INFOGRAPHIC Resume – Fad or Fabulous?
Today I started something new on my Facebook page called Featured Friday. Each Friday, I will feature a new job seeker’s job-search journey (say that 10 times fast). My first featured guest, Karen Loomis, has done some pretty creative things to get noticed in this challenging employment climate:
- Several months ago, she created a custom website that showcases some of the marketing campaigns she has run in her 12 years as a Creative Director. She smartly purchased her own domain name kloomis.net to add a level of professionalism to the site.
- She is an active participant on Twitter (@KLLoomis11), and LinkedIn where she connects with recruiters and career marketing professionals.
- She has gotten several leads and interviews, even once followed up with a Thank You gift of a book that came up in conversation during the interview.
Despite these creative tactics, she still hasn’t landed her dream job, so she decided to step it up a notch. Her newest strategy is to use an Infographic Resume. With the popularity of Infographics these days, it is a creative tactic that more and more job seekers are using. I asked Karen a few questions about her decision to use one:
What inspired you to create an Infographic resume?
“I’ve been actively searching for employment for the last 11 months. I’ve been doing (what I believe) to be all the recommended things; networking, LinkedIn connections to find people within companies or hiring managers. I kept thinking about my 10 years as an in-house Creative Director in a $1.5 billion company realizing how much I hated to get unsolicited resumes or other emails due to my extreme workload (and always being over my email limit). I realized that as a visual person an INFOGRAPHIC might be the way to get attention- especially if I had sent emails before with no response. In my case, as a creative, I think INFOGRAPHICs also show my personality, design & creative skills more so than text only. “
How do you plan to use it?
“I plan to put a link on my website along with my traditional resume, send Twitter messages to my followers or to select folks in companies I’m interested in. I’ll also have a printed poster version that I’ll either mail in a tube or drop by local companies to the attention of hiring managers. I may even use a postcard smaller version & revise my networking business card to have similar look.”
What kind of technology / skills would a job seeker need to make their own?
“I’m a trained graphic designer with 12 years experience communicating through visual concepts. I used traditional design software Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator & Photoshop). I wouldn’t recommend non designers go this route, but there are some good websites out there that can help with the visual aspect. You shouldn’t use everything on your resume…choose your strongest statements.”
Will you still use your traditional resume?
“Absolutely…ATS [Applicant Tracking Systems] will not understand graphics, and you’ll notice I only selected 5-6 accomplishments that support my desired job & elevator pitch. “
Anything else you’d like to share?
“I’m looking forward to trying out this INFOGRAPHIC and hope it helps get me my desired job very soon. Welcome feedback and especially job offers in the Phoenix, Az area!”
My professional resume writer’s opinion is that this is a GREAT strategy for Karen, but it’s not for everyone. I think it’ll work for her because she is in a creative career and the document itself is a work sample that proves her skills in:
- Creative graphic design
- Defining a brand’s value proposition
- Conceptualizing a visual presentation of a brand’s value
- Identifying performance indicators that are relevant to the target audience
However, not everyone is in a creative career, or has the skills and technology to create a high quality custom Infographic resume like this one. There are free websites that will import your LinkedIn data and create one for you (see my links below). The key for all of these sites is to have a clear brand statement for the summary, quantified accomplishments, and recommendations that you can use to tell your story. While these free sites are fine, keep in mind that everyone using them will have a similar look, so some of the unique WOW factor of a custom Infographic is lost. You also have less freedom to print them and distribute them at-will, as they are designed for viewing on their website. Here are three such services:
Visualize.me – This site features a summary, career and education timelines with hover-over job descriptions, years of experience in specialty areas that you can customize, and a full import of your LinkedIn recommendations.
Re.vu – This site allows you to select only the recommendations you want to include (via copy + paste), rather than all or nothing like Visualize.me. It also has an option to display visual percentages instead of just whole numbers, a breakdown of job duties, and (my favorite) add a portfolio and work samples.
Kinzaa.com – Not as “pretty” as some of the others, with less color, fewer graphs, virtually no way to communicate previous quantified results in a visual way (which kind of defeats the purpose of an Infographic, doesn’t it?). Some features this site offers that the others do not are: ability to upload a video, share information about your personality, company culture preferences, and desired benefits and perqs at a company.
Keep in mind that even if you are successful in getting noticed with one of these new technologies, many companies will still ask you for a traditional resume for HR to “get you in the system,” so have it ready to go before you promote these non-traditional resumes.
Are YOU interested in being featured on one of my Featured Fridays? It’s easy – just stop by my Facebook page on any given Monday and introduce yourself. Mondays are Open Mic days, and each week I’ll ask a different job seeker question. I’ll choose one of the participants who answered to feature that Friday. It’s that easy!