Let’s face it: nobody particularly enjoys putting together a CV. You have to remember dates, make mundane responsibilities sound interesting and authoritative and – worst of all – promote yourself in the kind of uncomfortably glowing terms that would make even Donald Trump blush. But for some people, creating a CV isn’t a chore; it’s a chance to be imaginative and flex some design muscles.
This is because CVs no longer have to be black and white – literally. Infographic CVs have injected a little colour into the job application process, with the very best designers showcasing their ideas online for all the world (and, hopefully, a couple of recruiters) to see.
We’ve trawled through hundreds of templates, from the abstract to the downright amazing, in order to show you some of the best. So, if you’re thinking of doing something a little different for your next job search, and you’re in need of some inspiration, then look no further.
These are the coolest infographic CV examples on the web…
1. Chris Spurlock
There’s no better place to start than with the original infographic CV that started it all. Spurlock, a self-described ‘visual journalist’, saw his revolutionary design go viral while still in college in 2011, resulting in a successful job offer from the Huffington Post (he is still the media company’s infographic design editor). It could have all been very different, though; the CV’s soothing blue colour scheme was actually recommended by a graphic design colleague, with Spurlock himself admitting that the original colour design resembled ‘a pack of Skittles’.
2. Irsyaduddin Ifwat
One of the key requisites for building an infographic CV is actually understanding visualisation. This means knowing which charts, graphs and diagrams are the most appropriate for conveying a certain type of information and structuring it in a clear and appealing way. The CV of Singaporean design student Irsyaduddin Ifwat is a great example of how to do exactly that, with every section neatly formatted and aesthetically attractive.
3. Harrison Watkins
As already mentioned, colour choices are important in design. Not only do they have a visual impact, but they represent meaning, too – red, for instance, conveys boldness and adventure. In this instance, it’s a suitable choice, with graphic designer Harrison Watkins opting for a striking and visually brave approach; the result is a gorgeous concept that makes great use of the space, as well as demonstrates his sense of flair and ambition. It also proves that you don’t need a degree to be a good designer, something Watkins swerves elegantly in his ‘About Me’ section.
4. Drew Ocampo
The downside of the popularity boom in infographic CVs means that, just like traditional CVs, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. On the upside, designers are having to adapt and discover ever more inventive ways to be unique. This is certainly the case with Filipino design student Drew Ocampo, whose CV – a playful take on a roleplaying video game – demonstrates his photographic and illustrative flair, while managing to actually display a lot of substance and information within his neatly formatted text.
5. Paulo Estriga
Paulo Estriga’s infographic CV from 2012 is commonly referred to as a gold standard of the format, and for good reason, too. Even six years later, its aesthetic remains fresh, different and engaging. The real brilliance is in how intuitive the layout is, though. Estriga’s ‘career cycles’ visual not only looks great but also corresponds with the rest of his text via subtle colour coordination. It contains far more information than you might notice at first glance, offers a welcome touch of fun and showcases an impressive array of skills and experience – a masterclass, in fact, in how to create the perfect infographic CV.
6. Mark O’Leary
If you think that infographic CVs need to be full of colour in order to be eye-catching, then Mark O’Leary’s CV may surprise you. Alternating only between black and white, and offering little in the way of visual flourish, the Irish designer’s use of stark contrast grabs your attention and holds it through a clever use of no-nonsense typeface and sensible chronological direction. It also features a QR code, a useful and now commonplace tool for directing recruiters to an online portfolio.
7. Mike Schmit
In much the same way that you would tailor a traditional CV to a particular role or position, infographic designers sometimes utilise the visual freedom of the format to target a certain type of gig. This is certainly the case with Mike Schmit, who created a manga style comic strip to showcase her talents to publishers and developers, all in the hopes of finding work within that particular niche. Of course, comic book CVs are not necessarily anything original, but Schmit manages to keep hers simple, effective and to the point.
8. Rachel Mallary
Quite often, there’s a lot to be said for the effortless cool of the ‘less is more’ approach. This beautiful and stylish CV, created by design student Rachel Mallary, is one such instance. A perfect example of modern, minimalist design done right, it actually conveys a lot more information than you might first realise, with Mallary’s experience and achievements formatted clearly and confidently. The result is an engaging and attractive CV that says what it needs to and nothing more, leaving potential recruiters intrigued.
9. Kristianus Kurnia
In theory, CVs are meant to offer an introductory snapshot into the life and career of a potential candidate, before recruiters can get to know them a little better during the interview process. This is presumably the idea behind Kristianus Kurnia’s CV theme, where he chooses to hide only his face from view. Yet even without this playful symbolism, the CV is an attractive design by itself; it contains all the vital technical information and experience that employers need, and it doesn’t try to overcomplicate anything.
10. Javier Gutierrez Valdez
Finally, when you’re reading about someone’s education and employment experience, sometimes it can be nice to just appreciate some beautiful artwork, too. That’s definitely the case with Mexican artist/designer Javier Valdez, whose colourful and playful CV stands out straight away. It’s more than just a visually appealing distraction, though; Valdez has managed to cram a varied assortment of illustrations, sketches and concepts into half of an A4 page, showing recruiters his full range of skills without them ever having to see an external portfolio.
Of course, not all of us are professional designers, or even particularly au fait with the intricacies of Photoshop and Illustrator; that doesn’t mean you can’t become the proud owner of a beautiful new CV, though.
Putting together your own infographic CV is actually a lot easier than you think, while if you’re looking for a really creative idea, you could always list your skills and experience on the back of a chocolate bar (wait, what?!).
Whatever you choose, don’t lose sight of your goal; the whole point of a CV is to convey your personal brand and let potential employers know in a nutshell what you can offer their organisation. This means for all the style, there needs to be substance, too, so don’t get sidetracked.
If you're feeling suitably inspired, then make sure you check out our handy guide on how to create your own infographic CV from scratch!
Do you think infographic CVs are a good option? Let us know in the comments below…