Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful

By Mary

When it comes to writing, looks matter just as much as substance. Don’t get me wrong, there is no substitute for high quality writing. But great writing poorly presented will be just as ineffective as bad writing.

Several years ago when I was working in an advertising agency, I received a resume from someone who was applying for a copywriting job. The resume had chocolate (I hope!) smudges all over it. That sent a very clear message to me about how meticulous this person would be when it came to being careful about the appearance of work that went out of his office. Needless to say, I moved on to the next applicant.

Recently I was working with a young lady who was looking for an entry-level clerical job. She told me that she recently completed a resume writing class and proudly showed me a very nicely written and formatted resume printed on paper that was completely covered with yellow daisies. This paper might have been perfect for an invitation to a garden party, but for a resume it was completely inappropriate. The scary thing is that her resume was approved by the person who taught the class.

We do judge books by their cover. We do it every day, and we do it without being aware that we are doing it. We also judge letters, resumes, and memos by the way they are formatted and presented. What message is the appearance of your writing sending about you?

Click here to get access to 800+ interactive grammar exercises!


Share


7 Responses to “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful”

  • 60 in 3

    This is one of the earliest lessons I learned when I started blogging. You could have the best content in the world, but if your blog looks like it was put together by a twelve year old using MS frontpage and notepad, it’s not going to attract a lot of readers. I played a lot with themes, widget placement and color schemes and I’m still not sure I got it quite right.

    Same goes for resumes. In my day job, I frequently screen job candidates. First thing I do is just scan the page for appearance. If it looks bad I don’t even bother reading it. If you can’t even put in some minimum effort in making yourself look good then you’re probably going to do the same when it comes to your work.

    Gal

  • Daniel

    I agree with you. In fact the in the “online” world design and format are even more important than on the “offline” one.

  • felix

    a well prepared resume, whether others may agree or not,is like a letter of recommendation. you have it done right and better, and you are quite a step ahead of the other applicants.

  • john k lindgren

    EMMXX Agency HUMAN RESOURCES Dept.

    I love that. Human Resources. HR. A tad Orson Wellsique. It has positive ring to it. What was it called before “HR”?

    Who coined the human resouces word. Was it a Saatchi & Saaatchi copy writer, a greedy politician or just a simple grey clerck with a coffee induced brain storm.

    Certainly one of them “AM/PM people”. Because they still rule the timeline in the Anglo-Saxon world, that is.

    Before the ‘noon line’ and the ‘noon line’ and . Such a graphic time measuring. And so beautifully redundant. What nonsense!

    It is like using the sextant instead GPS (Global Positioning System) on the high seas. But the vintage sextant looks cool!

    Ante Meridiem Post Meridiem – it sounds so educated. This is no pig latin.

    But it is totally anachronistic.

    As I am writing this the TIME is
    19:43 right hand corner of my Samsung screen. And my mobile phone from HEL (Helsinki) a slim black Nokia which tells me the correct time: 19:43. No am/pm!

    No AM/PM needed!

    But please do not forget the colon. In many countries in Northern
    Europe they write 19.43 is wrong. It’s with (:) 19:43. Voila!

    TIME OUT. AM/PM Sucks!

    Ciao, Sawadee Kap, Terve

    John K. Lindgren
    http://www.carsanook.com

  • Bjørnar Knive Jespersen

    In reply to Mr. Lindgren’s comments on Northern Europe and correct time. 19.43 is correct, 19:43 on the other hand is wrong.

    We also write dates in dd/mm/yyyy format

  • Stephanie Fairhall

    I have to agree with Mr Jesperson, using a full stop rather than a colon is a valid way to write the time. You’re using a decimal, a symbol used in mathematics which regards numbers, rather than a figure used for punctuation.

    Also writing the dates as dd/mm/yyyy is so much more practical. I find that writing the month first is ridiculous, why do Americans even do that? I don’t understand.

  • Elma

    @ 60 in 3:

    I happen to be 12 years old, I have very good content in all of my writing, and I happen to format it in a way that looks appropriate for what I’m writing it for.

Leave a comment: