I recently read this article about how recruiters read your resume. It occurred to me that while a resume may not be a quantitative display in the sense that it's primary contents are not quantitative, it shares many of the attributes with what Stephen describes as "lookup" displays. Specifically, they are a format to allow someone (usually a recruiter or hiring manager) to lookup facts needed to do their job.
What's most interesting to me though, is how this particular type of display must be ruthlessly efficient to be effective. Too often we can get away with sloppy charts or displays because we can either explain the chart (in person) to the reader, or we don't think twice about making them "work" to get the data. This however, is not true of resumes. With a resume, your "display" has about 10 seconds to convey the information needed and sloppy resumes almost always get put in the "no thanks" pile. If we submitted the charts and displays we put in our PowerPoints to this same test, how many of them would pass "the resume test"?
It's a good reminder to me to work extra hard to make sure I have created the best presentation possible with complete, but not extra, information on my display.
My full (short) blog on the topic is here