The True First Impression of a Job Applicant

Rebecca Martin

City

The job search process can be daunting especially when it comes to creating a resume. Much attention is given to the content of the resume but the truth is that the appearance is just as important if not more. Having worked as a recruiting specialist for four and a half years, I know that appearance can put a resume on the bottom of the stack or the top and sometimes even in the trash. This decision is made before a single word is read. Think of it like this: you dress according to how you want to appear for a job interview. The same applies to your resume. Just remember, “Employers” are people too. Having been one of those “Employers”, I can give a little insight into the thought process when looking at a resume:

  1. A resume that clearly did not take any effort says that you do not really care about the job. If you do not put in the effort why should I in reading it.
  2. Time is money. So a first glance can tell if your resume is organized and makes desired info easily picked out.
  3. Resumes are boring. They blur together. So a resume that catches the eye is more apt to be read first.

So what should you do? Start with a font. Times New Roman gets pretty old and really does not make an impression. Just do not go crazy, you want your resume to look professional. It is not the time to show your personality flair. Use lines, bullets, and a border. Separate sections with lines then bold the title of each section. Bullets are great for listing information and making it stand out. Long blocky paragraphs are not likely to be read. Finally a simple border can actually do a lot for the overall look.

Regent University has a great page that shows how they transformed a very blah resume to a better looking resume. While still very simple, you can see the transformation in process and the difference to it makes. There are plenty of places to see examples of resumes online or get templates. Online Resume Builder has some great ones that are even sorted by the type job you are looking for. Just remember that your resume is your first impression when finding a job.

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