Hate to sound like a wet blanket but I hope this is a job that you have a very good chance at getting and not just a “cold call”. Cuz my experience after sending out probably 200 resumes over the last 2 years is that all go down a black hole and no one ever responds. Sucks when you’ve spend a lot of time crafting it and money buying nice paper and envelopes…
As someone who has done a fair bit of hiring and looking at resumes - Please leave the fancy anything at home and send me a white piece of paper, perhaps two, rarely three with clear concepts on why I should hire you. Times Roman 12pt is sufficient.
Sell yourself with your words, rarely if ever have I heard of anyone being impressed with quality of paper. I mean this very seriously, do not waste your money. If I am more impressed by your paper type than by what youe wrote on it, then I would not be doing my job correctly.
The only hope this type of gimmick has of being successful is when it is absolutely perfectly targeted to a specific recipient. Also, it probably won’t work unless the position is one that requires creative, persuasive communication as a regular part of the job duties. For example, if your alma mater were hiring a few people to kick off a multi-year capital fundraising campaign, and you really wanted to get hired for that, and you had credible qualifications for it, you might be able to design a paper/ layout combination that stood out in a positive way.
For anything you will be sending to multiple employers, though, I see no hope for creative paper/ font choices to help you out. Just make sure everything is perfectly legible. Paper should be of a quality that it doesn’t get wrinkly or smear on anything strange, but beyond that point there really isn’t a return on quality.
First off I must admit I came across kind of curt in my initial reply to you, I was in a rush to get out the door!
There is a psychology behind this - If I had reason to think it worked I’d tell you all I knew about why. I suppose let me ask you, what about the paper makes it important to you? Do you think it makes it stand out visually for a clerks office or other summer job endeavor?
The thing is I see your rationale in making it stand out, and yes, when I pick one up that is on ivory paper I do notice it. But if I read it and it looks like it the persons qualifications are good but not exemplary I put it down. It really is what you write and how well you write it, the media its printed on is not really a factor [for me]. Although in my line of work its not uncommon to get someone walking in and hand delivering it. I like that a lot. Incidentally, why the hard copy? Was it specified in the ad or by a reference?
Maybe the paper will make me look better than another guy with the same qualifications. The employer might think these “both guys are similar, but this guy knows how to present a resume.” Who knows? I’ve seen hiring decisions based on even worst rational than that.
Judges are old fashion. They like resumes by mail. Maybe I should walk into his chambers and hand it to him?
In most big companies, the process goes like this:[ol]
[li]Resumes arrive in special-delivery envelope, on fancy paper, etc.[/li][li]$6/hour clerk opens envelopes, takes out resume, and scans it into computer.[/li][li]Computer program converts it into plain text (but fails if really fancy fonts are used).[/li][li]Another computer program scans the text of the resume, looking for appropriate keywords & years of experience.[/li][li]the ones given the highest score by this will be looked at by a HR person (who probably has no experience in the job field).[/li][li]The ones the HR person picks are forwarded to the actual hiring manager. Usually via company email, and the plain text version only.[/li][li]The manager reads the text for your experience & qualifications, and chooses which applicants to interview. In most cases, they will have never seen your fancy paper or interesting fonts at all. No chance of that blowing his mind – he’ll never see it.[/li][/ol]
Spend your time on the content of your resume, not the appearance (beyond making it basically presentable).
I assume a clerk, not the judge will read the resumes. When I actually read paper ones, large enough fonts with plenty of white space made life much easier as I was going through the pile. But giving a reason at the very top why you stand out is far more important.
We do it slightly differently.
99% come in by email or from our web site. We’re a computer company - if someone is clueless enough to send a paper resume, we’re probably not interested. It also adds work, since the resume is typically emailed around.
An HR specialist in recruiting (back when we had such) would work with a hiring manager to create a search for good matches. It might take a couple of iterations. Anything on-line, keywords are vital.
A collection of links to resumes get sent to the manager who reviews them.
Anyone who is interesting gets a tracking form started (needed to prove everyone gets a shot) and a screening interview by phone is done. Then we get to normal process.
The alternative route is for a resume to come into some person, who checks the job listings, and submits it to a particular job. Much better chance of a hit that way.
But do you really want to work under someone who would make something as important as a hiring decision based on such poor rationale? That’s the guy you want to be your boss? From an applicant viewpoint, if my resume receives less consideration because it looks “too ordinary,” I’d rather have someone else look at it.
As has been pointed out, the likelihood that the person who actually decides to hire you ever actually sees your physical resume is close to none. Your field may be different, of course, but in my experience, “knowing how to present a resume” (beyond the basics) has never been a qualification I’ve sought among, or used to distinguish between, applicants.
You’re one among many. Possibly very many. What may be elegant and distinguished to you may be irritating to the hiring manager. I once received a resume as a Powerpoint slideshow. It was very well presented, I must admit, and “outside the box.” But it was entirely irritating, and we still chuckle over the doofus who sent us Resume.ppt. I’m sure he thought it was well crafted and very presentable, but all it did was give me a break from going through the candidates who actually had a chance of being hired.
That’s an extreme example, but I think you get the idea. What sounds good to you may not sound good to the hiring managers. Think “Legally Blonde” – scented pink paper had the opposite of the intended effect.
When talking resumes, stick with what works. Black text on white paper. If it’s in an envelope, make it one that’s just easy to open and discard. Any of your standard, basic fonts are fine – can a normal person read it effortlessly from 2-3 feet away? I probably can, too, then.
And that’s what hiring managers will do – read your resume.
All good advise here Lakai. In the end, put your resume on the paper you want to. Use the Ivory or cream color…many of us have done the exact same thing with varied results I am sure. Also, much of learning is based in doing, so please post back your findings if you get the job, and post back if you don’t. We can all learn a little something.
The weight of the paper should be solid enough but not card stock, and limber enough yet not rice paper. Your excitement for the job is palpable so I bet you do just fine conveying that in your written resume.
FWIW, I work for one of the biggest companies in the world, one that everyone is familiar with (all too much lately :(). I don’t remember the last time I got a copy of a paper resume that someone mailed in. Having said that, I also don’t get a plain text scanned version. 99.9% of the time, I get the resume in electronic format via e-mail. It may be different for lawerly pursuits, but in business these days, I don’t think paper matters a bit. Just make it readable easy to understand.
Worrying about the font and paper is putting your effort into the wrong place.
Best bet is white paper and any readable font. I like Optima, but as long as it isn’t a cute display font, then that’s not an issue. White simply because the people who use colored paper are all-too-often using it to hide their lack of qualifications (“But it will stand out!” – so will parading nude into the office, but that won’t get you a job.*). You’ll immediately be grouped in with the unqualified. Not a good place to be.
Nobody every asked anyone to come to an interview because he used a really cool font on his resume. It’s what you say that matters.
*Usually. If you’re female and want to try it, contact me.
IME, most judges these days are doing everything they can to go semi-paperless. If they’re no longer accepting hard copies of court filings, I doubt they want a hard copy of your resume cluttering their staffs’ inboxes.