News media is full of success stories of amazingly eye-popping graphic resumes. These are great because in today’s short-attention span world, a picture can be worth a 1,000 words. But beware of the novelty of these documents. At the end of the day, content is still king. Can you dazzle but with accomplishments instead of pictures? Employers still want to hire you because of your expertise, not how much your resume dazzles.

Positives and Pitfalls of Graphic-Rich Resumes

By Dawn Rasmussen, CMP – Pathfinder Writing and Career Services

Back in July, Business Insider published an article that showcased how an infographic-generating website transformed CEO Marissa Mayer’s resume into an eye-popping layout.

Pretty snappy, right?

Try taking a closer look.

The resume very interesting, but if you review the document, there isn’t a lot of “meat” on the bones. 

Instead of compelling, metric-driven examples of her wins, the resume focuses on job duties at best. And that means that the “so what?” question isn’t answered.

And that’s the biggest pitfall of graphic-rich resume.

While they are long on style and appeal, they fall short on content.

The best way to think of infographic/graphic resume is to see them as clickbait. Yes, you get the click because it looks soooo interesting. But do you get the actual conversion? Good question.

Another hazard you should consider when diving into infographic résumés is that most companies these days are using keyword scanning software to handle résumé submissions for jobs. And guess what?

Keyword scanning software/applicant tracking software can’t read infographic resume. In essence, your beautiful document that was just uploaded basically gets vomited out of the system.

So what is a job seeker to do? You want to get attention directed towards your résumé and stand out, but there are also rules of engagement when submitting it electronically.

My advice: Think of two different actions that need to take place.

You want to have a well-designed resume to personally deliver to your network contacts or people who request it, but you also need to have an applicant tracking system-friendly one ready that you can submit online as well.

And at the end of the day, whatever you do, make sure your content shows value. If you go for the flash-in-the-pan approach, your resume won’t get much further than the front door.