In this digital age of job hunting, it is easy to overlook the tried and true paper resume. They may no longer be the first impression you make when job hunting, but they are still what makes a lasting impression with employers. After all, it is probably one of the most important things you bring to a job interview.
You will want to bring several copies of your resume. Never assume the interviewer will have a copy of yours on hand, let alone anyone else who interview you. That’s right, chances are when you go to interview in person, you will be interviewing with several people. Each interaction is an additional opportunity to make yourself memorable, on paper.
Now, your resume is not the only important piece of paper you will need. You will want to bring a sheet with your references. After all, if you have made it through to initial and follow-up interviews, chances are your prospective employer will want a list of references. Having them prepared and produced on paper along with your resume reinforces your professionalism.
Print both your resume and references on one-sided paper so your interviewer does not have turn pages back and forth. You want them to be able to lay the sheets side by side and not miss any details. Also, the extra space provided by one-sided copies allows the interviewer to easily take notes.
Another important paper product to have on hand is a journal or notepad. Yes, the company is interviewing you, but you are also interviewing them. Taking notes shows you are an active participant in the process, interested in what your prospective employer has to say. If given the choice between a candidate who take notes or one who sits back passively during the interview process who do you think has the advantage? Another added advantage to bringing paper for taking notes is that you have a place to scribble names and titles of all the people you will speak with and what you discuss and that comes in useful with the last piece of paper you will need.
Once you have finished the actual interview process, there is one more important piece of paper that will help seal the deal - the thank you note. A thank you note should be sent after every interview, even a phone interview. And a handwritten thank you note will continue to set you apart from the pack. In a world where our inboxes are overloaded, a physical card will command attention and perhaps land that job.
So, when it comes to job interviewing, don’t just focus on making that perfect first impression. Yes, wearing just the right outfit and being prepared for the interviewer’s questions make for a great initial impact on a prospective employer. But just as important, if not more, will be the lasting impression you make with paper.