deciding the message that you want to convey for that section, refer to the basic structure you designed in point #1 and decide whether or not you need more information-based content.
A great tip from Terry:
”For inspiration, I’d have a look through the Piktochart templates that emphasized those particular elements, and finally refine the style to match the other visual elements in my infographic”.
5. Testing & Feedback
When you are done with the first “prototype”, remember to test it. Have a few people like your friends, family, and people in similar roles take a look and proofread it before you send it out.
Ask them for their general feelings about your resume:, is it clear? What stands out? What’s missing? You might get a really valuable feedback!
5 More Tips For Modernizing Your Resume Into An Infographic
If you are looking to do something for the first time, a wise practice is to get some advice from people who’ve done it before. That’s why Terry offers these 5 tips for anyone who wants to turn their resume into a visual infographic.
Know Your Audience
Like any good visual or writing, consider your intended audience. The purpose of the resume is not to get you a job, but to get you the interview for the job. Try to include enough information to prompt your prospective employer to want to ask you questions about your resume content in an interview.
Think About The Role and The Industry
How much or little text you use will depend on the industry and the type of job that you are applying for. One of my tasks as an IT architect is to be able to convey complex information in a simple and easy to understand way – less text and more graphics worked for me with my role. Again, consider what your audience requires in order to make a decision to get you in for an interview.
Make it Printable
Most recruitment agents and prospective employers will want to print your resume to take into the interview. Make sure that your infographic still looks good when printed! I used the guidelines in Piktochart to play with formatting to ensure that the page cut offs were where I wanted them to be. It also mean that I need to send the resume in A4/Letter PDF format when I think that it will be printed – which would be almost always! In my first interview with the new format, I took my tablet with me so that I could pan around and zoom in on any content that the interviewer wanted to talk about.
Run a Spell Check
Just because an infographic places more focus on the visuals is not an excuse to not carefully check spelling and grammar throughout! Spelling mistakes and poor grammar will shunt your resume into the ‘no pile’ despite any stunning visuals!
Some Companies Might Not Be Ready For Your Infographic
Be prepared with a ‘long form, boring’ format for recruiters or employers that really can’t wrap their heads around an infographic resume format. For mine, I’ve made sure that my LinkedIn profile contains my long-form career information and I’ve added pointers to that in my infographic resume. The way that I see it is that my new resume is creative and reflects my professional style; if a potential employer rejects my resume over a more traditional one, then it is probably not a company I’d enjoy working at.
Have you designed your own infographic CV? Share your learnings with us in the comments below.
This post was originally written and published by Gonzalo Sanchez in the fall of 2015. It has since been updated to reflect changes to Piktochart’s feature set.