The 8 Best Resume Paper Brands of 2020
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In the digital media age, a paper resume might seem redundant as employers review their applicants online. However, a hard copy resume leaves an important first impression when you’re headed to a career fair or an interview, and it’s something that you don’t want to skimp on. Your experiences may matter most, but how you present that information also makes a difference. While you could reach for regular copy sheets, investing in resume paper can make you stand out as a candidate dedicated to quality and professionalism.
When shopping for resume paper, consider paperweight, material, and texture. As a general rule, resume paper is thicker than copy paper and thinner than cardstock with a weight that ranges between 24 and 32 lb. Material-wise, most resume paper consists of a percentage of cotton, which allows it to absorb ink better and last longer. Last, but not least, texture plays a crucial part in making your resume distinct. Resume paper comes with a smooth, wove finish or a linen texture where you can see raised paper fibers.
Whether you’re job-hunting on a budget or need premium material for an executive CV, read on to find the best resume paper that will make your experiences shine.
Best Overall: Southworth Parchment Specialty Paper
Southworth is the top brand when it comes to resume paper. It’s endorsed by none other than the National Resume Writers Association, so it’s a reliable choice when you need to prepare for interviews or networking events. If you’re a beginner when it comes to printing resumes on something more luxurious than copy sheets, we recommend Southworth’s parchment paper, which has a decent 24 lb weight. The paper also has a slight texture, but it won’t be as noticeable as a linen. It’s also laser, inkjet, and copier compatible so printing your resumes is fuss-free. You can choose from an ivory shade or other colors such as copper, blue, celery, gold, and gray for a few dollars extra.
While many other Southworth products have been criticized for having a watermark, this paper, according to reviews, doesn’t come with one. It’s a great choice for those who want a clean CV to pass out to potential employers.
Best Wove Finish: Southworth Cotton Resume Paper, Wove Finish
Resume paper comes with either a wove or linen texture. Wove means that it has a smooth finish as opposed to linen’s raised threads. This is a popular product on Amazon, ranked No. 1 in New Release in the stationery category. Reviewers have responded to it well, and many praised the longevity of the paper as well as how well ink sticks onto it. According to users, you can pair the sheet with a fountain pen and it won’t feather, bleed, or pool ink. Colorwise, choose between white and ivory.
Keep in mind that Southworth’s paper has a watermark with a date code for branding. While it may show that you did research for good resume paper, the mark may conflict with your style if you prefer a minimal look.
Best Linen Texture: Southworth 100% Cotton Résumé Paper
Again, Southworth never fails when it comes to resume paper. A linen finish distinguishes how your paper feels and looks. Those who want a classy, distinct texture should consider one, as it will make your resume stand out in the hands of employers. The 32 lb weight allows each sheet to remain resistant to damage. As it’s thicker than our top choice, it costs more, though is worth the extra money if you want a linen finish. The 100 percent cotton composition also absorbs ink better and lasts longer. You can choose between a subdued, almond color or a pale blue. Though it’s on the heavier side for resume paper, you will still be able to use it in inkjets, laser printers, and copiers. Each ream comes with 100 sheets of papers.
Many reviewers disliked the watermark but loved the thickness and texture of the paper. They also praised its subtle wash of color, which isn’t too loud for professional purposes.
Best Budget: HP Printer Paper Premium24
HP’s 24 lb presentation paper does the trick when you need something that is substantial as well as affordable. It’s smooth and bright, perfect for professional needs. There’s no need to worry about jams since the paper is compatible with inkjets, laser printers, and copiers. Plus, it’s acid-free, so it has long-lasting, archival quality.
This ream comes with 500 sheets, which means that you’ll have enough material to create resumes during your job-hunting season. Should you need thicker paper in the same quantity, you’ll have other options as well. HP also sells heavier 28 and 32 lb papers in this particular product line, and they’re only a few dollars more expensive. You can also choose how many reams of paper you want, from one to an entire pallet.
The Premium24 paper’s uses go well beyond resumes. Many customers report using it with calligraphy nibs and fountain pens, which speaks to the paper’s high quality, as many papers are prone to bleeding and feathering with those writing utensils.
Best Set: 28 lb Cream Linen Resume Paper & Envelopes - 40 Sets
Anyone planning to send out paperweight resume by mail will find this pack of 40 matching sets of linen paper and envelopes from Desktop Publishing Supplies, Inc. useful. The hefty 28 lb paper comes in a subdued cream color that’s perfect for professional uses, from resumes to thank you notes. It also has a linen texture that adds a touch of class and elegance to your document. While the paper feels and looks luxurious, you’ll be able to use it with most inkjet and laser printers effortlessly.
Keep in mind that the envelopes are #10 size, so you’ll need to fold your paper to make it fit. Another caveat to consider is that the set is on the pricer end when it comes to resume paper. Still, it’s an investment that can make a lasting impression. If you find yourself with leftover sets, they make for perfect invitations and letters.
Best Gold: Jam Paper Antique Gold 24 lb Parchment Paper
Gold paper without flashy metallic finishes makes your resume pop more than the average off-white or ivory color without going overboard. Jam Paper’s 24 lb gold parchment paper stands out and leaves a sophisticated impression. If you’re into neutral colors, the brand also carries other subtle shades, including blue, brown, green, natural, pewter, pink ice, and white parchment.
The paper consists of 30 percent recycled material, so you leave a smaller carbon footprint when making your resume. After you get the job, use your remaining sheets for invitations, menus, certificates, and more! The standard pack includes 50 sheets, so it’s sufficient if you’re selective about handing out your resume at job fairs and networking events.
Best for Executives: Magnum Opus Resume Paper
If you’re a senior-level professional, print your resume with M.O. high-quality stationery. Magnum Opus’ resume paper has a respectable 28 lb weight, making it perfect for important career uses. It has a non-yellow ivory color and a slight texture, giving your resume a classy touch. The paper also comes with no manufacturer watermark so that your experiences and qualifications shine with no obtrusions.
What makes this paper feel luxurious is that it consists of virgin fibers as opposed to recycled paper. As a result, it’s more absorbent and less susceptible to breakage. That said, the obvious downfall is that it isn’t quite as sustainable as recycled paper. And it's a bit pricey for only 50 sheets of paper.
Best Recycled: Mohawk Copier 100% Recycled Paper, 28 lb
Mohawk’s Copier makes 100 percent recycled 28 lb paper, allowing you to be more sustainable as you print out copies of your resume. Most papers have recycled material, but the process of recycling paper has drawn criticism in that it results in a poorer quality product and leaves a significant carbon footprint. This ream from Mohawk Copier matches virgin fiber quality, includes no chlorine in its process, and is manufactured with green wind power that adheres to Renewable Energy Certification.
Besides being a sustainable option, the paper is acid-free, which means that it has archival quality and won’t lose its integrity over time. It’s also one of the most affordable options on this list — and each ream comes with 500 sheets. Last, but not least, the paper is low maintenance and feeds into laser printers, inkjets, and high-speed copiers.
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular resume paper on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different papers overall, screened options from 9 different brands and manufacturers, read over 40 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 1 of the papers themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.