It is so easy to create a letterhead all your own and to make it match your résumé.
Just copy into a new document the name and address you have already created
for your résumé. It couldn't be simpler! It makes a very sharp impression
when your cover letter and résumé match in every respect from paper color to
font to letterhead.
Color, like music, creates an atmosphere. Everyone knows that different colors
evoke different feelings. Red can make a person feel warm, whereas blue does
just the opposite.
Of course, you wouldn't
want to use red in a résumé! . . . although an artist could get away with
just about any color. As a general rule, résumé papers should be neutral or
light in color. After 20 years in the résumé business, I have discovered
that brilliant white linen paper is still the most popular, followed closely
by a slightly off-white and then by shades of light gray.
Just make sure that the
color of the paper you choose is representative of your personality and
industry and that it doesn't detract from your message. For instance, a dark
paper color makes your résumé hard to read.
In a scannable résumé,
never use papers with a background (pictures, marble shades, or speckles). A
scanner tries to interpret the patterns and dots as letters. This is a good
rule to follow even for paper résumés that will never be scanned. Often
companies will photocopy résumés for hiring managers, and dark colors or
patterns will simply turn into dark masses that make your résumé difficult
to read. If a company has multiple locations, the original résumé may even
get faxed from one site to another and the same thing happens.
The type of paper (bond,
linen, laid, cover stock, or coated) isn't as important, although it also
projects an image. Uncoated paper (bond, linen, laid) makes a classic
statement. It feels rich and makes people think of corporate stationery and
important documents. Coated stock recalls memories of magazines, brochures,
and annual reports. Heavy cover stock and laid paper can't be successfully
folded and don't hold the ink from a laser printer or copier very well, so
they must be handled gently. All of these factors play a part in your paper
Regardless of the paper
you choose, mail your résumé flat instead of folded. It costs a few extra
cents in postage and a little more for the 9 × 12 envelope, but the
impression it makes is well worth the extra cost. It also helps with the
scannability of your résumé. Thank you letters and other follow-up letters
can be folded in standard No. 10 business envelopes.
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