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Thursday, August 17, 2006
Visual Impressions
Joe Jobseeker shows up to an in-person interview with a recruiter for a job involving outside sales. The sales job will involve selling multi-million dollar solutions to V-level decision-makers. Salary is definitely in the six-figure range, especially with performance bonus added in.

Joe has excellent qualifications. He’s done this type work before and he has the track record and W2’s to prove he’s a performer. He knows the product inside and out. His network of contacts is extensive. Hard-sells are his specialty – he could sell popsicles to the Eskimos.

When Joe arrives at the interview, he is wearing a blue leisure suit and white shoes. He has a mustard stain on the lapel of the suit and his hair is about three weeks overdue for a trim. He has onion breath resulting from the lunch he had and his palms are sweaty. The recruiter takes one look at him and immediately mentally “round files” Joe as a candidate. Even though Joe interviews well and he has all the right qualifications, the recruiter had already made up his mind before a single word had been spoken. He can’t recommend a candidate with this appearance to a client company – he’d sink the account.

Joe doesn’t get a further interview and is puzzled why he was not considered further. It never occurs to him that he was giving a bad first impression with his appearance. The same can be said for a resume that is poorly designed and organized visually. The owner of the resume may have great qualifications and a stellar track record but in that split second of time when the reader first looks at the resume the visual impression of it sinks the owner’s candidacy.

Ugly resumes are less effective than attractive resumes. Resumes that are well-designed, easy-to-read, and include good organizational elements are more effective. Good font choice, divided sections, good text-to-space ratio, reasonable margins, and good balance make a resume easier to read. Don’t neglect visual impression. It can be as deadly as a leisure suit.

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