Does the colour and weight of the paper your CV/Resume is on really matter?

Friday, September 19th, 2008 - CV Writing, Job Application, resume writing

Paper Weight!

To reap.
Creative Commons License photo credit: photomequickbooth

Peter asks: Does the color and weight of the paper your resume is on really matter? What are your thoughts, in this digital age, of the effectiveness of sending resumes on traditional resume paper? And what tricks have you seen or used to make your resume stand out (not folding it, etc.)?

In answer:
Simply – yes, it makes a difference!

OK, we are in the internet world. Guess what – we go through more paper, printing ink and stamps than we have ever gone through! The internet increases communication, and everything from Twitter to Microsoft Outlook just adds to the clutter. It does not reduce or alternate channel that communication in any way.

PDF’s may be green, but its more difficult to look different and stand out if all you do is eMail out 1000 PDF’s. Sure, you need to pay attention to how your CV looks when printed out, and you can control that more with a PDF than Microsoft Word. The first thing my agency does is scan any paper version straight onto the candidates record system in our dBase.

But you know what? We have a little box in the dBase record that shows whether it was an eMailed or scanned version, and if mailed we always keep the latest original. Plus, when a mailed CV/Resume comes in, that always makes it to a recruiters desk, as opposed to a resourcers telephone “to do” list. The resourcers know that anyone who took the time and effort to print it out on nice paper is probably senior with great experience, and as a result they will earn more commission when that person is placed – so put them at the top!

Paper has weight and takes effort – to print, to put in a decent envelope, to post; an eMail is a button push, and takes little effort – and resultantly that gains it less respect. Its why physical junk mail marketing campaigns still exist, and senior executives and legal types use quality paper.

So if you want to look serious, and professional – the extra effort on the jobs you really want that paper will give, will mean a difference: possibly even employment. Just make sure everything else matches up with the first impression.

Good Luck!

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