Infographic resumes for journalists

Competition for reporting jobs, especially in TV news, can be quite stiff.  Candidates are often encouraged to make themselves stand out and, in some cases, an infographic resume may help.

Professor Chandra Clark has been helping journalism grads find jobs for years, and she says this highly visual take on a traditional resume may help candidate’s highlight their strengths.

“Two news directors have recently told me the infographic resumes boil it down to what that candidate can do for them,” Clark said. “The icons and layouts simplify what the student has done and makes it easier to read in the colorful layout.”

Clark says the toughest part of creating this type of resume is determining the essential elements to showcase.  She suggests that job seekers come up with 20 keywords to describe their own skills.

“Those keywords come in handy when it’s time to do an infographic resume because I encourage them sell themselves based off those keywords.”

But what if your design skills are limited?  Clark says there are a number of free or low-cost tools available to help create a professional look:

Of course, you’ll want to be sure that the resume you create doesn’t look like a cartoon, so don’t overdo the icons or colors.  Lauren Casiday is a recent graduate of the University of Alabama who is now working as a newscast producer in Birmingham.  Her infographic was simple, businesslike and one the news director found compelling.

Candidates should also be aware that some recruiters believe that an infographic resume works best as a supplement to a more detailed, traditional resume; perhaps posted to a LinkedIn profile or as part of a multimedia portfolio. There’s also a concern that the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which some employers use to scan resumes for keywords to find a good fit, would not be able to read the infographic version.

The bottom line? A good infographic resume can help your portfolio cut through the clutter, but the regular resume isn’t dead, yet.