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So, you’re considering creating an infographic resume—something graphic, colorful, and creative that’ll catch the eye of a hiring manager.

But, how do you know what a great one looks like? How do you make sure yours is a well-designed piece of artwork that tells your story in a clear, effective way?

The short answer is, unless you look at 50 of these things each day or analyze and create design for a living, it’s pretty tough. So, my first recommendation is to hire a designer to help you out.

That said, even if you have someone creating your resume for you, you'll have control over how it looks, and there are some basic guidelines and best practices you should know about. To give you a sense of what works (and what really doesn’t), here are four important rules to follow.


1. Make it Easy to Understand



Resumes follow a specific format. Usually, it’s your name and contact info at the top, followed by a summary of your skills, your work history, your education, and any other interesting information that might be helpful for a hiring manager to know.

While an infographic resume doesn’t necessarily need to follow this format, you still need to make these pieces of your resume very clear.


2. Tell a Story



In addition to presenting information in a clear way, you want to make sure your resume tells a story—a story that positions you as the ideal candidate for the job.


3. Pick the Right Colors



After you have the structure down, one of the most important decisions you can make is in terms of color. Most importantly, you don’t want to go crazy with a whole bunch of colors—which will detract from the story and information you’re trying to share.

While you can use some striking contrasts or harmonious complements, you should probably stick to black, white, maybe some grays, and a color or two thrown in for accent.

When choosing your color, think about what it will say about you. Browns are rugged, but natural. Blues are great because they are easy to read on a white background and you can use many different shades. (On the other hand, when using shades of red, going lighter can look pink, and yellows will become too light.) Even moving into purples or greens can work.

For further reading about selecting a color scheme, check out Smashing Magazine’s article on color theory in design and a blog post on Kiwi Creative that looks at the psychology of color theory as it applies to logotype.


4. Keep it Simple



Finally, and most importantly, keep it simple. You don’t have to go overboard or have the most creative infographic ever designed to make a big impact. In general, it’s easy to read, it doesn’t go into too much detail, and it leaves the reader wanting more.

And at the end of the day—no matter what format—that’s what a resume is supposed to do.