The 3 Best Resume Paper Choices (+ Amazon Links) [2020 Updated]

Finding the perfect paper to print your resume on isn’t easy. While many searches on Amazon or Google for “resume paper” show options to buy, it’s probably not the best bet.

The paper you choose to print your resume on can definitely make an impact on the reader. If you think about it, the reader goes through quite the experience when they pick up your resume.

They pick it up by two hands, they prop it up, they decide which angle they want to start reading at, and take a glance. This is an experience. And you want to give them a positive one.

If you were to pick regular printer paper, in that same experience, the reader might have the paper fall backward. In a floppy motion, the reader could get distracted or frustrated trying to consume your information.

This is why choosing the right paper is vital to the outcome that you want the reader to experience.

Table of Contents

Instances Where You Need To Print Your Resume

Reality is, you won’t need to print your resume much. Majority of the time your application is going to be done online. And when you’re interviewing onsite, the human resources manager who set up your interviews will be the one printing your resume. In that case, you won’t have control over which type of paper to use.

But some retail settings and career fair events require you to bring printed resume copies. You may also be part of a college-level guidance counseling session where you would bring a printed resume in order to meet with advisors and get their perspective on your career path.

Is There Resume Specific Paper?

While many searches will lead you to “resume paper”, it’s not really paper designed for resumes. They are simply types of paper that may appear as though they are better for resumes. Mostly because they are not considered printer paper but are still 8 1/2 x 11 inches in dimension.

Don’t be fooled. There is no “resume paper” specifically.

Pearl White, White, Ivory, Cream?

When deciding between paper types, color comes up often. If you were to print a black and white resume from your printer right now, you’d see that the white paper makes the black ink easier to read.

If you had a piece of ivory paper or cream-colored paper in your home and you printed your resume, you’d see that the offset white color can make it difficult to read.

That’s because there’s not as much of a contrast. If you are choosing between colors, don’t think that by choosing ivory or cream-colored paper that you’ll stand out.

In fact, printing your resume on these colors of paper might cause eye strain for your reader. Instead, opt for plain white. Sometimes referred to as pearl white.

Black & White Resume or Color?

If you have color components to your resume, let's say you included your picture. I would advise against having those. It will distract from the goal that your reader has. That’s to scan your resume, get an idea of who you are, what skills you have, what merits you were able to achieve, and then decide how they should engage with you next.

Keep your resume in alignment with these goals of the reader.

The Weight Of Your Paper

Paper weight is the best way to stand out. It can make the experience of grabbing your resume and being able to prop it up to read, more enjoyable. Heavier paperweights often feel better on the fingertips as well.

You may opt for a paper that has some texture to it, which is okay. Heavier paper stock often has some light texture associated with it. And even when the paper is smooth, the heavier paper stock often feels similar to texture in terms of sensory for the reader.

Regular printer paper, which you most likely have laying around the house or the office, is around 20lb.

This weight of paper (20lb) is going to be quite flimsy. It will force the reader to have to set the paper on a table and prop their head over the paper in order to read it.

Opt for 32lb paper weight instead. Don’t go over 50lb paper weight as that is going to feel like a business card.

The 3 Best Resume Paper Choices

Crane & Co. is one of the world's oldest paper makers. They make stationery paper. And with a variety of materials as well. From cotton to linen paper sets. Crane & Co. is one of the best paper makers to choose your resume paper. And they’re available on Amazon! This is important because as consumers, we don’t shop in stores as much anymore. And finding materials such as Crane & Co. inside a retail store is unlikely.

Here are the best Crane & Co. papers you can use for the resume.

Crane & Co. Savoy - Bright White - 100% Cotton

This paper, being cotton, will have a nice mellow texture to it. At a heavier weight and a price range of $12 to $18 for 50 sheets, this should do the trick for your resume.

resume paper

Crane & Co. Premium Weight Pearl White

This 32lb weight paper and pearl white (bright white) paper is perfect for the printer. At a slightly more premium price range, this paper is around $25 to $35 depending on where you are located.

resume paper

Crane & Co. Pearl White Crest - 100% Cotton

This is one of my favorite Crane & Co. papers. The 32lb weight and slightly beveled corners, combined with the slightest texture, make this paper perfect. If you are looking for the best presentation, this paper is it. The problem is the price. You might be looking at $30 to $50 for 250 sheets of this paper.

resume paper

Resume Paper FAQ

Common questions asked by job seekers.

What type of job assets are these paper products good for?

A cover letter, functional resume, curriculum vitae, chronological resume, and any other type of resume format.

Why shouldn't I use a paper with a paper texture?

A slight texture is good. But sometimes the paper texture can distract from your actual resume itself. and you don't want that. Your ideal resume should be on a paper that makes it easy to ready but doesn't distract the reader. A good cotton paper is what we recommend.

What is the ideal color of paper I should use to make a "good resume"?

Truthfully, a mostly white paper is going to be your best resume paper color. The off white colors are great but they aren't going to be the best to use.

How much paper should I get during my job search?

You should only need to make one small purchase of a resume with the proper resume paper weight and color.

How much does the paper I use have an effect on the hiring process?

Not a lot. But if you use black paper for example, this could kick you out of the running pretty quickly as it shows you don't have a good professional background.

What if I have to submit an electronic resume?

Then you shouldn't have to worry about the paper. The recruiters who are reading your resume will be printing it out before your job interview. And the paper choice will be up to them.

What paper makes Times New Roman look the best?

All of the paper choices in this guide are perfect for Times New Roman.

Should I change the paper choice based on my resume format?

No, these are great choices of paper for your entire career, regardless of what you do or where you are in your career trajectory.

Should resumes and cover letters have different paper choices?

Absolutely not. Choose the same paper for both your resume and cover letter.

Resume Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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