Are Infographic Resumes The New Norm?

Last week we discussed Pinterest resumes (or Pinteresumes) and whether or not they will replace LinkedIn as the digital resume of choice for creatives. But Pinteresumes are not the only player on the graphic resume block: And, more importantly, do hiring managers view infographic resumes as acceptable and competitive alternatives to traditional resumes?

Simply put, an infographic resume lays out the data and information from a resume in a creative, visual way. Since there’s no common standard for layout, they can be as creative, playful and unique as possible. They can incorporate colors, timelines, graphic or numeric representations of skills, maps, charts, graphs, or anything else.

This is obviously a fantastic idea for graphic designers and other creative professionals for whom streamlined, clever, creative design can be a huge help in getting a job. And journalism student Chris Spurlock made headlines last year when his infographic resume got him a job with the Huffington Post as HuffPo’s Infographic Design Editor. But could it have gotten Chris a more mainstream job, or any job not involving infographics?

Eugene Woo, the founder of infographic resume company, thinks so. He told Business Insider that traditional resumes are becoming increasingly obsolete since there’s so much information regarding a candidate online on LinkedIn and other social media. He said that recruiters often defer to that information in any case.

“‘I’ve done hiring for quite a lot of companies, including many senior leadership roles — for GE, and my other startups,” Woo explained. “And very often I also do hiring for my friends who own companies. If I’m hiring for someone with a technical background, I’ll scan the resume for it. Then look for more information outside the resume. I’d Google the candidate, I’d look at their Facebook, Twitter, read their blogs, get a sense of who the person is. Humanize the name on the piece of paper.

Woo claims that infographic resumes streamline that process for recruiters who don’t have the time to give a thorough read through of hundreds of resumes for each job.

“The advantage of the infographic resume is that you can summarize everything in five seconds. It’s nice to look at. There’s also the potential for employers to pay more attention and more time with your resume. But on the flip side, it also helps them eliminate candidates more quickly. For example, if they want someone with 10 years of experience, and it’s easy to see [via the timeline] that the candidate has only had 5 years, they can dismiss you pretty quickly. The employer doesn’t have to calculate the years. In that way, this resume helps with pre-screening.”

Infographic resumes are a great idea, and we know people love to look at graphics. But traditional HR departments and hiring managers in traditional fields like finance, medicine, law, and accounting may not be as open to resumes that diverge so much from their established norms.

“Traditional employers may be reluctant to accept infographics as ‘the new normal’ in hiring,” Mona Abdel-Halim, co-founder of online resume tool creator Resunate, told HP’s Input Output blog. “You risk alienating the very audience you are hoping to win over.”

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    • Accountant’s response

      I am a professional accountant and wish some applicants would send infographic resumes. When you receive a thousand applications, it is nice to see some personality coming from potential employees. FACT: positions such as AP or AR Clerk, Accounting Admininistrator, Controller, ect have relatively defined tasks and responsibilities and a infographic resume allows the applicant to focus on soft-skills, time lines, achievements and software. Plus, accountants are suppose to present data in an effective manner, which infographics allow for.