SECTION G: Printed Résumés


Even though the electronic age has gotten us preoccupied with e-résumés, you still need a version of your résumé formatted for printing. 

You should have a good paper résumé (in the color of your choice), a good white résumé for scanning or faxing, an ASCII résumé which will come from your word processing document, and an e-résumé which will come from your ASCII. 

Let’s say your job advertisement asks for a mailed paper copy. When you are using something tangible, the paper you choose must be at least between 16 to 25 lbs. You can purchase this kind of paper for about $17 per ream (500 sheets).

Though your local Kinko’s or Staples may bring you samples of fabulous “official” résumé paper that can cost several times as much, that standard is not necessary unless you are aiming for an ultra-high executive position. The higher up the job ladder, the heavier you mustgo. For most of us, staying in the 16-25 lb. range is more than sufficient.  Have your sales assistant hand you sheet samples so you can feel the difference in the heft of the paper.  Choose the one you like the feel of.

Compare the colors you like by spreading them on the counter and seeing how you choice might look stacked in a pile with other submissions.  Your lovely ice glacier gray looks dashing on its own, but stacked in with ultra white sheets may inadvertently look dull or dingy.

Watermarks are a source of debate. Many years ago, they carried a mark of snobbery and quality, but that no longer holds true today. Paper with a watermark does not scan well! Paper without a watermark is about 1/3 the price of watermarked paper, and just as nice.  However, the decision is yours.

All the high-quality white paper you buy for scanning and faxing must be watermark free.

Plain copier paper works with a scanner.  The Frederick Workforce Services Center will help supply you with this at no charge.

Remember, your résumé will be viewed in an intensely competitive situation. YOU must decide what represents YOU best.


  • Arial (British / European Business Standard)

This does not space evenly from a printer’s point of view: it will expand and contract within a sentence so your words may not be even.

  • Times New Roman (American Business Standard) 

This spaces completely evenly at all times but has the nuisance factor of dangly bits (serifs) on top of letter.  This makes scanning and faxing sloppy.

Scannable resumes must use a common sans-serif font like Arial or Cambria

Recommended size is:

12 points for body

14 for headings

Don’t go bigger than 16

If you don’t make it look reader-friendly, it will not be read.

ALWAYS use a laser printer. (Free at the FCWS)