Should your IT resume be an infographic?
I’m often asked about the “real” value of infographic resumes in today’s technical job market. It’s a valid question because so many professional “experts” are promoting them these days as an alternative to the traditional IT resume.
In fact, some of these experts have even declared the traditional curriculum “dead”.
Certainly, infographics are visually appealing and, at first glance, can make a technical candidate stand out from the crowd. However, once the viewer digs deep (and if they are really interested in you, they will), they are often found to be lacking. The reason is that few infographic resumes do what a resume is intended to do:
Provide answers to potential employer problems.
(Truth be told, few traditional CVs get it right, but the traditional CV format lends itself better to it.)
As a technical career advisor for various media outlets, I have been watching the trend for infographics unfold, and my current stance is that they are useful to IT job applicants as a networking tool when placed on job profiles. social media (such as when embedded in your LinkedIn profile), on personal websites (many candidates are setting them up today), or sent to a network contact via email.
They can be effective as a form of “marketing summary” or “bio” that introduces your “highlights” to a new connection. (In fact, I have prepared many of these infographic bios and have found that they work well in this context.)
But when it comes to being a replacement for the traditional resume format, they haven’t done it yet.
The reason? Inevitably, after streaming your infographic resume, a potential employer will respond by requesting your “real” IT resume.
No matter what employers say (they don’t “read” resumes, they don’t like resumes, they don’t care what you say), the truth is that when they find a candidate they really like, they want a traditional resume and they want you to focus on how this candidate will solve the problem they have.
My position is that infographics can be great for personal branding as part of a general portfolio of “tools” that you use in your job search efforts (in fact, if you work in IT, you should use a portfolio-based approach, not just a resume-only approach), but fail to do away with the traditional resume entirely.
Sorry “experts”, but they haven’t arrived yet!