Resume Paper Weight: [Choosing the Ideal Thickness for Your CV]

resume paper weight

When it comes to crafting the perfect resume, many job seekers focus on the content, layout, and design. However, an often-overlooked aspect is the paper weight used for printing the resume. Selecting the right resume paper weight can contribute to creating a professional and polished appearance that stands out among a sea of applicants.

Resume paper weight refers to the thickness and sturdiness of the paper, usually measured in grams per square meter (gsm). Heavier paper weights tend to feel more luxurious, making a better impression on potential employers. Choosing the right weight involves considering factors such as the type of paper, color, and overall presentation of the resume.

Key Takeaways

  • Resume paper weight impacts the professionalism and polished appearance of a resume
  • Heavier paper weights tend to feel more luxurious and impressive
  • Consider factors such as paper type, color, and overall presentation when selecting the right weight

Choosing the Right Resume Paper Weight

When creating a resume, it’s essential to select the appropriate paper weight to make a strong impression on potential employers. This decision involves considering factors such as thickness, durability, and texture.

A common choice for resume paper weight is 20lb, which is lightweight and slightly less dense than other options. It might feel somewhat flimsy, but it’s still suitable for printing resumes that will primarily be scanned or shared electronically. Using 20lb paper saves money on printing costs and is less likely to jam in printers; however, it may not convey the same level of professionalism as heavier options.

For those seeking a more distinguished appearance, 24lb or 32lb resume paper weights are recommended. These thicker options provide a more tactile and luxurious feel, showcasing attention to detail and a commitment to quality. The Is Resume Paper Necessary? article explains the importance of selecting the right resume paper, as it’s an essential aspect of crafting the perfect resume in today’s competitive job market.

Heavier paper weights, such as 32lb, offer increased durability and thickness, making the resume less prone to bends and tears. This type of paper also tends to impress hiring managers or recruiters who receive a large volume of resumes and can instantly notice the difference in quality.

To choose the right resume paper weight, consider the type of job, how the resume will be distributed, and the impression one seeks to make on potential employers. A well-curated resume on high-quality, heavier paper might be more suited for management, executive, or highly skilled positions. Alternatively, for entry-level jobs or roles that prioritize digital applications, a 20lb paper weight should suffice.

Remember, choosing the right resume paper weight contributes to the overall impression a candidate makes when applying for a job. Stick to the 24lb or 32lb options for added professionalism and a high-end feel, while the 20lb option may be adequate for less formal situations.

Types of Resume Paper

Linen Finish or Textured Paper

Linen finish or textured paper is a popular choice for resumes due to its professional appearance and unique texture. Available in both white and ivory shades, this type of paper typically includes a cotton blend, which enhances its durability and longevity. Textured papers, such as linen finish, provide an elegant touch to your printed resume and can help set it apart from the competition.


Granite paper is another option for job seekers looking to make a strong impression with their resume. This heavyweight paper is designed to imitate the look and feel of natural granite, giving it a distinct and sophisticated appearance. Cotton-based like linen paper, it is also durable and desirable for professional use. Offered in white, ivory, and other subtle colors, granite paper can elevate your resume and leave a lasting impression on potential employers.


Parchment resume paper, known for its classic look, presents a different approach to resume presentation. With a marbled or mottled appearance reminiscent of traditional parchments, this paper adds a touch of historical elegance to your application materials. Parchment paper is commonly available in both white and ivory shades, as well as cotton and laid variants. This unique type of paper provides a classic and distinctive look for those who want their resume to stand out in a pile of plain text resumes.

Resume Paper Color

Man comparing different resume papers

When choosing the color of your resume paper, it’s essential to select one that enhances your professional appeal. The most popular resume paper colors are white, ivory, off-white, and, to a lesser extent, blue and grey.

White resume paper is a classic and safe choice, as it is a neutral color that allows the content of your resume to stand out. On the other hand, ivory offers a slight hint of warmth and sophistication, which may give your resume a more distinguished look.

Off-white is another option for those seeking a subtle variation from stark white, providing a professional appearance without drawing attention to the paper color itself. This color choice subtly communicates attention to detail.

Blue and grey resume paper colors add a bit of personality to your application. These colors can complement your resume design, but it’s crucial to ensure that the shade isn’t too bold or distracting. Selecting the right blue or grey will still convey your professionalism while adding a touch of individuality.

Ultimately, the color you choose for your resume paper depends on the job you are applying for and the impression you want to make on potential employers. It’s advisable to lean towards neutral and subtle colors, allowing the content of your resume to speak for itself.

Resume Paper Brands

Southworth is a well-known brand in the resume paper industry. They offer a variety of paper weights, typically ranging from 20lb to 32lb, and are available in different textures such as linen and cotton finish. Southworth’s resume paper is widely used for its durability, quality, and professional appearance.

Amazon is a popular online marketplace where you can find a diverse selection of resume paper brands. Shopping on Amazon allows you to compare products side-by-side and read customer reviews, ensuring that you select the ideal paper weight and type for your needs. Some reputable resume paper brands found on Amazon include PrintWorks, Hammermill, and Neenah.

Office Depot is another reliable source for purchasing resume paper. They carry a range of paper brands, offering different weights, colors, and textures to suit your individual preferences. Office Depot also provides options for eco-conscious consumers, such as recycled paper materials.

Staples is one of the leading suppliers of office supplies, including resume paper weights and brands. They offer a wide variety in terms of weight, color, and texture. Staples also provides a convenient online store, making it easier for customers to browse and compare available resume paper options.

To make an informed decision when choosing the right resume paper brand for your needs, it is essential to consider factors such as paper weight, texture, and overall appearance. Moreover, it is advisable to explore the aforementioned brands and retailers to ensure you find the best product tailored to your requirements.

Paper Size and Printing

White collar lady holding two types of resume paper

When preparing to print a resume, it’s essential to choose the appropriate paper size and understand the different options available. Standard paper sizes in the United States are Letter (8.5×11 inches) and Legal (8.5×14 inches), while the most commonly used size for resumes in Europe is A4 (210x297mm).

While printing your resume, consider the type of printer paper you’ll be using. High-quality, heavyweight paper is generally recommended, as it demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail. This type of paper has a weight of at least 24lb or 90gsm and provides a crisp, clean appearance for the printed resume. Some popular options include linen, cotton, or textured paper.

When setting up your printer for printing resumes, it’s essential to ensure the correct paper size is selected in the printer settings. This will help avoid issues with formatting and ensure the best possible presentation of your resume. For instance, if using Letter-sized paper, selecting “Letter” as the paper size will ensure optimal results.

Moreover, it is crucial to optimize the print quality settings. When possible, opt for a high-quality print setting and set the printer to print in grayscale for a professional-looking printed resume.

In conclusion, selecting the appropriate paper size, high-quality printer paper, and carefully configuring printer settings are all important factors in creating a polished, professional printed resume.

Presentation and Design Factors

Font and Margins

When creating a resume, it is essential to choose an appropriate font and adjust the margins to ensure it is easy to read and visually appealing. Common fonts such as Times New Roman and Arial are popular choices among job seekers. These fonts are considered professional, universally recognized, and suitable for most situations. However, depending on the industry or job position, it is worth considering other font options that may better suit the intended audience.

A well-designed resume should have balanced margins and whitespace, allowing the reader to quickly locate relevant information. Typically, 1-inch margins on all sides of the page are recommended. This provides a clean and organized appearance, while still retaining adequate space for your content.

Graphics and Logo

Incorporating graphics and logos into a resume can help job seekers showcase their skills and personal brand. However, it is important to use these elements wisely to prevent creating a cluttered or distracting appearance. Do Recruiters Like Resume Templates? provides insight into using templates effectively to achieve this.

A well-chosen logo can be an excellent way to convey professionalism and personal branding. Be sure that the logo is crisp, clear, and relevant to your field or desired position. Graphics should be used sparingly and only when they add value to your resume. For example, a graphic designer might include samples of their work to emphasize their design skills.

In conclusion, the presentation and design of your resume can significantly impact a recruiter’s impression. Focusing on optimal font choices, proper margins, and selective use of graphics and logos will enhance the overall effectiveness of your resume, making it more appealing and memorable to potential employers.

The Impact of Paper Choice on Professionalism

Choosing the right resume paper weight can significantly impact the level of professionalism perceived by potential employers. A well-presented resume demonstrates attention to detail and can set the stage for a successful in-person interview or make a positive impression at a career fair.

The choice of paper weight can convey the candidate’s dedication to their job search. Opting for a heavier paper (24 to 32 lb) suggests the applicant is serious about the position and has invested effort into presenting themselves in the best possible light. In contrast, using standard office paper (20 lb) may imply a lack of attention to detail or an indifferent attitude towards the application.

A quality resume paper not only feels more substantial in the hands of potential employers, but also enhances the readability of the document. Heavier paper provides a more opaque, non-transparent appearance, preventing the contents of the following page from showing through. This level of clarity allows for a clean, crisp presentation of the candidate’s qualifications, skills, and experience.

While the impact of paper choice on professionalism is undeniable, it’s important to strike a balance between quality and practicality. Overly thick or textured papers can be challenging to print on, difficult to handle, and may not feed well through certain printers or copiers. A resume that appears too extravagant may detract attention from the content and inadvertently give the impression of overcompensation.

In conclusion, paying attention to the weight and quality of resume paper can enhance a candidate’s professionalism and leave a lasting impression on potential employers. By selecting the right paper and presenting a well-organized, thoughtful resume, applicants can improve their chances of progressing to the next stage in their job search.

Using High-Quality Paper for Your Resume

Choosing a high-quality paper for your resume can be crucial in making a great first impression on potential employers. It is essential to select a paper that is both professional-looking and durable. One factor to consider when selecting paper for your resume is the cotton content.

When it comes to cotton content, a higher cotton content indicates a higher-quality paper. Resume paper with a higher cotton content is generally thicker and more durable than standard paper. It also has a smoother texture, which can make your resume look more professional. This superior quality ensures that your resume will stand out from others printed on regular paper.

In addition to cotton content, the color and weight of the paper should be considered. A neutral color, such as white or ivory, is usually preferred as it projects a formal and professional image. The weight of the paper can be measured in pounds, and most high-quality resume paper comes in a weight range of 24 to 32 pounds. Heavier paper not only feels more substantial, but it can also prevent your resume from getting damaged or wrinkled during handling.

Utilizing high-quality paper for your resume not only helps you stand out from the competition but also demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism. So, when printing your resume, remember to opt for a paper that has a high cotton content, a neutral color, and a suitable weight to make the best first impression.

Best and Worst Resume Paper Textures

When choosing the right resume paper texture, it is essential to consider both the desired impression and the readability of the document. There are various options available, each with its unique characteristics.

Bamboo texture is an eco-friendly and attractive choice. It not only demonstrates environmental consciousness but also exudes a distinct professional look. However, it may be slightly harder to find and a little more expensive than traditional resume paper options.

Plain resume paper with a subtle texture, such as linen or laid finish, strikes a balance between formality and a professional-looking presentation. This type of texture is not only cost-effective but also adapts well to different printing methods, ensuring a clean and sharp outcome. Additionally, plain resume paper enhances readability, the feature which recruiters appreciate, given the limited time they spend scanning each resume.

On the other hand, some textures are best avoided when selecting resume paper. Highly embossed or patterned papers can be distracting and make the text hard to read. Furthermore, excessively glossy or shiny paper may come across as unprofessional and may not work well with certain printing techniques.

To conclude, it’s important to choose a resume paper texture that is sophisticated and professional, as well as easy to read. Bamboo and plain resume paper with subtle textures are excellent options, while highly decorated or glossy textures should be avoided for the best results.

Wrap Up

When it comes to job interviews and career fairs, choosing the right resume paper is critical. Using professional resume paper sets a strong first impression and helps to catch the eye of recruiters.

Selecting the best resume paper comes down to two aspects: color and weight. For colors, consider using white-colored paper or an ivory color. Both of these choices are neutral and professional, allowing the content of your resume to gain the reader’s full attention.

In terms of weight, two common paper weights are recommended for resumes: 24lb and 32lb. A 24lb paper is lighter and more cost-effective, making it suitable for sending out multiple resumes to different job openings. On the other hand, 32lb paper is thicker and sturdier. This heavier option can leave a lasting impression, especially in face-to-face job interviews or career fairs where a tangible resume is handed to potential employers.

By choosing the appropriate color and paper weight for your resume, you are demonstrating attention to detail and professionalism. An excellent resume paper can help you stand out in competitive job markets and is worth considering as part of your overall job search strategy.

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