Most traditional résumés show a chronological employment history, job descriptions, and results. You managed a department, you generated sales, you improved process, etc. They often don't include how much you made the company compared to the industry average, how much you exceeded goals compared to your peers, or by what percentage you grew revenue year over year. The numbers tell the story, but comparative numbers are even more compelling in order to differentiate yourself. A way to show important numbers, quantifiable success measurements, and impressive comparisons is with infographics, or graphics that visually present key numbers and information.
The Value of Infographics
The value of an infographic résumé for job seekers is gaining traction in industries where showing professional accomplishments with charts, graphs and unique graphics, which you may not be able to envision, is proving to be more powerful than just a traditional résumé. An infographic résumé may contain several infographics highlighting your key accomplishments, experience, and skills. Also, if you are seeking a new career direction or have a patchy, non-linear career path, an infographic résumé is a perfect way to highlight only what you want to showcase that sets you apart and makes you a perfect fit for your next career move.
There are three key uses for an infographic résumé:
1. It allows you to tell the story you want to tell about yourself, along, of course, with the required chronological litany of jobs and descriptions on your traditional résumé.
2. It enhances your profile on LinkedIn, so that when recruiters or hiring managers come hunting for candidates, your infographic résumé captures their attention and peaks their interest.
3. It serves as an impressive, professional handout at an interview and steers the conversation in the direction you want it to go.
The key is to use clean graphics that enhance the numbers and key information, not obscure them. If it doesn't showcase your strengths in an easily understandable way, it could hurt you more than help you. If done professionally, however, an infographic résumé shows a future employer in an eye-catching and compelling way why you are uniquely qualified for a particular position, because you are in control of the picture you want to paint.
Producing a well-designed infographic résumé is not something most individuals are equipped to do on their own. It requires the ability to extract key achievements and important comparisons that may be buried in your traditional résumé, or may not be there at all, and designing graphs, charts, and appropriate graphic elements in a professional presentation. It could, however, be one of the best investments you could make to further your career. A picture is worth a thousand words if that picture tells a story as well, if not better, than a large amount of mind-numbing text.