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A Perfect Resume: Digital or Paper?


“I was quite confident that recruiters don’t use paper resumes in their work today and thought taking a paper resume with you was a kind of formality. To my huge surprise, coming to the job interview, I was asked for the paper resume. Then an HR manager started asking me questions basically using the resume I’ve brought.” Dina Walters, 24, a job seeker from Alabama

A perfect resume is the one that breaks through an impressive quantity of other candidates’ resumes leading you to a job interview and rising your chances in filling the desired position. This article intends to prove not the fact of the paper resume importance or conversely its felling harm to forests but a twofold influence of both resume types – digital and paper ones used in correlation.

Why should a paper resume disappear at all? We still read paper books even though it’s cheaper to download “epub”. A new generation is puzzled with the question in one’s mouth “why?”. A new scientific study by TheLadders proves that the resume in your LinkedIn profile yields to the simpler resume form, which is the one we use in our Office Word document.

Here’s what exactly the research highlights: “…recruiters were able to review key data points faster because LinkedIn’s profiles had higher levels of visual complexity, and their ease of use suffered substantially as a result. Advertisements and “calls-to-action” created clutter that reduced recruiters’ ability to process the profiles. Recruiters fixated for an average 19% of the total time spent – on profile pictures, instead of examining other vital candidate information.” (TheLadders)

Yet even TheLadders’ resumes are not that perfect, because you still distract to colorful hot buttons, such as “Connect Now” or “I like this feature”. While having a printed resume, simply formatted and well-structured, a recruiter concentrates more on your qualifications and skills. For many recruiters and HR managers it’s much easier to print a resume to detect mistakes in it. Usually, in electronic version the editor’s sight is more limited and seeing any text in the other form different from that you were working with could help to see more imperfections.

Besides, it’s much faster for recruiters to take a pen and just write some notes during the interview. Imagine, an HR manager in the middle of your conversation begins typing in one’s laptop . Most likely you’ll stop and wait for the interviewer to finish one’s work. But when you see the person writing some notes in paper you’ll just naturally continue your speech without getting embarrassed.

“Last time I went to the job interview I felt as if I forgot to wear a tie though I was wearing an expensive one. That day I promised myself that I’d never go to another job interview without a paper resume. The situation was next: I took out my iPad to the recruiter’s question “Did you bring your resume with you?”, she smiled and said “No. I mean a paper one…” I found nothing to say and then she asked me to wait couple of minutes until she printed my resume. Then I saw her making some notes on those papers, she explained that this is a common practice among all other recruiters.” Michael Gilberth, 36, a job seeker from Iowa

In this case, bringing a paper resume with you will make an impression of a prepared, organized, responsible and good at planning job seeker. That’s why, a paper resume plays the role of so-called “a presentation document”. Some applicants even use special high-quality paper for printining to impress their recruiters and employers with ones serious approach.

Therefore, a perfect resume should be developed in three possible ways:

  • First and the main resume in Office Word document. Some job seekers use pdf version which makes it more difficult for special trekking system to scan and sometimes even to open properly. This Office Word resume must be perfect in terms of grammatical mistakes or typos absence and easy-read structure.
  • Linkedin profile must duplicate your resume completely. Avoid discrepancies in your data. Pay attention to details, names, dates. Any inaccuracies may ruin your profile and make a recruiter proceed to another candidate.
  • A paper printed resume is aimed at presenting you in the best light. This is the document you’ll be directly judged upon in view of your answers and preparation.



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