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Do You Really Need Special Paper For Your Resume?

And if so, what scent??

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It’s time we have a little chat about a historically contentious debate. It’s not about the chicken or the egg (who can say) or if tomatoes really are a fruit (they are). It’s about the most controversial of all—do you really need special paper for your resume? It’s 2019. We’re past that, right?

Why would you ever need special resume paper?

Let’s set the scene—it’s 40 years ago and you’re setting off to apply for a bunch of different jobs. What do you do? You print out your resume on the highest-quality paper available so you’ll stand out when you send your resume in the mail. Premium paper could help you get noticed, right? Even in 1980, that’s a big maybe.

But in 2019, I don’t know anyone who still prints out their resume and mails it to hiring managers. We’ve moved almost exclusively to applying to jobs online. 

Read more: How Long Should Your Resume Be? 8 Resume Myths, Busted

So, why are we even talking about resume paper if everything is done online? 

Number one: career fairs. Always bring several copies of your resume to hand out to recruiters. 

And number two: in-person interviews. If you land that initial interview, you’ll want to bring a hard copy of your resume to your interview. Clearly, you’ve already made a good impression if you’ve been invited to an interview. The hiring manager isn’t going to penalize you for not presenting gold-trimmed heavy stock resume paper. Plus, bright, shiny finishes and colors can make your resume harder to read. you need special resume paper?

The answer is no, you don’t need to print your resume on special paper. 

No one is expecting you to pay a premium price every time you adjust your resume for a different job. A standard white sheet of paper will do just fine. Focus on dazzling the hiring manager with your knowledge and experience, not your showy resume. If you still want to impress, use a cool (and easy to read) layout for your resume that’ll look good no matter what type of paper you use. 

Now, if only figuring out if the chicken or the egg came first was also this easy...

Read more: The 12 Questions You Should Be Asking Recruiters

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By Cara Hutto


Cara Hutto is a freelance writer and the former assistant editor at InHerSight. Her writing primarily focuses on workplace rights, job searching, culture, and food, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in media and journalism from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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