ExerciseI recently read a Wall Street Journal Blog, Want to Be CEO? What’s Your BMI? The blog cites new research suggesting “that a few extra pounds or a slightly larger waistline affects an executive’s perceived leadership ability as well as stamina on the job.”  Which begs the question, if your body-mass-index is having an impact on your perceived ability when you already hold the position, what kind of impact is it having when you’re looking to make a move?

According to Ana Dutra, the CEO of Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting, there is a new fitness imperative for executives. It used to be expected that they spend every waking hour on business, but now being fit and exercising is factoring into the executive equation.

Right or wrong, your appearance does play a significant role in the job search process. Because it takes only a matter of seconds to make a first impression, you’re expected to “suit up” and look your best for job interviews. What does that mean if you’re overweight? According to Amanda Sanders, a New York-based image consultant, excess weight can convey weakness or a “lack of control.”

This means an executive who is looking for a new challenge needs not only to demonstrate their ability to achieve significant ROI and to be thought leaders with superior IQs, they also have to go the extra mile (so to speak) to achieve a low BMI.

Now if you’re approaching a job search, in addition to shaping up your resume and executive biography, you might also consider approaching a gym. While content is king in your marketing materials, perception is reality when meeting someone in person.