In the olden days, the only resume was a paper resume. You had someone type it up (on a typewriter!) then took it to a printer who handed you a paper bag filled with resumes printed on beautiful bond paper. If you wanted to apply to two different kinds of jobs, you repeated the process to obtain a second bag of resumes printed on beautiful bond paper.
We applied for jobs by sending one of the paper resumes we had printed along with a typed cover letter in an envelope by snail mail.
Life is different today. “Resume” can mean many things. There are many platforms we can use today to describe our background and experience. We need to take advantage of each one at the appropriate time.
- Your main “resume” is your virtual resume on your LinkedIn profile.
- You will have an electronic resume to submit to folks through email.
With all that electronic information is a paper resume still necessary? I think it is.
I like to edit resumes on paper. Well, in MS Word then print out to see what it looks like. I like the discipline of making sure the resume looks good on paper and fits on one or two pages. This is a good way to makes sure the electronic resume looks the way you want it to when you send it out in Word or PDF.
The main time you will want a paper resume is when you go to an interview. It is nice to sit down with someone and pull out a clean, pretty resume printed on good bond paper to hand to the person you are talking to. There is no substitute.
Here are a few tips for a good looking paper resume:
- Print it out on a really good printer. Make sure that the printer does not leave any odd lines or crinkles.
- Avoid printing copies on the copier at the library. These machines make notoriously bad copies. Ask a friend if you do not have a good printer.
- Use nice bond paper. I recommend at least 20 pound or 24 pound paper with a nice shiny finish. Ask the associate at an office supply store like Office Max to help select a high quality paper.
- Put the paper resume in your portfolio so it doesn’t get folded or messed up in transit. You want it to look great when you pull it out of your portfolio to hand to someone.
- Only make as many as you need in a short period. You might want to customize your paper resume to highlight a particular strength, experience, or skill for a particular job interview.
Focus the bulk of your attention on your virtual resume in your LinkedIn profile. But paper resumes still have their place, although they are mostly for show these days.
How do you use a paper resume? Join the conversation in our LinkedIn Group, Job Search Check-Up.