resume paper is obsolete

A reader writes:

What are your thoughts on “resume paper”? Considering how many retailers stock it (and have stocked it for decades), I imagine many people use it. Is there any value to it? What do hiring managers think of it, if they even notice?

I am going to hereby free you from any reason to ever purchase resume paper again.

No one cares if you use it. Or more precisely, they don’t notice, or they don’t care, or they think, “Wow, people still use resume paper?”

And of course, the only time you even need to print your resume these days is when you’re bringing it with you for an interview as a possible back-up copy. And at that point, if what wows them the most is your incredibly fine paper stock, things are not going well.

Resume paper is a relic from days of yore when you’d actually have a bunch of resumes nicely printed up and then mail them out in order to apply for jobs. As you have probably noticed, that’s not how you apply for jobs these days.

Retailers still stock it because some people still believe they’re supposed to use it. But you are not.

{ 135 comments… read them below }

        1. Gene

          I have one in the garage, carefully wrapped to preserve it. You wouldn’t believe how happy my first wife was when I got it for her for our anniversary one year. Until her heart condition forced her to retire on disability, she enjoyed working and excelling as a secretary.

          Before her deathin ’96, she retyped all the collected recipes we had. I copied them and put the originals away.

          1. saro

            That’s lovely. I am a big paper buff too and just imagining all of these recipes carefully typed on beautiful paper makes me happy. May she rest in peace.

  1. Lanya

    To be fair, I think it depends what industry you are in. Creatives are absolutely going to notice what kind of paper you use. In our industry, it is considered a reflection of your personal design choices just as much as the font you choose and the way you have designed the resume.

      1. Jessa

        Exactly, if you’re being creative, using the stock garbage everyone else does? Not on. Not creative in the slightest unless you’re doing something specifically retro.

    1. Felicia

      I supposed that makes sense if you’re not applying online – but from people I know in creative industries it seems that 99% of applications happen online anyways like most other non retail/food industries

      1. Lizabeth

        +1

        And they want a link to your portfolio before you’re brought in for an interview.

        That makes me feel old…

        1. Felicia

          Yup! If you’re a creative you need an online portfolio far more often than you’ll need a physical one.

      2. Lanya

        Yes, I agree. I always bring hard copies to interviews, though, so that is really what I’m talking about.

    2. Misty

      I posed this question (resume paper or no) to a social media discussion group in the industry which I’m entering (graduated last month!), and the answer was a resounding YES!! Of course, we’re talking about funeral homes in the Midwest, where details are hugely important, *especially* those details which communicate old-school class and conservatism. As in, these dudes complain about female applicants who wear pants, or skirts of an appropriate length but don’t wear pantyhose. IN AUGUST.
      And there really is something about the feel of a nice cotton paper; I can definitely see where it would catch the attention if you’re shuffling through a pile. But if the resume printed on that paper is a load of bunk, expensive paper isn’t going to make much of a difference.

  2. MaryMary

    I still have the same box of resume paper I purchased my senior year of college…11 years ago. That includes my college job hunting days and a six month unemployed spell last year.

    At some point, I started using the matching resume paper envelopes for other mailing purposes (bills, mainly), so I don’t have the envelopes anymore.

    1. Anon

      Me too! Except my senior year of college was -ahem- even longer ago. I still have the envelopes too, because it was all just tucked away on the same shelf.

    2. Jen

      Yes! I have it too in a box along with some of my original memories.

      Which leads me to say – kids today have it so easy. I had to buy this damn resume paper and the envelopes AND as a broadcast journalism hopeful, I had to copy my resume tape onto VHS and mail that out to apply for jobs. It cost so much money! Today they just put their resume tapes onto vimeo and e-mail it. No cost at all. Hmph.

    3. Dianne

      I still have the box of resume paper I bought when I graduated from college in ’96. My 4 year old uses the paper to make birthday cards for her friends, she thinks it is very sophisticated.

    4. Beth

      Me too! I had a box of fancy envelopes to mail CVs I had bought in the 90s, which had been taking up space unused. Finally I realized I broke down and now use them when I give my neighbors the key to my apartment to look in on my cats.

  3. Diet Coke Addict

    If I see one more person give the advice “Get some nice paper and mail out your resumes” I’m going to throw my drink at them. Because unless you are in a creative industry (or, possibly, the….paper industry? That is a total stab in the dark) THAT’S NOT HOW IT WOOOORKS. And it can actually put you at a disadvantage.

    Of course, if you’re in a retail environment where you need to drop off a hard copy resume….still, no one is going to care about the quality of your paper.

    1. PEBCAK

      I think there is like, a *minimum* production value on this, though. I have collected resumes at career fairs, and if it’s like, dot-matrix printed on newsprint stock or something, I’d notice. But regular paper in a regular ink jet printer is just fine.

      1. Diet Coke Addict

        I would crack right up if someone handed me a resume printed on something totally inappropriate, like looseleaf paper or the old-school printer paper with the perforated dots on the side or the inside of a cereal box. I wouldn’t hire them, but I’d hang onto the resume for laffs.

      2. Anonymous

        It may be just me, but if I were hiring, and I received a resume printed on a dot matrix printer, I’d actually be impressed. (then again, I’m an IT guy who keeps a zip drive on his desk as a conversation piece, and longs for the days of text-based interfaces)

    2. Sarah

      As someone who was the first hurdle people had to get past in a retail job a couple of years ago, I disagree. In retail, the paper still matters. Not as much as a whole bunch of other details, but your resume looking good (resume paper, not a poor quality photocopy, not your CV, well put together, edited well) all mattered quite a bit. In other industries it may be obsolete, but I would never recommend applying in person without resume paper.

  4. Tina

    I totally know it’s not how it’s done these days, but oh how I loved pretty, heavy weight resume paper! But I’ve always taken a (possibly strange) enjoyment of school/office supplies and paper. I have several crafty hobbies, so it’s probably the tactile and aesthetic factor that I like.

    1. Lindsay J

      Me too! I keep in thinking I should get into scrapbooking just so I can play with all the pretty papers and stamps and stuff that I see. (Not that I know what I’d make a scrapbook of, but that’s irrelevant.)

    2. TL

      Me too! I love paper, pens, and pencils. (I definitely had a specific pencil for math classes once I hit the advanced levels.)

      But I’m not craftsy at all. I’d definitely rather buy something than make it.

      1. Tina

        One of my favorite gifts ever was a fancy metal roller ball pen that my work-study office gave me as a college graduation gift. They didn’t actually know I’d like it so much, they were struggling for items and were having a hard time. They were pleasantly surprised when they saw how excited I was. I still have it, and use it for writing in my journal or writing notes to people (I like to make my own cards).

    3. Laura

      I can (and have) spent hours in office supply stores, and have been this way for as long as I can remember. Apparently it’s hereditary, as both my kids (5 & 7) get super excited if I offer to take them to the office store with me.

      And I do love a nice heavy, creamy sheet of paper. But yeah, I don’t bother using it for resumes anymore.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        For years, I’ve given my nieces big boxes of office supplies for their birthdays (with tons of little items, each individually wrapped). They adore it. They especially love those weird forms that Staples has that you’re supposed to use for writing up an employee for poor behavior — they have an excellent time with those.

        1. Karyn

          AHAHAHAHA. I LOVE this idea. I’m totally stealing this for little kids. I have a feeling they’ll be “writing up” their parents every day… on second thought, their parents may not like me very much after that… ;)

        2. tcookson

          I wonder what they use the forms for . . . I bet it would be funny to read some that they’ve filled out.

        3. Elizabeth

          Sometimes we have the kids at my school’s after-school care (where your kid can stay if you work and can’t pick them up at 3:15) make decorations for the faculty room. One April the after-school teachers copied the 1040-EZ (blown up about 2x) and let the kids fill them out however they wanted, then hung the results in the faculty room. They were hilarious.

          1. tcookson

            I’m totally going to get my kids the poor employee performance forms and see what they write. I’m expecting to see some of them directed at myself in my parental capacity, but the laughs will be worth it.

        4. Windchime

          When I was a kid, a friend had this cool paper that had the pin-feed holes along the edge. There were several layers, like 4 or maybe even 5, and each layer was “carbon” (without the carbon paper) and a different pastel color. So you could write on the top layer and then the other, differently colored pages could be separated. We played all kinds of fun things with that paper. So cool.

        5. EA

          Well, based on the “Ask a Manager’s Niece” column that we saw a while back, they’d probably have a better idea of how to write someone up for poor behaviour than a lot of people that actually use those forms.

          When do we get to see another guest column from them?

      2. Jen in RO

        I love office supply stores, and I’m really sad that I don’t have any reason to buy that stuff, since 99% of my work is on a computer :(

      3. Kelly O

        I have this little daydream about making my own cards with letterpress. I love the texture and how the words look pressed into the thick paper.

  5. TL

    Me too! I love paper, pens, and pencils. (I definitely had a specific pencil for math classes once I hit the advanced levels.)

    But I’m not craftsy at all. I’d definitely rather buy something than make it.

      1. voluptuousfire

        Same here! I was so excited when I had the chance to run to the office supply store to stock up on desk organizers for my home desk. I never get to do that. :)

        Which reminds me, I need to buy some nice roller ball pens for my job interviews.

  6. Anon

    I used resume paper when I brought resumes for my interview. And it worked for me because it’s an interesting thickness and as a designer, it opens up avenues for me to talk about my knowledge of the printing process. ;)

  7. Claire MKE

    Yeah, I’d definitely never heard of resume paper before the last time someone wrote in to AAM asking about it :)

  8. tesyaa

    I graduated college in 1988 and I never used resume paper. I had a vague idea that such a thing existed, but even 25 years ago, it was on its way out.

  9. The Engineer

    When I see heavy special paper used on anything sent to me I wonder about the sender’s sense of economy. If you are consultant, I think you must charge too much. I require resumes and applications be submitted via email as attachments. I can’t tell if you use special “resume” electrons for that. :)

    1. ThursdaysGeek

      Well, the box I bought 30 years ago still has plenty, and I’ve got to use it somewhere! Isn’t that a good sense of economy? Especially since the resume is emailed, so I can’t use it there. (Actually, no, I don’t use it for any business purposes, but I do try to use it for any personal uses I can find. And then there is the overhead paper/plastic and the color laser foil and all those other cool supplies taking up space.)

          1. TychaBrahe

            Before there was such a thing as a color printer—let alone color laser printers—you could get special effects by laying a sheet of colored foil over paper going through a laser printer. The electrostatic method that fixes the toner to the paper would fix the color to the paper.

    1. Anonymous

      Nothing is good for Christmas newsletters because you shouldn’t send them. Ugh, so self-absorbed!

      /rant

        1. Chinook

          Elizabeth, I like getting the annual Christmas letters as they really do let me know what has happened. But, then again, I voluntarily bake fruitcake to give as gifts (don’t put them near an open flame)

            1. Sue

              To most Brits, the American hatred for fruitcake is utterly baffling. Our traditional wedding and Christmas cakes are iced and marzipaned fruitcakes. Christmas pudding isn’t far off being a fruitcake. Maybe it’s the brandy? My pudding has been maturing for a year with regular brandy baths. It’s probably a fire hazard by now.

      1. saro

        Send your Christmas letters to me! I love them. I don’t even celebrate Christmas but it’s so nice to hear what people are up to and on actual paper rather than email! :-)

      1. Jamie

        I do t feel passionately about newsletters either way, but I just adore the holiday cards made of pics from kiddos. Even kids I do t know distantly related to my husband…I just melt at adorableness in a holiday themed pic.

        We have friends of the family whose kids are 5 years older than mine and they still do them – and still love that. But my kids voted 2 out of 3 to let the air out of my tires if I tried to make a break to walgreens to get any printed up. Sometimes I really regret teaching them to think for themselves.

        Every so often I get the urge to send out a Christmas newsletter, but instead of the years highlights or humblebrags just filling it with the most mundane stuff.

        Mr. Jamie’s husband has switched to the store brand for vitamins and has no adverse effects. Eldest son bought a vintage Batman shirt last October and has been enjoying it when he wears it. Daughter is 5’5″ and wears nail polish sometimes. Youngest son is currently listening to Jimi Hendrix. The dogs are still dedicated to their love of chew toys and keeping the family safe from wayward squirrels. The cats like to nap. Jamie still has a job. And then I’d enclose a pictures of my stapler, lint tray from the dryer, and chimney.

        I would find that wildly entertaining but no one who would be on my list would find it amusing.

        1. Jean

          Every so often some comedian (usually amateur) shares the idea of the anti-holiday letter describing who’s under indictment, who has declared bankruptcy, who is moving to the mountains to cultivate organic catnip…

          In my real life I enjoy receiving holiday letters, except for the guilt that I’m not reciprocating. The letter-senders have mastered the fine art of communicating good news without boasting and bad news without wallowing in it. They are genuinely trying to share a quick but thoughtful summary of their family experiences over the past 12 months.

          Gosh, I hope this doesn’t sound sanctimonious! I don’t mean it that way.

          1. Jamie

            I’d be interested in a letter like that. Tbh I’ve only received one and it want even real. It was from a distant relative , but after a cursory sentence or two it was all about how awesome their new time share was. I threw it out like the junk mail it was…I just assumed they got some kind of discount for sending out a mass mailing to everyone In their book.

            1. Al Lo

              My mom has actually taught workshops on how to write a good Christmas letter, and to this day I love sitting down with the box of Christmas letters that have come in to my parents’ house when I’m visiting them.

              The letter-senders have mastered the fine art of communicating good news without boasting and bad news without wallowing in it. They are genuinely trying to share a quick but thoughtful summary of their family experiences over the past 12 months.

              Exactly.

              Also important is letting older (and adult) kids edit their own paragraph for accuracy. I still try to read my mom’s letter before she sends it out, because she’ll invariably get a job title or something wrong. Additionally, if someone has had a tough year (or the bad news part of the letter focuses on one particular part of the family) it helps to give them a heads-up and make sure that the information being sent out isn’t defamatory or too embarrassing, while still being truthful. It’s a fine line, I’ve learned.

        2. Windchime

          I got a holiday letter one time from someone I knew years ago. I learned all about the time her son spent in jail, and when he would be out. In the holiday letter.

      2. Ann Furthermore

        For years my dad did a Christmas letter that was quite famous among my parents’ friends and family. Everyone looked forward to it. After he died a few years ago, my mom took it over. She’s a writer, so it’s always really good. She strikes the right balance between sharing good news and bad, without ever bragging about how awesome she and/or her children are.

    1. ThursdaysGeek

      Wait, so when it is 15 degrees F outside and you have to wear a skirt, you don’t wear hose? Brrr! (Although, I’d be happy to wear resume paper on my legs, because that would keep them warmer.)

          1. Nikki J.

            Tights are cute & fashionable (when worn properly), pantyhose are not. Preferably I’d freeze or just wear pants before I’d wear pantyhose.

          2. Jen in RO

            TIL: pantyhose and tights are not two words for the same thing. (But I’m from Foreign, so I have an excuse.) For other confused people, this is what wikipedia says: Generally, anything up to 40 denier is known as pantyhose and anything over can be classified as tights.

    2. aebhel

      Thigh-high stockings if I’m going to wear them (how’s that for regressive? :P). Hose and tights both dig into my belly and make me nuts.

      Of course, in practice, I usually just wear pants.

  10. Kristy

    I spoke with a recruiter about this after they commented on my non-resume paper. I asked how much it really mattered in the decision making process and his response was that it isn’t a huge deal. He did add that lots of hiring managers are older and expect resume paper, so if the choice comes down to two equally qualified candidates and one has resume paper, that candidate will be favored over the one who apparently didn’t pay attention to detail.

    1. the gold digger

      You mean this recruiter takes only mailed, paper applications? Do they also still type everything in triplicate using carbon paper and make the women quit once they get married?

    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      I’d be willing to bet that that recruiter was just repeating something he’d heard someone else claim. You can find this claim out there, but very few people who actually have firsthand knowledge of some mythical hiring manager who is swayed by resume paper. I’m sure a few exist (just like all kinds of other crazy hiring managers exist), but certainly not enough to justify advising people to use nice resume paper. I mean, some hiring managers also prefer people who wear blue, but that doesn’t mean we should all wear blue to interviews.

      Plus. Think of what it’s going to be like to work for someone who hires based on things like what paper you use.

    3. Ashley

      Frankly, if an employer chose me based upon an antiquated hiring practice like what type of paper I used, I don’t think it’s a company I’d like to work for anyhow. I would wonder what other antiquated practices are practiced there, and why they can’t adjust with the times.

      I understand doing things old school sometimes, but not being able to change with the times and having people like that in positions of power would be a red flag for me.

  11. Beth

    I love resume paper. I love using it and I love receiving resumes on it. I love texture. That being said, it does not change my opinion of the applicant one way or another if they use resume paper.

  12. HappyFreelancer

    I applied for two jobs this year that wanted PAPER ONLY applications, one was a city job and one was a federal job. They wouldn’t accept emailed applications. I’m not kidding. I used regular paper, though, because resume paper would’ve been too thick for the envelope with everything else I had to send.

    1. Anonymous

      Whenever I see a listing that says paper applications only I don’t bother applying. Do less people apply for these? Are my chances better? I hate buying stamps.

      1. the gold digger

        I applied for a “paper only” job a few months ago just because everything else about it was such a good fit. It was a small, family-owned business and I thought maybe they just were a little clueless. (And that I could work for them and revolutionize things.)

        But that must not have been it, because the owner called me and asked me to do an online assessment after she got my resume! I did it, and never heard from them again.

        Waste of a stamp.

      2. HappyFreelancer

        No, fewer people do NOT apply for those jobs, at least not the two I applied for; one of them I know for sure had over 200 applications. The paper doesn’t stop people!

    2. aebhel

      Civil service can be weird like that, at least where I am.

      …of course, I got my current job by showing up in person, unannounced, with a paper resume to inquire about the job. So I think I’m a bit of an outlier.

  13. The Other Dawn

    I couldn’t care less if someone used resume paper or not. I’m interested in their qualifications.

  14. RJ

    Aww, I understand the point, but I love resume paper. And while I go bare-legged at work all the time, I’d probably still wear pantyhose to an interview. I’m old. Sigh.

    1. The Other Dawn

      Nope, you’re not old. I’m in my 30s and I would wear pantyhose, too. Wouldn’t be caught without them when wearing a skirt. But I don’t want to resurrect the Great Pantyhose Debate.

      1. Tina

        I like pantyhose, and I’m only in my 30s. I don’t “expect” women to wear them or think they look unprofessional without them, it’s just my personal preference to wear them on the rare occasion I wear a dress.

      2. Blinx

        Hah — yes, I’m another in that category. I just don’t have the legs to go sans pantyhose. But since I hate wearing them (like the other tall poster), I only ever wear slacks now.

    2. Anonymous

      I want to wear pantyhose but I’ve never had a pair where the crotch was higher than my knees. Being tall is fun.

      1. Sue

        I switched to stockings. The belt is adjustable and they stay where I put them. No more knee-level crotch for me!

  15. Ali

    So what should I do with the resume paper I bought five or six years ago then? We should get some ideas going of like “art projects to make with your old resume paper” or something.

    1. Anon

      It would make for lovely origami! (Personally, I actually still like to use resume paper for interviews, but that’s more for me than for the interviewer.)

  16. Joey

    Maybe I’m a fuddy duddy, but I notice résumé paper. I think its weird to mail it in, but if someone brings it in during the interview it makes me think the following:

    1. He’s probably worked in formal work environments.
    2. He adheres to conservative and probably traditional norms.
    3. He’s anal about perceptions and presentations.

    Obviously, I look for other signs to confirm this, but for me, if they show they can also work in more casual environments this can be a huge positive- it has the potential to show they can adapt to any type of interaction/environment.

  17. MrsG

    My boyfriend insists on using resume paper (for the two jobs he’s applied for via snail mail since we’ve been together) and insists that my not using it is what has kept me from getting a job for 6 months. I probably should have been using it this whole time just so the stuff won’t sit in the box not being used since I keep 3 or 4 copies of my resume in my purse at all times.

    I have to agree with everyone else who has said it: if the type of paper I’m using is keeping you from hiring me, I don’t want to work for you.

  18. Anonymous

    Along those lines, I would say that a mailed thank-you note is, well, not obsolete, but not necessary. Email is considered appropriate, and is much faster.

    1. SK

      I still do mailed thank you notes for in person interviews if I have their mailing address and that it can get there relatively quickly (next business day). For phone interviews/2nd interviews I just do email.

  19. Committee for the Respect and Indefatigable Utility of Resume Paper

    As you can probably tell, I don’t get the resume paper hate. Obviously most applications are done online, making any use of paper, resume or other, obsolete, but as something to bring along with you on an interview, I think it’s important. Aesthetically, I find ordinary copy paper to be tacky and unprofessional when you’re printing something as important as your resume on it. It shouldn’t enhance your prospects for a job, but I believe it conveys more professionalism than printing it on ordinary white printer paper. And before anyone playfully chides me for being out of touch or something, I’m 28 and forget how to write checks and mail snail mail often because I grew up doing everything online.

    1. Anonymous

      Professionalism is how you carry yourself, not the type of paper your resume will reside on. The quality isn’t in the paper but rather what’s on the paper. It just sounds very uppity to worry about the type of paper you’re using, and yes, it does sounds out of touch – not in the sense of writing checks or snail mail – because you are more preoccupied about paper type than other important matters in the resume/application. It’s just not necessary and reasonable; it almost sounds gimmicky nowadays.

      1. Committee for the Respect and Indefatigable Utility of Resume Paper

        Seems like you’re constructing a straw man here because I never said using resume paper represents the totality of “professionalism.” Clearly, professionalism extends far beyond what type of paper you’re using, but a case can be made that within the broader paradigm of professionalism, using slightly heavier paper for a resume conveys a number of characteristics that may mean something in business interactions. And I’m not sure where you got the idea that I am more worried about the type of paper I’m using than what’s on the paper – I certainly didn’t say that.

        It may not be necessary, but it being “unreasonable” doesn’t follow. At worst, its impact is negligible. In any case, I also like to use it because, since its heavier than printer paper, its less likely to fold or be creased when I’m carrying it around in my file.

        In the end, if I was a hiring manager, a candidate using or not using resume paper wouldn’t change my mind about his/her candidacy in any way. However, I just might think for a fleeting moment that the resume paper holder cares a lot about small details.

        1. Committee for the Respect and Indefatigable Utility of Resume Paper

          Along with asking possible readers to ignore my grammar mistakes in the previous comment, I’d also like to say we may be conflating the use of resume paper with the admittedly outdated practice of submitting hard copy resumes to employers via snail mail – they aren’t the same thing. When going to interviews, I always print backup copies of my cover letter, resume, and references on resume paper. I’ve only had to hand out my hard-copy resume once during an interview, since everyone else had their own copy. And no, it’s not gimmicky because I didn’t think that my use of resume paper would push me ahead of other candidates they may be interviewing. If anything, I’d expect to be hired based on the complete picture I’ve given them about my background, skills, potential, and character.

      2. Felicia

        I don’t think resume paper is gimmicky , exactly, just not something important to focus on or that matters at all. Also unfair to count it towards professionalism when many people under a certain age won’t know that it’s a thing, because most people don’t use or recommend it anymore. Standards or professionalism do change and just because something is traditional or old fashioned, doesn’t make it more professional or even important.

        1. Committee for the Respect and Indefatigable Utility of Resume Paper

          Again I did not argue that because something is traditional or old-fashioned it’s therefore professional. I also said that, if I were a hiring manager, a candidate’s use of resume paper wouldn’t factor into my decision to hire him or her, so I would dispute your assertion that I’d hold it against someone.

          My attitude toward resume paper is more about practicality (slightly sturdier than printer paper) and, more subjectively, about aesthetics (it can and does look better than printer paper).

  20. Amber

    I was going through my desk this week and found a box of resume paper. I also realized that I would never use it and although I do bring backup copies of my resume to interviews, the interviewer has always printed their own copy (at least all the interviews I’ve been on).

    So the box went into my “give to Goodwill” pile.

  21. Anonymous

    My University (USA) required us to use resume paper for when we turned in our resumes to the School of Education. They, in turn, were sending out our resumes to potential schools for us to student teach in. For three copies, we had to purchase a whole packet of resume paper; some of us divided a pack and paid our fair share. I have not used it since then.

  22. SK

    I recently had an interview where they specifically requested that I bring in 2 hard copies of my resume (silly because they had an electronic copy already!). I played it safe and printed it on resume paper at Kinko’s beforehand. Sigh.

  23. Windchime

    My resume paper wasn’t actually called “resume paper”. But I had it, and it was cream colored and very nice. It also had a watermark, and one had to be sure to put the paper in the typewriter the correct way so that the watermark wouldn’t be upside-down. This was in the mid to late 80’s. I think I still have it around here someplace.

  24. Ann Furthermore

    I think the last time I used resume paper was in the late 90’s. And even then, it wasn’t super thick or high-quality — it was just a step up from printer paper.

    I was working with a search firm, and they took my resume and re-keyed it into their own system. With a ton of typos and other errors. Argh! I went to one interview, and the Controller, who interviewed me, had a copy of this reworked resume, all marked up with red ink. I don’t think I saw the whole thing, but I saw enough to know that whoever had re-typed it had done a terrible job. So, I whipped out my own copy, and handed it over, saying, “Oh, here’s an original copy of my resume, in case you’d like to look at it.”

    The Controller was much happier with that version, and I ended up getting the job. Little did I know that her infamous red pen would become the bane of my existence, but that’s another very long story!

  25. Sandrine

    Okay, let’s be honest… now this makes me want a stash of resume paper.

    For the same reason “Committee for the Respect and Indefatigable Utility of Resume Paper” mentioned : to have it in my file when I go to interviews. To make it look sturdier, maybe ? Cause sometimes I put the regular paper and I don’t realize it but after an hour on public transportation it’s all wrinkly and I hate how messy it looks.

    Not that I am going on any interviews at the moment, but if I was, I would totally print a copy or two of my resume on that paper.

    And then I’d use a sheet or two to make sturdy paper boats. Just because.

  26. Blinx

    So, I’m going to take a guess that Resume Paper was that “linen” type paper that I used for years. Sometimes it was cream, off-white, or light grey, with matching envelopes.

    Now days, even though I’m in the creative field, I just use a good quality laser paper. It’s a little thicker than standard copy paper, and I’ve actually had some interviewers comment on it! Maybe they’re used to everything in their office being printed on cheap paper, that it stood out. (Didin’t get the jobs, though).

  27. evr

    Hey. I’m 28. I used resume paper a few times in the last few years, just because I miraculously still had a stash laying around after many, many years, and it’s kinda nice to be able to carry a few copies of the resume with you to the interview and know that they will remain crisp and creaseless even when you’re stuffing them into a handbag with all your other junk in it, and running around New York City. Regular printer paper doesn’t hold up as well. I got every job I brought it to, but I’m sure they didn’t hire me due to crisp paper. It’s just ‘nice to have,’ the way a neutral nail polish can be ‘nice to have.’ But I can’t imagine walking into a s Staples and buying any more, it feels so 1999-2001.

  28. anon-2

    I would send both – electronically AND on paper.

    Cover the bases.

    You see in here, managers are erratic, skittish, each has their own wishes. If you’re on a pro-active job search – and not replying to an ad with specific instructions — send the paper copy and also indicate it’s forthcoming electronically.

    There used to be an ad about cats being “finicky eaters”. Hiring managers are similar. Give them a menu choice.

  29. Tara T.

    I have sent hard copies of my resume sometimes, after sending them by e-mail. But they are only on regular paper. I do not buy special paper. And of course, I bring extras to interviews in case the interviewer asks for it.

  30. Alan Miller

    I can’t see using “resume paper” anymore, but there is something to be said for using something better than 20-lb 85-brightness recycled copier paper.

    Depending on your printing volume, the price difference between cheap crappy copier paper and something a little nicer (e.g. 24-lb 96 brightness at Costco) is negligible and the nicer paper may be a nice touch – even if it’s only for you.

  31. CJS

    I am currently interviewing, and–of course–all my resumes have been submitted online. That said, I do bring printed copies if there is going to be more than one interviewer. Can they print their own copies? Sure–but I still bring them as a courtesy. I do like to use something other than plain printing paper–nothing fancy, just something that looks good.

    More than one recruiter has advised me to bring some copies along, so while hard-copy resumes certainly are no longer a common way of applying for a position, apparently they are not obsolete when it comes to the actual interview.

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