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Bon Appétit

Your Job Search Mantra:

“Everything looks so good!”

Most of the leading chefs in the world do not hesitate to insist on the importance of presentation when serving a dish. “The way you present your food is hyper-important” says Joyce Tang, noted chef from Oakland, California. “The more time you spend on how you present each dish, the more visual interest you can stimulate in folks.”

In addition, a study from Oxford suggests that food presentation can actually make a dish taste better.

How appetizing do you look, job candidate?

So what does this have to do with your job search? Plenty.

The other non-food truism is that first impressions are lasting. And, in many cases, what is an employers first impression of you? Why, it’s your resume.

Much has been said about the contents of your resume, and while “content may be king,” if your resume looks bad at arm’s length, you’ve got one strike against you. And that’s your first impression. And there are no “do-overs” when it comes to first impressions.

The good news is that in today’s word-processing, digital world, it’s never been easier to add some class to your drab, old resume.

Just look at what word processing has to offer – all with a simple click or two. In the old days (when we were looking for our first jobs), you would have to type a word over and over again to achieve a bold appearance. And forget about italics. Italics were impossible on a standard typewriter as were different type sizes. On the old typewriters, one size fit all.

But with a word processor, click-click and you’re done.

Two other visual elements that will make your resume stand out and be memorable are lines and colors. How simple is it to insert a line between your resume sections? (i.e. experience, education, qualifications, etc.) And those lines don’t have to be black. You can make them whatever color you wish: red, green, blue… whatever.

And speaking of color, what if your name, your phone number and email address were all in a color? (We should note that, if you pursue this, in most cases they should all be the same color.)

If you want to stand out, add some flare to your resume. Make your name a larger font – in a color other than black. Bold your former employers and/or your job titles. Use italics when appropriate.

All of these things can your resume – and you! – stand out from the crowd. Just don’t overdo it.


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