What is a visual CV? (Plus tools to create one)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 21 January 2023

Published 25 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

People often exchange business cards and CVs at networking events and conferences. However, to make your CV unique and attention-grabbing, consider using a visual CV instead. A visual CV shows your creativity and can leave a lasting impression. In this article, we consider what a visual CV is, when you can use one and which tools you can use to create your visual CV.

What is a visual CV?

A visual CV is a graphic CV and is more attention-grabbing than a traditional one. For example, a traditional CV uses a black font on white paper, whereas a visual CV displays your experience and skills graphically. When designing a visual CV, you can use infographics, icons, colourful backgrounds and creative font combinations to make it visually appealing.

Related: How to create an infographic CV: a step-by-step guide

When can you use a visual CV?

A visual CV may not work well with the automated tracking tools typically used by recruiters. This is because the tracking tools scan CVs to look for specific keywords and terms, excluding graphic items. These are the situations where a visual CV works best:

  • To network: Giving your visual CV to a new contact lets them see your creative skills and sets yours apart from other CVs they receive.

  • To promote yourself on social media: You can share an image or link to your visual CV to attract attention.

  • To introduce yourself when you start in a new role: Your visual CV is a creative way to let your new colleagues learn about you and your background.

Related: How to write a creative CV

When to use a traditional CV

It's best to use a traditional CV when you apply to jobs or add your details to an online job board. A traditional CV is not as visually appealing as a visual CV, but it allows for more information to be given. When using a conventional CV, make sure it is easy to read and has a clean visual appearance. If a recruiter asks for your CV, give them copies of your traditional and visual CVs. Then, let them decide which version is appropriate for sharing with their clients.

Related: What to include in your CV (with tips)

20 tools to design your visual CV

There are many tools to create a visual CV. Choose a tool that allows you to use visual elements and not only plain text. Take note that none of the companies or tools listed in this article are affiliated with Indeed. In addition, these tools are in no particular order.

Use your hands

Before starting with creative software, use a pen and paper to draw your visual CV. Drawing your visual CV is a good idea if you want to work in a creative field. If you draw your visual CV by hand and scan it for saving on your computer, you can use your design to show your contacts your creative thinking and drawing skills.

Related: What is CV design? (With 13 designs to inspire you)

Biteable

Biteable allows you to make a short online video from your CV. You can get started for free and sign up for additional features with Biteable Premium. Biteable lets you display your personality through a video. The website offers a range of templates and animations to create a visual CV. You can also share the video you have made or download it to your computer.

Related: How to create a video CV and make your application stand out

Canva

Canva is a website offering several tools to create a visual CV. You can use Canva for free or sign up for the premium version. Canva is easy to use, making it perfect for beginners. It offers many templates to populate your information. You can add infographics, icons, backgrounds, photos and text boxes to your design. Canva is flexible and lets you download your visual CV in various formats, including JPEG, PDF and PNG.

Visme

Visme is a valuable tool to create infographics, graphic designs and presentations. It's easy to use and intuitive, even if you're not a designer. You can start using Visme for free and then choose one of its paid plans to access additional tools. Visme offers many templates to create your visual CV with maps, charts and infographics.

VisualCV

You can build visually attractive CVs with VisualCV, as it offers various templates, resources, tools and examples you can use to create your visual CV. The free VisualCV account lets you make one CV, while the paid plan unlocks many additional features. In addition, VisualCV has a CV builder to create a visual CV when you are in a rush.

CVmaker

You can quickly design your visual CV with CVmaker. CVmaker has a range of free templates to use as a starting point. These templates range from traditional CVs to visually appealing CVs. After designing your visual CV on CVmaker, you can publish or share it.

Related: A guide on how to make a CV template (with types and tips)

Creddle

Creddle lets you build a free visual CV by using one of its templates. You can edit your chosen template by dragging and dropping text and changing colours.

Easel.ly

Easel.ly offers a basic free option or a paid option with premium features. The platform is perfect for students, teachers, nonprofits and other businesses. You can use Easel.ly to turn your traditional CV into an exciting infographic that reflects your personality.

Related: What is my personal brand? With 10 personal branding tips

Kinzaa

Kinzaa is a free tool that lets you create a visual CV in just a few minutes. According to Kinzaa, a visual CV in the form of an infographic is seven times more effective at attracting attention from recruiters. In addition, Kinzaa offers a wizard tool to assist you when you build your infographic CV.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a free platform. Although not designed for visual CVs, it's a helpful tool to create charts and headers. You can import images for your visual CV. You can easily share your visual CV via a link or by email since Google Docs integrates with other Google tools.

Adobe Creative Cloud Express

Adobe Creative Cloud Express lets you design your visual CV on the go. You can start with the free plan that gives you access to a range of templates for your visual CV. Then, if you need additional options, you can upgrade to a paid account. With Adobe Creative Cloud Express, you can easily create web pages, videos and graphics in minutes.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is perfect for professional designers. It's a piece of software with a variety of tools to create beautiful graphics. It may take you some time to learn how to use Adobe InDesign properly, but it allows you limitless creativity once you have mastered it. If you're interested in a career in graphic design, working knowledge of Adobe InDesign is critical.

Related: 8 graphic design certifications to advance your career

Zety

Zety is an online resume maker with free and paid options. It offers templates and examples of CVs. You can also use their expert guides to design your visual CV. Zety's templates range from modern, to artistic and even minimalistic.

CakeResume

With CakeResume, you can build your visual CV in less than 10 minutes. CakeResume focuses on a range of industries, including engineering, management, sales, finance and technology. CakeResume's paid plans give you access to unlimited templates and you can remove their watermark to let you build a visual CV that reflects your brand.

Venngage

Venngage lets you create a visual CV in an infographic format. They have both free and paid plans. A valuable feature of Venngage is the inspiration gallery for ideas and examples you can use. In addition, Venngage offers hundreds of themes and templates to help you create your visual CV.

Related: How to communicate visually (with definition and examples)

Piktochart

Picktochart offers both free and paid plans. You can create infographics and other types of visual content quickly with Picktochart. Its capabilities allow for an easy transformation from text-heavy documents to beautiful printables, reports and visual CVs.

Resumonk

Resumonk helps you create a memorable visual CV. Resumonk has different free and paid templates you can use. You can also format your cover letter for a job application to match your visual or traditional CV.

My Perfect Resume

My Perfect Resume lets you build a customised CV or cover letter. You can start using My Perfect Resume for free or sign up for a subscription if you want to download or print your creations. My Perfect Resume has a Chrome extension to make it easy to auto-fill and customise your visual CV.

NovoResume

NovoResume is a paid tool to create visual CVs. The paid plan you choose determines the features you have access to. NovoResume offers 44 colour themes and many unique fonts, icons and backgrounds to create an impressive visual CV.

Please note that none of the companies or products mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Related:

  • Guide: what type of paper should a CV be printed on?

  • How many jobs to list on your CV (guide with examples)


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