What Is a Visual CV? (And How To Create One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

April 23, 2021

People often leave networking events with a pile of business cards and resumes to sort through. While many professionals at these events bring standard resumes and CVs, a visual CV can help you show off your creativity or help set you apart from other job seekers. In this article, we explain what a visual CV is and share tools you can use to create your own.

Related: How To Write a CV: Tips, Template and Example

What is a visual CV?

A visual CV is a more attention-grabbing version of your resume. While a traditional resume is typically black font on a white piece of paper, a visual CV gives you more room to be creative with your professional experience and skills. When making a visual CV, professionals often use icons, infographics, colorful backgrounds and interesting fonts to make their page stand out.

Related: A Guide To Visual Resumes (With Definition, Tips and Templates)

When to use a visual CV

It is best to use a visual CV for networking purposes. It gives the viewer a better idea of your creative abilities and helps them differentiate you from other contacts. Use your traditional CV or resume when applying to jobs or posting your resume on job boards.

You can also use a visual CV when you're promoting yourself on social media. Sharing a picture or link that includes your visual CV can attract attention. You could also use a visual CV when introducing yourself at a new job. Your visual CV is a quick way your new coworkers can learn more about you and your background.

Related: Curriculum Vitae (CV) Templates for a Successful Application

When to use a classic CV

Use a classic CV when you're applying to jobs or sharing your resume on online job boards. It's typically better to apply to jobs with a traditionally styled CV because you can include much more information on it. If you choose to create a visual CV, it must remain clean and easy to read. Visual CVs tend to have unique formatting that may not allow you to add as much information about your skills or experience. Art elements take up valuable space on a visual CV; pie charts, slang language, bar graphs and over-formatting should be avoided.

Keep in mind that a visual CV may not translate well in the automated tracking tools used by hiring managers these days. The scanning software looks for keywords and terms rather than visual elements. If a recruiter asks for your resume, you could give them a copy of both your visual CV and classic CV. This way, they can use their discretion to decide which copy is most appropriate for them to share with their clients.

Related: Resume Format Guide: Tips and Examples of the Best Formats

20 tools to create a visual CV

Consider using these tools when you want to create a visual CV. There is a variety of resume software available, but choose one that offers you to add visual elements rather than plain text. Please note that none of the companies or tools mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. They are listed in no particular order.

Your hands

Before diving into creative software, you may want to consider putting pen to paper and drawing your own visual CV. If you are a talented artist, this can be an especially good idea if you are going into a creative field. By hand drawing and then scanning it to your computer, you are showing your network your creative-thinking skills along with your drawing talents.

Biteable

Biteable lets you turn your resume into a short online video. You can get started with its free option and then unlock additional features with Biteable Premium. Instead of creating a two-dimensional document of all your professional experience, you can show your personality through a video. This website features a wide variety of templates and animations you can use to spruce up your information. It gives you the ability to share and download all of your videos.

Canva

Canva is a website with tools to create a variety of visual graphics, including resumes. You can choose from free and paid options. This platform is great for beginners since it has a lot of templates that you can easily edit and fill in with your information. You can add icons, photos, text boxes, backgrounds and more. You can download your visual CV as a JPEG, PDF or PNG, giving you the flexibility you need.

Visme

Visme lets you create presentations, infographics and graphic designs. It is made for non-designers, meaning that its tools are intuitive and easy to use. You can test it out for free and then pay for one of its plans to gain access to more tools. There are many kinds of templates you can use to create a visual CV with infographics, charts and maps on it.

VisualCV

Build visually pleasing resumes and CVs with VisualCV. This website features all kinds of templates, examples, tools and resources that you can use to make your document stand out. It has the option of a free account where you can create one resume. When you upgrade to the paid plan, you can unlock many other features. If you're in a rush, use the CV builder to create yours in minutes.

ResumUP

Create a free visual CV using ResumUp. This website can import information from your social media sites to help create your visual CV. It has multiple capabilities to build an aesthetically pleasing CV for your network. Use one of its templates to get started on building your document.

CVmaker

Create a visual CV in minutes with CVmaker. It has a variety of free templates you can use to build a more interesting document. They range from more classic-looking formats to unique designs. When you're done, you can easily publish and share your CV.

Creddle

When you sign up with Creddle, you can build a free visual CV using one of its many templates. Options include customization or an automatic one-page fit. When editing your chosen template, you can easily drop and drag sections, edit text and change colors. Let your creativity flow as you build a CV that expresses your unique personality.

Easel.ly

With Easel.ly you can use its basic free options or sign up for a paid account to unlock more features. This platform was designed with businesses, nonprofits, teachers and students in mind. You can turn your formal-looking Word document into a loud and vibrant infographic. Play around with its different features to find a look that matches your personal brand.

Kinzaa

Kinzaa is a free platform that allows you to build an online resume within a matter of minutes. Its website claims that infographic resumes are seven times more likely to be seen, which could help you land your next job. Use its wizard tool to help you build your infographic resume. Play around with its options until you find a look you love.

Google Docs

While Google Docs wasn't intentionally designed for visual CVs, there's a lot you can do on this free online platform. Like other word processors, you can get creative with headers, formatting, font, colors and charts. You can even import images or graphics to use on your CV. Because Google Docs integrates with the rest of the Google Suite, you can easily share your visual CV via link or email.

Related: How To Create a Resume Template in Word

Adobe Spark

Design on the go using Adobe Spark. Get started with the free plan that allows you to use a variety of templates to build your CV. If you decide you need more options, upgrade to one of the paid plans. All of these are useful options when deciding what kind of content you want to help you promote your professional capabilities. And with Adobe Spark, you can create your own graphics, web pages and videos within minutes.

Adobe InDesign

If you want to get serious about graphic design, then you may want to purchase Adobe InDesign. This extensive software gives you all the tools you need to create stunning graphics. While it does take a while to master, once you get a better understanding of this tool, your creative options are limitless. Virtually all professional graphic designers have at least some working knowledge of this important software.

Zety

Zety is an online resume maker that has both free and paid options. Along with templates, you can browse its CV examples and get help from expert guides. Its templates come in many varieties, including modern, artistic, minimalist, image-based and more.

CakeResume

CakeResume gives you the option to build a resume within as little as 10 minutes. It caters to a variety of industries, such as design, engineering, management, media, sales, finance, administration, technology and the service industry. When you opt for one of its paid plans, you can choose from unlimited templates, remove its watermark and build your personal brand.

Venngage

If you want your visual CV to look like one big infographic, check out Venngage. This website offers both free and paid plans based on your needs. Take a look at its inspiration gallery to see hand-curated ideas and examples that you can use. Choose from hundreds of templates and themes to find the exact look you're going for.

Piktochart

Another infographic builder that has both free and paid plans is Piktochart. Along with infographics, you can build other kinds of visual content with ease. Its capabilities make it easy to transform text-heavy documents into visually captivating reports, presentations, social media graphics or printables.

Resumonk

Create a resume or CV your contacts are going to remember with Resumonk. This website features a variety of free and paid templates to choose from. You can even format your cover letter to match the rest of your application materials.

My Perfect Resume

Build a customized resume or cover letter with My Perfect Resume. You can build resumes for free or sign up for a paid subscription to download or print your templates. This resume builder even has a Chrome extension making it easy to customize and auto-fill your resume.

NovoResume

NovoResume is a paid visual resume builder that comes with a variety of features depending on what subscription plan you choose. It has up to 44 color themes you can use to build your ideal resume. Add on icons, unique fonts, creative backgrounds and custom layouts to present your information in a new and noteworthy way.

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