Infographic vs. Text-Based Resumes

When you need to update your resume and search online for resume templates, you will come across plenty of colorful templates with snazzy graphics. They look much more interesting than those black-and-white Word documents, and they are easy to fill out. So what can go wrong? Actually, a good bit. It turns out that each resume format has its time and place.

Infographic resumes

These are examples of infographic style resume templates:

(MS Word template)

( template)

They use graphic design elements throughout the document and sometimes, as in the template, they even substitute whole resume sections with design elements. They are attractive to look at and draw a reader in quickly. But there are some definite drawbacks to this resume format. Let’s look at the pros and cons:

Pros of an infographic resume:

  • It’s eye catching
  • It packs a lot of information onto one page
  • It showcases creativity

Cons of an Infographic Resume:

  • A number of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) cannot read infographic resumes! This is by far the biggest and most important drawback of this format. There are dozens of different kinds of applicant tracking software out there. Some can read information contained in graphic elements and many cannot. Since you, as the applicant, usually don’t know which kind of software you are applying with, it is better to be safe than sorry and not use an infographic resume when applying online!
  • These kinds of templates can be hard to manipulate. If your specific situation doesn’t quite fit the template and you want to change out or substitute certain sections, that might prove to be hard to do.

Text based resumes

These are examples of text based resumes. Both are entirely fictional persons and the templates can be found on our website.

Text based resumes are usually created in MS Word or Google Docs. They are more traditional, although it is perfectly ok to use colors to spice it up a bit. They look more boring at first, but they also have definite advantages:

Pros of a Text-Based Resume:

  • It is ATS-friendly. All applicant tracking software can read Word resumes (however, do beware of headers/footers, textboxes and complicated tables; those can sometimes not be read).
  • It is easier to adapt to individual situations. It is very easy in a Word document to switch the “Education” and “Professional Experience” sections around for example, or to add and subtract whole sections.

Cons of a Text-Based Resume:

  • Can look boring
  • Can be text heavy


Use an infographic style resume if:

  • You are in a creative career/field
  • For networking events where you can pass on hardcopies to other people
  • You use it as an email attachment

Use a text-based resume if:

  • You are uploading it to an online application
  • You are in a more traditional field/company

If you’d like any help with writing your resume, your job search or career development, the Career Center is here to help. Contact us at 225-231-3733 or at or check out our YouTube channel at

Written by Anne Nowak