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 many career “experts” are out there promoting them these days as an alternative to the traditional IT resume.
In fact, some of these experts have gone so far as to declare the traditional resume “dead.”
Certainly, infographics are visually appealing, and at first glance, they can make a technical candidate stand out from the crowd. However, once the viewer delves deeper (and if they are really interested in you, they will), they are often found lacking. The reason is because few infographic resumes do what a resume is intended to do:
Provide answers to the potential employer’s problems.
(Truthfully, few traditional resumes do this well either, but the format of the traditional resumes lends itself better to doing so.)
As a technical career adviser for several news outlets, I’ve been watching the trend of infographics develop, and my current stance is that they are useful to IT job seekers as a networking tool when placed on social media profiles (such as when they are embedded in your LinkedIn profile), on personal websites (many candidates are setting these up today), or sent to a networking contact via email.
They can be effective as a form of “marketing brief” or “bio” that introduces your “highlights” to a new connection. (In fact, I have prepared many of these infographic bios and have found them to work well in this context.)
But as far as being a replacement of the traditional resume format, they aren’t there yet.
The reason? Inevitably, after you pass along your infographic resume, a potential employer will respond by asking for your “real” IT resume.
No matter what employers are saying (that they don’t “read” resumes, that they don’t like resumes, that they don’t care what the resume says), the truth is that when they find a candidate they really like, they want a traditional resume and they want it to be focused on how this candidate will solve the problem they have.
So my position is that infographics can be a great for personal branding as part of an overall portfolio of “tools” you use in your job search efforts (in fact, if you are in IT, you should be using a portfolio-based approach, not just a resume-only approach), but they fall short of killing off the traditional resume altogether.
Sorry, “experts,” but they aren’t there yet!