If you’re looking for ways to spice up your resume, you should consider using a visual resume. Adding some color, charts, or unique design elements to your resume can be a fun way to get a hiring manager’s attention in a crowded candidate pool.
Keep reading to find out if writing a resume like this is right for you, and to see some of the top visual resume examples and templates.
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What is a visual resume?
A visual resume is a resume that incorporates visual elements such as infographics, illustrations, and designs to make the resume more engaging and unique.
Similar to an infographic resume, a visual resume uses graphic elements to communicate key information about a candidate’s skills, experience, and qualifications to employers.
Using a visual resume
Visual resumes aren’t for everyone. While they’re a great way to stand out when applying for work in creative industries, visual resumes aren’t a good choice if you’re applying for a more traditional job.
Many hiring managers prefer that candidates use a traditional, easy-to-read chronological resume format that clearly presents your skills and qualifications.
If you want to use a visual resume, we recommend using one only as a supplementary document to your traditional resume. Your visual resume can also make a great addition to your LinkedIn profile or portfolio.
When to use a visual resume
You should use a visual resume when you’re applying to jobs in creative industries because they’re particularly well-suited to showing off skill sets in these fields.
A visual resume can be particularly effective at showing employers your strengths if you work in:
- Content creation
- Graphic design
- Art & illustration
If you work in a more traditional field such as accounting or law, using a visual resume could come across as unprofessional to employers and make it less likely you’ll get the job.
No matter what field you work in, it’s important to do your research about the company and work culture beforehand to determine if a visual resume is an appropriate addition to your job application.
One of the best ways to make your resume is by filling out one of our free resume templates. All our templates are designed by experts and free to download for Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
5 visual resume examples
Here are five examples of visual resumes for you to use as inspiration for your own:
1. A non-traditional format
If you’re planning to use your visual resume as part of an online portfolio, or to send to a recruiter digitally, then you have freedom to play with your resume layout.
There’s no reason your visual resume needs to be letter size or to follow all the same formatting rules as a traditional resume.
This resume from Envato Elements uses a landscape orientation to emulate a postcard, creating a unique viewing experience for employers. If you use this format, just make sure your font is big enough to read.
2. Beautiful borders
If you want to stick with a mostly traditional resume format, but add some flair, consider a resume template with a decorative border.
This resume from Easil uses a beautiful floral design as a border, bringing some vibrancy to the content and showing off some personality.
Adding a border is an effective way to add visual appeal to your resume without affecting the individual sections or the overall content. Plus, the border design possibilities are virtually endless.
3. Minimalist illustration
This resume from Fotor uses a very simple resume layout with minimal but pleasing design elements. Using only three sections centered between a mirrored header and footer, this resume design feels spacious and modern, and shows off the candidate’s abilities as a designer.
Incorporating fun elements into your visual resume, like the whimsical design of this header and footer, is a great way to show some personality and style.
4. Part portfolio
This resume template from Fotor for a photographer prominently features a photograph in the header. Making the header a central element of the document is one example of how you can showcase your artistic work on a visual resume.
The sections below the header are centered on the page, offering a unique resume format that focuses only on the essentials.
5. Black and white
This other resume from Fotor uses a simple two-column design with all the essential resume parts. Meanwhile, the black and white illustrations create a striking contrast, guiding the eye towards the periphery and adding some extra personality.
Your visual resume doesn’t have to include a lot of color to be creative and exciting. If you’re looking for a more toned-down but eye-catching design, consider using a template with a black and white design.
5 visual resume templates
Looking for a visual resume but don’t want to take the time to design one yourself? Here are five visual resume templates you can download and fill out with your own information:
1. Elegant typography
Our Westminster resume template combines beautifully handwritten headers with classic print to create an appealing contrast.
Additionally, the design of this resume leaves plenty of space to include detailed information about your qualifications so you don’t have to worry about the design detracting from the functionality.
The Westminster resume comes in a variety of colors so you can choose the one you love most. If you love using fancy fonts, then this is the visual resume template for you.
2. Simple design
This visual resume template from Canva uses a muted color scheme combined with simple shapes to create a pleasing aesthetic. In addition to providing some color, the background shapes separate the space, nicely guiding the reader’s eyes through each resume section.
A simple design like this is sure to impress any hiring manager and ensures that you communicate all your important qualifications to employers.
Our Social resume template comes in a variety of colors (including multi-colored) and keeps your resume clean and simple, with infographics to show employers your strengths. It features a bubble chart and percentage graphs that allow you to focus on showing off your skills and work experience rather than writing detailed bullet points.
4. Clear sections
This visual resume template from CvDesignCo is clean and elegant. Its clear structure and organization are visually appealing (particularly for those who love order). It provides ample room for your resume introduction, work history, education, and skills.
This resume has the added visual elements without any of the worries over whether or not it’s professional enough, making it ideal for a variety of job seekers.
5. Charts and timelines
Our Visual resume template uses infographics to communicate your strengths as a candidate.
Featuring a donut chart and slidable bars to represent your skills, as well as a timeline to track your work experience, this resume is perfect for those who want to showcase their technical skills.
If you’ve already said it all on your traditional resume, an infographic-heavy visual resume offers you the opportunity to back up your qualifications with persuasive and straightforward charts.
Tips for making a good visual resume
If you’ve decided to use a visual resume, it’s important to get it right so you can make sure it adds value to your application rather than detracts from it. Follow our tips below to make sure your visual resume makes a good impression.
Use space wisely
Space is an essential element of design, and how you use it changes the flow and experience of your resume by organizing and giving structure to the page.
For instance, by putting sections or shapes close to each other, you can indicate their connectedness. By making good use of negative space, you provide a place for the eyes to rest, and generate more interest in the content on the page.
Because your visual resume is a supplemental document, you don’t need to include everything that’s on your traditional resume. There’s no point in saying it twice, and you don’t want your visual resume to be overcrowded with text and visual elements.
Figure out what you really want to highlight on your visual resume for your employers, whether it’s your technical skill set, your eye for design, or your talent for illustration, and make sure it draws the eye.
Keep it appropriate
Standards for what is acceptable will vary by industry and company, so do your research on the company culture beforehand to make sure that your visual resume is appropriate for the place you’re applying to work at.
Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid including silly or overly-casual photos of yourself that may come across as unprofessional.
Don’t sacrifice content
A well-executed visual resume should be both visually appealing and full of your most impressive content. It should highlight your greatest qualifications as a candidate, with the visual elements backing up those qualifications.
If a hiring manager receives a beautiful visual resume, but it only contains information about a candidate’s hobbies and interests, it’s unlikely to make much of an impact.
Look at your visual resume as a chance to put a spotlight on what you really want employers to know about you as a potential employee, and make sure it communicates these qualities.