Paper to be Picky About: Resume Paper

Paper to be Picky About

By: Nate Pedronan, Operations Director | Niki Flowers, Resume Editor

Good paper alone won’t land you the offer letter, but it will help you stand out from the competition. There are 3 main factors to consider when choosing the perfect paper for your resume: Weight, Texture, and Color. There are also many different brands and types of fancy paper to choose from, so where should you start?

Let’s begin by looking more closely at the fine points of each considered factor:


The weight of your resume paper should not equal 50 lb cardstock, but using regular printer paper, which usually has a 20 lb weight and is incredibly flimsy, will not send the right message to your potential employer.

The best compromise would be between 24 lb and 32 lb paper. It shows the employer that not only is the possible job important, but the resume is too.


Generally, the more textured a paper is, the more expensive it will be. These options will usually be made of linen or cotton.

  • Linen paper has a woven finish applied with an embossing process.

  • Cotton paper has a smoother, less possibly distracting, finish which lasts longer and has proved to be more durable.


When people think of resume colors, they’re liable to think about the bright pink, scented paper used in Legally Blonde.

No matter how nicely that worked out for Elle Woods, most employers see colorful paper as unprofessional. It’s best to stick to either ivory or off-white when choosing a color of paper.


Resumes are not required to have a watermark on the paper they’re printed on, but because the companies that mark their paper are usually more expensive, it does give the notion that an employee cared enough about their resume to pick a higher end brand of paper.

This brings me to our next consideration, Types of resume paper brands:

HP Premium24 Printer Paper

If you want your resume to feel like a resume, but you don’t have a large budget, good option would be HP Premium24 Printer Paper.

This brand is 24 lb sheets, smooth, with a bright white finish. Not only is it affordable and acid free, so it lasts longer, but it is also compatible with copiers, Inkjets, and laser printers.

32 lb Southworth Exceptional Resume Paper

Personally, the 32 lb Southworth Exceptional Resume Paper has never let me down.

Touching this paper differentiates it from other brands with it being textured, but not enough to distract. It’s also an off-white color that does not present as yellow. A classic yet elevated feel, on account of the weight.

JAM 24 lb Antique Gold Parchment Paper

 When flash is your style, but you know you could never pull off that pink mentioned earlier, there is the JAM 24 lb Antique Gold Parchment Paper.

It gives your resume a pop without the metallic finish. Not to mention, it is made with 30% recycled paper, so while your resume style may be on, your carbon footprint is not.

Magnum Opus Resume Paper

 An executive may have more luck with the Magnum Opus Resume Paper, its ivory color is not as yellowish as ivory usually appears, and it has a 28 lb weight – giving it that extra ‘oomph’ for an important career turn.

Made of virgin fibers, it’s definitely not as sustainable as recycled paper, but it is less susceptible to breakage.           

Hopefully, this quick look at resume papers has given you an idea of on what to print your newly polished resume. Although there are many factors, the best way to find your Cinderella fit is to think about where you’re applying and the impression you want to give.  

To read more about our favorite resume paper click here.