How to create a visual resume… and stand out to employers

I’ve been searching for a one year part-time job while I finish off my dissertation (HINT, HINT) and I quickly came to the realization that I needed something to make me stand out.  For the past couple of years I’ve been encouraging the students I teach in the Higher Education master’s programs at Boston College and Merrimack College to create their own digital presence.  I have done it with this website and it has produced many dividends and opportunities for me.  Wanting to take some next steps, I designed a “visual resume” or “resume infographic” for myself (see above).  I designed this in Adobe Illustrator, which requires a relatively advanced skill set and design sensibility, but there are a number of sites that will help create an online visual resume for you.  It requires very little technical skill and can greatly enhance your job search prospects.  I wanted to share a few of my personal favorites.  (Note, the “info graphic resume” is a popular trend, and not everyone believes it is a good idea.  Think if this is the right move for you and your experience and skills.)

Simple Online Presence Landing Pages:

aboutme_376x66_grayThis is a classic.  It allows you to create a quick one page landing site that can incorporate a photo, a bio, and links out to your social media accounts.  Best of all, an easy to remember URL:

flavors.meVery similar to, however, I prefer’s design tools and sensibilities.  (Although has been catching up quickly in this regard.)

Creating a Full-Blown Webpage:

wordpress-logoThis is for the more adventuresome.  It creates a full-blown webpage for you.  I personally use WordPress to host this site.  If you’re looking at creating a sustained presence online, this is my suggestion for the route to go.  It’s free, but with restrictions.

Infographic-Style Resume Builders:

revu_logoThis is a different variant from the above websites.  It creates an infographic of your resume.  You can import your LinkedIn information to give yourself a headstart and then modify it as you see fit.

logo_Visualize.me_This is very similar to, but offers some different design options.  Check out both and determine which you like best.

kinzaa logoI haven’t had a chance to play around with this one yet, but it’s in a similar vein.  Note that it’s in beta.

Accenture Infographic Resume Builder

accenture-logo-29515.jpgAgain, this is another tool that I haven’t used.  Since Accenture isn’t a company focused solely on infographics, I’m guessing it’s somewhat limited.

Infogram-logoThis isn’t a resume info graphic builder, per se, but it does help you create infographics and you can use it to create a visual resume.  This requires a bit more technical skill, but gives you a lot more control.

Other sites:

The following are some other sites I haven’t had the chance to play with, but thought you might find of interest:

Is there a site you like that I didn’t list here?  Add it in the comments.

4 thoughts on “How to create a visual resume… and stand out to employers

  1. I love this idea, Paul – but my concerns are similar to Amma’s listed above. I wonder if maybe we could explore further for which fields/types of jobs this might be appropriate and those where a more traditional resume might be better. For example, in my current position as a web developer at a university, a more graphic resume was useful, but if I were to apply for a different type of student affairs position, that would most likely not be the case. I think it’s also important to explore the flip side of this – if a company doesn’t appreciate your creativity in developing something like this, is that someplace you want to work? Thanks for the post and resources – I look forward to exploring them in depth later!

    1. Agreed! Totally. Ah. Gree. I’m thinking this may be the case with a “print” infographic resume… Perhaps a web one is more flexible. At least you could send people to it via link, but not replace a traditional resume.

  2. Paul, I love this idea- I feel like the nature of the work that we do has the ability to be creative, and infographic or other visual resumes are one way of making our creativity evident when we show interest in a position. However, my concern (and it’s one that the Brazen Career article you cited mentions) is that our field may not appreciate that in us. The article talks about using creative resumes in fields that appreciate it- have you seen that student affairs and/or higher education is one of those fields?

    1. Amma! This is such a thoughtful perspective. You know, I was thinking about this when I was creating mine. I’m applying for graduate assistant and part time jobs in higher ed… would I use it? Yes. If I was applying for full time positions post-Phd? Probably not. I think it runs the risk of looking “unprofessional.” If I was applying for private industry? Yes. It may depend on the job, but I probably would. I think it depends on the position and institution. Either way, I’ll probably use it as a “page 1” of my traditional resume but not as a replacement.

      If I include it and the institutions that don’t value it pass it over, isn’t that a good thing? Tough decision.

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