Is the resume the right place for images and data? Let’s spend some time discussing “standard” resume formats in order to answer that question correctly. If you are a creative person who loves to “tinker” with templates or to modify things that are used in a traditional manner, you may find it incredibly difficult to work on a resume. Why is that? Because most resumes are not the place to show off your creative skills.
Here’s why you should not insert graphics directly into the body of a resume:
1. They are incredibly distracting – If you have a cute line drawing or a slick graphic that you created lining the bottom of your professional resume or stationery, it is going to catch the eye of the potential employer. That’s great, but what about the value of the information above that image? Don’t you want that employer to read the document you worked hard to create? You also have to consider that the reader may feel you are intending to distract them with artwork because the document itself does not have any substance or actual value!
2. They do not serve a purpose – A resume is supposed to be a summary document of your goal, education, experience, and perhaps your interests or honors. It is something that may indicate if you have special skills, and will more than likely include references, but the insertion of a graphic or chart is not going to meet any of those tasks.
3. Graphics and charts “tell” – Anyone applying for a specific job needs to “show” their potential employer the many achievements or honors he/she won. They also need to demonstrate their professional abilities and it is only the artist, cartoonist or designer who can use graphics to show these things.
In the end, it is best to leave out the graphics and charts and just stick with the facts as the best way to demonstrate your abilities.
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