Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert 22 Jan 2020
In this article, I am going to share with you a cool hack to further enhance the impact of your CV and it is related to paper.
This is because not all paper is created equal.
Different paper qualities
Paper comes in different densities.
The value of this density is given in grams per square metre (gsm).
The typical photocopy paper is 80gsm in weight/density which is not recommended or suitable for printing your CV on.
The 80gsm paper, as you would have noticed, is thin, has a cheap feel to it and is slightly transparent. Yuck!
When does paper quality matter?
If you use email to apply for jobs there is no paper to worry about.
However, if you are handing out your printed CV to hiring managers when applying for jobs or during a job interview, you should give serious thought to the paper quality of your CV and selected a higher density paper.
- First impression: Every human being, no matter how much they try not to, makes snap judgments about people based on very small details. If a candidate’s socks don’t match, does that mean that they are a bad worker? Of course not! But an interviewer might draw that conclusion without even thinking about it. Similarly, a snap judgment is made the moment you hand over your CV to the recruiter. Does it feel professional? Is it presented nicely? You want your CV to make the right first impression!
- Personal sales brochure: Do companies ever print their sales brochures on awfully-cheap photocopy paper? Never! Their customers wouldn’t take their products seriously if they did. Likewise, your CV is your personal sales brochure so don’ print it on the standard cheap photocopy paper.
- Professional appearance: For a job interview, you want to present yourself in the best possible way. You want employers to know you care about this job position and their company. Similarly, when you select high-quality paper for printing, it’s like choosing the best professional clothing – you are saying that you are thoughtful and that professional presentation and appearances matter to you.
- Attention to detail: Many people will list on their CVs that they have “excellent attention to detail”, but then hand out shoddy CVs printed on cheap paper! By making an effort the extra effort to improve the presentation of your CV, you demonstrate that you do, in fact, pay attention to the small details. These small things make a big impression on managers. Every time they look at your CV they will be reminded of the effort that you put into it to impress them. Not many applicants would have done the same.
- A CV is how you put your best foot forward: In a competitive job market, employers are often looking for reasons not to hire the applicant in front of them. They need to narrow the field to the best choices, and you need to make sure you do not get eliminated. When you put time and effort into the paper quality you choose for your CV, alongside the content and clarity of the CV, you will be using your top marketing tool to your best advantage.
Best paper density to use for a CV
The ideal paper density of a CV should be between 100gsm and 120gsm. This will give your CV slightly more weight and make it stand out above the rest of the CVs. Be careful though, anything with a higher density than 120gsm will make your CV feel like a thick card!
Similarly, when posting your job applications make use of high-quality envelopes.
Can I print my CV on coloured paper?
If you have the colours blue or green in mind, then the answer is no.
Printing on coloured paper is only acceptable for cream or light cream colours.
Any other colours may cause serious readability issues, especially when the CV is scanned and read on the screen or re-printed.
Your CV is your personal marketing tool which can make or break your chances of being invited for a job interview.
Putting extra effort into the details and presentation of your CV, for example by choosing high-quality paper for printing, can add value to your job application.
These little things, although seeming insignificant at first, all add up and build up a more favourable picture of you in the minds of the recruiters.
“Excellence is in the details. Give attention to the details and excellence will come.” – Perry Paxton