In today’s extremely competitive job market, the brawn of your résumé will never be noticed if it doesn’t have beauty. It needs to appeal to the immediate senses of sight and touch. Yours will be nothing more than another piece of paper that an already glossy-eyed professional will simply toss aside, moving on to the next résumé that, for some reason, stands out far better than yours. Ouch!
You may have a decade of experience in the field, preceded by education at a top university and a degree with accolades. Still nobody will pluck your impressive résumé from the stack. It’s not that they don’t want or need you; it’s that you haven’t given them a good reason to stop and take notice. When somebody is looking for a new employee, they want to be impressed by far more than the content.
Does it seem shallow that beauty beats content? Perhaps. But the truth is that you need to hook onto a psychological trigger that makes someone stop and look at your resume. No one will ever appreciate your content if your presentation is so plain it doesn’t inspire a second glace.
It’s virtually impossible for somebody to not see a flashy sports car among sedans or a tall basketball player among grade-schoolers. This is the same idea with your résumé. If your résumé is on plain paper and in a plain format, yours will do nothing more than blend in with the rest. After a while, the résumés all start looking the same. The person’s boredom only gets worse until—wait! This one looks interesting. The layout is unique and the parchment is a different shade, perhaps there is a punch of colour. (Colour is a great tool because it stands out even when your resume is being viewed on a computer screen.) But it’s not your résumé. In reality, the information on it is nowhere near as impressive as yours, and the person who wrote it is certainly less qualified. Unfortunately, though, yours wasn’t chosen because yours didn’t catch the attention of the person that mattered.
An aesthetically pleasing resume doesn’t stop at looks. Pleasing the eyes is one approach. A true threat to competing resumes is if yours stands out to touch as well. You would quickly take note of paper that is rough among ones that are smooth. If your résumé is printed on typical printer paper, not only will the employee-seeking individual not see it, but s/he won’t feel it either. Parchment and paper with watermarks just feel different than regular paper. Fingers glide through smooth, almost numb to the lack of texture, but the instant they feel something thicker or rougher, they stop. If the layout doesn’t catch their eye, texture will indeed have an impact.
Perhaps you should consider a different format for your résumé as well as unique paper. The eyes and fingers communicate to the brain quickly, and the look and feel of something different gets attention. Only once your résumé has stimulated those senses will your résumé finally be found in the pile. It’s kind of sad if you think about it. You put effort into sending out your resume and it might never even be noticed.
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