The most important part of a resume package will always be its content, no matter how many gold fasteners and wax seals you adorn it with. But once you’ve put time into crafting a technically solid pitch, here are a few tasteful presentational upgrades you can make to ensure a mailed application is especially memorable.
Print it on card stock paper.
If you want to splurge a bit to making your resume look fancy, it’s best to stay clean and professional. Printing on a slightly thicker matte material not only gives your application a nice weight, but it also improves legibility. Steer clear of glossy printing materials, as they tend to have the opposite effect. And please don’t decorate your resume. PLEASE.
Know typography – or pass your resume to someone who does.
You can have the strongest resume in the stack, but it’s guaranteed to get laughed at if you print it with a Comic Sans header. At minimum, your typefaces should be professional and easy-to-read; bonus points if they’re also stylish. But don’t use more than three fonts total on your resume unless you have a REALLY defensible reason.
Modernize it with a QR code.
What’s a QR code? It’s sort of like a cooler-looking bar code that certain smartphone apps can scan and translate into more information. QR codes are an eye-catching way to embed a portfolio link on an otherwise drab, monotone resume or business card. And even if prospective employers don’t know what to do with it, they’ll probably wonder if it means something. You always want to keep ‘em wondering.
Clip a business card around your resume and cover letter.
The reader has to put it somewhere, and hopefully,somewhere is in their wallet. Try to be consistent by using the same fonts on your resume as you do on your business card,particularly where your name is printed. Remember: Your resume is marketing you as an employee, and consistent branding is an important part of any marketing effort.
Use one high-impact, legible color.
Multiple colors can get tacky really quick, but one strong shade that breaks up an otherwise black-and-white document can make a resume much easier to read. We recommend using it for your section headers, as we’ve done on our resume builder. But under certain circumstances, it can also be effective in highlighting your name at the top of the resume.
Have other ideas that seem to work? I suppose we’ll entertain your wacky suggestions in the comments below.