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How to Create an Infographic Resume That Will Impress Your Future Employer

How to Create an Infographic Resume That Will Impress Your Future Employer

There you are again – scouring listings, submitting your resume for the nth time, and sending follow ups in hopes of grabbing your next job. You may land an interview or two, but they most likely ended with the dreaded words: “we’ll be in touch.”

Nobody likes to play the waiting game, especially when it comes to job hunting. With the corporate world growing more competitive each day, jobseekers need to be extra creative to get noticed by potential employers. Some invest in an online portfolio [1] to highlight their skills, positive qualities, and experience. Others, on the other hand, focus on spicing up their resumes to make a solid first impression.

Going Visual with Your Resume

Let’s face it, the best employers probably receive mountains of resumes each day. You simply can’t afford to send something that looks generic, plain, and straight up uninspiring. But with an infographic resume, you will—at the very least—intrigue them enough to view your entire application from start to finish.

An infographic utilizes visual elements such as charts and graphical lists to make information more digestible for readers. And believe it or not, you don’t need to be a professional designer to create a stunning infographic resume. Here’s how:

1. Start with a Killer Infographic Idea

The best accomplishments always start with a brilliant idea. Before you create your infographic resume, you must first understand the different types of data visualizations [2] and how they work. Charts, for example, is a great way to represent measurable data whereas timelines are useful for understanding the history behind any particular topic.

Of course, you’re free to utilize multiple visualizations in your infographic resume. For example, you can kick off with a timeline that highlights your educational background and work experience. Once you’ve grabbed the employer’s attention, follow up with a graphical anatomy that breaks down your skills, strengths, and hobbies. And to seal the deal, create a simple comparison between you and the average employee in your field.

Just remember that cluttering too much visualizations in one infographic may confuse prospective employers. To make sure it flows and reads naturally, use a long-scrolling format to show one data visualization at a time. This will also make your infographic more readable in mobile displays.

Here’s an example on how to creatively organize visualizations in your infographic resume – featuring Hollywood’s Ashton Kutcher:

    Infographic Source [3]

    2. Select a Color Scheme

    After choosing the data visualization types to represent the information in your resume, the next step is to pick a color scheme to ensure cohesive design. Apart from your creative flair, you also need a bit of psychology to give employers the right impression.

    Take note that certain colors can inspire different emotions such as trust, warmth, optimism, and relaxation. Although it’s tempting to use your favorite color, remember that your resume isn’t for you – it’s for your potential employers.

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    Below are what popular colors can instill into your personal brand:

    Red

    • Intense

    • Passionate

    • Impulsive

    Yellow

    • Approachable

    • Cheerful

    • Optimistic

    • Youthful

    Blue

    • Trustworthy

    • Productive

    • Calm

    • Sincere

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    Orange

    • Enthusiastic

    • Cautious

    • Aggressive

    • Confident

    Green

    • Relaxed

    • Financial-savvy

    • Environmentally aware

    Purple

    • Success-driven

    • Imaginative

    • Creative

    Below is a simple infographic to put everything in perspective:

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      Infographic source [4]

      3. Get to Know Your Tools

      It’s nearly time to give your resume that much-needed makeover. But before you get your hands dirty, you must first get to know the tools you need to use. The obvious choice is Adobe Photoshop [5], which has all the firepower you need to create professional graphics for all purposes. But apart from its price, it also has a steep learning curve.

      The quickest way to learn Photoshop is to browse for online tutorials [6]and various learning resources. If you want a simpler alternative, however, then Canva [7]can provide you with plenty of built-in resources specifically designed for infographics and resumes. You can get started by heading over to their site and registering for a free account.

      Here is a closer look on how Canva works:

      After signing up, click the More button located in the upper right corner of the main dashboard. From there, scroll down and select Resume or Infographic. The resume option is more straightforward, but choosing an infographic template gives you more flexibility.

        You can breeze through the design process by selecting a premade layout. Simply click on the Layouts tab from the left panel to start editing your infographic’s content.

          To customize your design, you can insert additional elements such as icons, grids, charts, and photos from the Elements tab. You can take advantage of the platform’s drag-and-drop interface to quickly add, edit, and adjust elements as you go.

            You can also edit the finer details of your design such as text alignment, fonts, and spacing. For further personalization, you can upload your own background, photos, and other self-made assets.

            If you think Canva isn’t a great fit for your needs, you can also consider other alternatives like Visual.ly. These platforms have similar features, so it should be easy to pick them up in the soonest possible time.

            4. Highlight Your References and Certifications

            All employers need to answer one question before finalizing a new hire: are you trustworthy? Sure, you probably have a fancy resume and some artistic skills. But at the end of the day, resumes and interviews are only meant to boost your employer’s confidence in bringing you onboard.

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            Fortunately, infographics make it easy to show off your certifications, accolades, and noteworthy achievements through logos. And as icing on the cake, try to include testimonials or commendations from previous employers, university professors, and other references. Of course, you just need to secure their permission to use their words, name, and basic information.

            Below is an example on how testimonials can fit into infographics:

              Infographic source [8]

              5. Do It the Easy Way

              Creating an infographic resume DIY-style can be attainable, but it sure is time-consuming. If you want to avoid the hassle and complexity involved with creating infographic resumes, consider hiring a freelancer or professional infographic design agency [9].

              Once you do get the job, then you should be free to experiment with your own design skills. Keep in mind that infographics are not only useful for resumes, they can also spice up your reporting, brand management, and social media skills. Here’s an infographic that fully explores all the possibilities:

                Infographic source [10]

                Final Words

                Finally, remember that there are no rules when it comes to getting ahead. You need to leverage all the tools you can lay your hands on if you really want your personal brand to stand out. Visualize your resume, build an online portfolio, attend more seminars – the only limit is your own willingness to go the extra mile.

                Good luck on your next job interview!

                Reference

                More by this author

                Vikas Agrawal

                Designing & Marketing

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                Last Updated on October 30, 2019

                How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

                How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

                Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

                In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

                Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

                You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

                What is the Stages of Change Model?

                Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

                Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

                Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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                  The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

                  The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

                  The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

                  The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

                  1. Precontemplation
                  2. Contemplation
                  3. Determination
                  4. Action
                  5. Maintenance
                  6. Termination

                  How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

                  To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

                    Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

                    Stage 1: Precontemplation

                    At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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                    For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

                    Stage 2: Contemplation

                    At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

                    You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

                    The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

                    Stage 3: Preparation

                    At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

                    Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

                    Stage 4: Action

                    When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

                    Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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                    Stage 5: Maintenance

                    After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

                    Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

                    Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

                    Stage 6: Termination

                    Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

                    However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

                    How long does each stage take?

                    You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

                    So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

                    The limitations of this model

                    The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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                    Require the ability to set a realistic goal

                    For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

                    If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

                    Difficult to judge your progress

                    The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

                    Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

                    Conclusion

                    The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

                    While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

                    Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
                    [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
                    [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
                    [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
                    [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
                    [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
                    [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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