Question Proposed on LinkedIn: Are Graphic Resumes a Good Tool in Your Job Hunting Toolbox?

Others’ Responses:

-They help you stand out of the crowd. When the recruiter opens the envelope/file, he’ll definitely remember that first feeling, mixed bag of surprise, appreciation for visual greatness, ease of finding needed information and grabbed attention. If executed right, graphic resume will raise a non-intentional smile on recruiter’s lips and after a brief scan of needed experience and qualifications, if you fulfill requirements, your resume is going straight to the “short list” pile. You will be memorized as “that creative person” and even if the substance of your resume doesn’t fit the job description, your resume will get a second look for sure.

– Graphic resumes are not meant for Applicants Tracking System. A lot of companies are accepting applications online only. It means your resume is going to be scanned and stripped down by some software and those programs are not made for graphics. They work exclusively with text. It means, you can be the perfect candidate, but you can be rejected even before your resume comes in front of the human eyes. This is the main flaw of graphic resumes. On the other hand, you can freely use graphic resumes at your website, LinkedIn, online portfolio, Pinterest or Tumblr page, at networking events, job fairs etc.

Graphic resumes are interesting. People love pictures more than words and recruiters are also human. After a hundreds of plain text resumes, yours will come to them as refreshment and if you did your homework as you should, recruiters are going to show your resume all over the office as a novelty and a good example.

– Glance logic. Recruiters and HR staff are used to traditional resumes and know where to look for the info. Graphic resume’s elements can be distracting and sometimes it’s not so obvious where to look for data.

– Clearly shows information.Infographics are made with one purpose ” to show sizeable amount of information in a concise and easy-to-grasp format and your graphic resume has the same role. Instead of reading lines and lines of plain text, a recruiter can comprehend all of the needed info on you in a much shorter period of time with a graphic resume. That is the whole point of a resume ” to present relevant data about you in a concise way.

– Highlighting strengths. With a right graphic resume, you can highlight your strengths much more than you can do it with a classic one. Using special graphics like bars, charts etc. clearly shows relative relationships between different elements.

– Graphic resumes can be perceived as less professional. Some traditions are here to stay and some mindsets are hard to change. If it happens that your resume comes in hands of a conservative recruiter or hiring manager, graphic elements can be a major rejecting factor as they can be seen as a gimmick or unprofessional.

– Branding. With a graphic resume, you can match the branding of your employer using colors, logos and shapes and that’s an immediate attention grabber. In addition, you can build your own recognizable brand image. If you manage to keep it consistent through the whole hiring process, it can add a ton of value to your application.

– Additional positive info for employer. Using a graphic resume will show your potential employer a couple of things (besides the content of your resume) ” your creativity and talent, your adaptability to new trends and that you are forward thinking person with a good dose of courage.

– Employment gaps are highlighted. If you’re making a timeline of your employment, it’s much more noticeable if you had a gap on the graphic timeline than on standard text resume.

– Networking and shareability. Having a graphic resume can help you to network more easily. It’s very shareable content and can be good for introduction and as a conversation starter. Also, it offers greater possibility to be shared further as an example of something done right.

– It’s very thankful for younger readers. If you happen to communicate with a younger recruiter, a graphic resume will be very appealing to him, as he is used to reading text and watching pictures on the screen, he can relate your resume with his content consuming experience.

– Uniqueness. All classic resumes look similar at first glance. A bunch of text with eventual formatting lines. With a graphic resume, you can be sure to have unique representation of yourself.

– Easy to make. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to make one. With widely available tools (free and paid), you can make your graphic resume very quickly and easy. We’ll come to that later.

– If you want to see some great examples of graphic resumes, go to pinterest. You can decide for yourself if you think they’re an effective marketing tool for you or your clients.

– I think the key which is mentioned in this post is customizing your resume to the culture of the company. Nothing is more important than that match. I screen thousands of resumes a year for my clients and I am often struck by how some would work well with some companies, but are a total mismatch for other companies.

My Response:

Typically graphic resumes should only be used for job seekers targeting creative-based positions such as graphic designers or creative advertising professionals. However, it’s not good use of the recruiter applicant tracking systems that search buzzwords within your document when they are identifying potential candidates and for that reason I must say that even if you are a creative-based specialist, it’s imperative to have both types of documents handy depending on the application. One for visual appeal and sending directly to the hiring professional/interview and the other to upload into organization’s job portals so the tracker will locate your resume.

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