Employers notice your resume’s appearance before they notice its content. Even the type of paper you print it on can influence a potential employer’s opinion of your character and qualifications. Instead of trying to stand out with bright colors or attention-grabbing fonts and graphics, strive for a neutral, professional appearance that will encourage employers to take you seriously.
Choosing the Right Paper
Standard white copy paper will suffice, though you can set yourself apart by choosing high-quality stationery. The higher the percentage of cotton in paper, the more texture it has. It’s worth it to splurge on high-quality, heavyweight paper. However, if you’re handing out copies of your resume in bulk, such as at a job fair, 100 percent cotton might exceed your budget, and something like 25 percent might give you the professional appearance without the hefty price tag. Also, use paper that produces easy-to-read photocopies. Employers might want to copy your resume so they can distribute it to others involved in the hiring process. Northern Michigan University recommends staying away from colored paper, instead recommending white. Trinity College recommends ivory. Use black ink only, printing on only side of the paper and using 8-1/2-by-11, which is standard letter size. Whatever type of paper you choose, use the same paper for your resume, cover letter and envelope.