Pulp Magic

SEPTEMBER 28, 2017

Paper Can Get You Hired

Fall is a great time to start something new.  The frivolity of summer is behind you and the air feels crisp with possibility. But starting something new, like a job, still begins with something old, like a resume.

Despite the ubiquity of digital communications, a summary of your qualifications, experience and achievements printed on a weighty paper stock continues to be the best way to introduce yourself to a prospective employer. Resume_low

Oh sure, technology has made it a lot easier to compose, lay out and print a professional looking resume.  But it is the printed paper copy that conveys a level of dignity, importance and permanence that an ephemeral e-mail message simply can’t match.

It’s like a remotely delivered handshake – firm, formal and tactile.

Leonardo DaVinci is credited with the first resume – a letter to the Duke of Milan outlining all the skills he could bring to the Duke . . . (and since he was the original Renaissance Man his skills ranged from art to warfare.)

Since the mid-20th century onward, a resume on paper has been the prerequisite to a face-to-face interview.  It was the thing that opened the door.  It needed to look and feel professional.

In the past decade or so, new electronic variations on the hard copy resume have grown in popularity.  But nothing dies on the internet and some misguided attempts at self-description have spread far and wide on the internet.

With hip millennials increasingly unplugging from their devices, could we be about to witness a new appreciation for the printed resume?  At least one university is encouraging students to rediscover the language of analog communication before it’s lost forever.  Penn State recently partnered with a local copy shop to offer free resume printing on stationery-grade paper.

“[Using resume-grade paper] makes you stand out,” Spencer Davis, a Penn State sophomore computer engineering major told The Daily Collegian.  “Employers will think, ‘Wow this kid actually cares; this person really wants to be here.’”

Like a freshly pressed suit and a firm handshake, a resume printed on quality paper says you care about the other person enough to want to make a good impression.

And that’s the key.  It’s not about you . . . it’s about the person reading about you.  DaVinci’s resume is notable because it goes into such detail about what he can do for the Duke . . . “your Excellency – to whom I commend myself with the utmost humility.”

I’d definitely hire that guy.