A client wrote to me this week and mentioned he had a friend who was a graphic designer.
Do you have any problem if I used your words, but get my friend to “jazzy” it all up?” he asked.
To be honest, my heart sank. Most people don’t understand the hiring process. They forget that a company’s image is not doing the hiring! The resume has to go through many stages before it gets to a person who may (or may not) get a kick out of graphic design!
Let’s have a look at why a graphic-designed resume may fail.
They can look tacky if you’re a senior executive. The resume is a serious document for employment. It’s not a pseudo PowerPoint presentation, or a cartoon to show your career achievements.
Don’t use graphics to show off. If you’re looking for a job as a senior executive, you have to know your audience. That audience initially, will be HR people or job search consultants/recruiters who have the power to stop your resume in its tracks. HR people, agencies and recruiters are not impressed by colours and fancy graphics. They’re there to process your application, check for keywords and experience and enter your resume into the database.
This is a big problem! If your résumé’s design includes your wording in text boxes, then they too will become an image as far as computers are concerned. Those text images are now set to the stripped from the document. (And a resume without words, is a resume that can’t be searched for the words that get you to the top).
Then there is the format you submit it in. Microsoft Word is the industry standard, so your graphic designer will need advanced knowledge of how to use it.
And… we’re back at the beginning. Even if you submit the resume to the HR/agency/recruiter in Word, it’s likely going to look different on their computers. And you won’t be able to fix it, and it will be a nightmare to edit it when you want to tweak it. And, it still may be stripped from the database.
What’s that? You love your infographic resume? You’re convinced that the first person who sees it will love it too, and you still want to proceed? Ok, well…
…you could try to contact the hiring authority and ask if they accept resumes in PDF format. This may be your best bet at having the resume survive. (Or if you’re a savvy job-seeker, you may sell yourself while talking. The hiring authority will be so impressed, you’ll get an interview anyway!)
There’s a lot you have to consider, and it’s not to be taken lightly.
My opinion? You’re better off going the conservative route.
Even if you are applying to well-known companies like Apple or Google or Nike, their brands will always be separate from their hiring process.