Whenever I was hiring for a project manager at my former company, I would spend an absurd amount of time skimming resumes. By skimming, I would say that I probably spent 2o seconds glancing at it on the screen. In that pass, I’m looking for experience and skills to qualify you for the job. If the candidate passes that round, the resume gets printed for a more thorough read – typically 1 minute.

I can tell you that I’ve seen some horrible resume layouts. Since our Project Managers also wrote reports for our clients, if the resume wasn’t visually appealing, it was much more likely to meet the bottom of the recycle bin.

I didn’t have a hard and fast rule about resume layouts, but I should have. Your resume is my first impression of you, and I don’t need to know every single thing about you to decide whether or not I want to interview you. I just need to know whether you have research experience, that you can write succinct bullet points and that you can organize information. A resume is not going to tell me whether or not you can woo clients, if you mind jumping on an international call at 7am, or even if you can staple two pieces of paper together. It’s a simple introduction.

When it came time for me to update my own resume for the launch of Harvest Insights, I decided to jump on the infographic resume bandwagon. It makes a lot of sense for me because I want to be working as a freelance report writer (among other things-see services tab or ignore this shameless plug). Why would I give a potential client a 2-page Word document with tons of bullets when I haven’t written a research report in Word in a decade? I needed to up my game.

So, I began researching infographic resumes, and there are some amazingly talented people out there. Most of them are freelance artists or graphic designers. They know how to organize information in a way that is succinct, clever, and visually appealing. My husband is an amazing designer so I had to resist the temptation to toss mine over the fence for him to complete. He would have made something great, but it would have been a reflection of his skills, not mine. So, I went with what you see above.

If and when I ever hire anyone again, I may ask candidates to do an exercise where they create a layout of information about themselves. It would be a simple way to understand what they think is most important, how they organize material and whether they have any natural instinct for design. Better yet, maybe I’ll just mention in the ad that only infographic resumes will be accepted. Yikes. That would be mean. Or would it?