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How Custom Letterhead Can Help You Stand Out and Get Hired

16 January 2009 3 Comments

You Can Get the Right Attention with Professional Design


Custom letterhead in a clear, professional design gets the attention of job interviewers and human resources workers alike. Getting this attention is important because the typical resume reader spends less than a minute on each resume & sometimes only a few seconds.



Use printed originals not photocopies. A clean, tasteful custom letterhead design on 8½ x 11 quality heavier weight paper is an excellent way to show prospective employers that you’re professional. Don’t be overly ornate in your lettering or go overboard in terms of creativity. A resume and cover letter are supposed to convey your background and skills concisely. Custom letterhead design for job seeking is not the place to show off your art skills unless you’re applying for jobs in a creative field. Even then, being too creative may end up costing you in having your letterhead and resume discarded if the interviewer is expecting the traditional black on white in standard font.


Times New Roman is the best font style to use on resume letterhead in most cases, although Arial and Tahoma are commonly accepted in companies with a more modern business culture. Tasteful borders that separate the different sections of your resume can help make the page easy to read. Using bulleted points to sum things up rather than full sentences is also a good idea. Some capitalization, bolding and italicizing can make certain parts of your resume stand out well, but don’t overuse these techniques or the result may be a confusing, difficult to read resume.


The most important thing you can do before deciding on a design for your custom letterhead for job seeking, is to check whether the companies you’re applying to have submission guidelines for resumes. Check with the human resources department or the company website. It’s controversial whether custom letterhead should be used on a cover letter or not. Some HR advisors agree with it, while others say the cover letter page should not contain any letterhead. Remember, fitting in with the specific company you want to be hired by is the best thing to do in order to have a good chance of getting hired.


You Can Find the Perfect Paper for Your Field and Industry


Generally, you should use bright white quality paper of a nice, heavy weight for your custom letterhead resume. You could also use off white or even light grey or light tan. A light neutral still looks professional, yet stands out from the majority of resumes which will be on white or off white paper. However, you are taking a risk if the resume reader is expecting white or off white paper. Know what is preferable in your location, industry, field and specific company since standing out in the wrong way may get your resume get tossed out.



If you’re in a creative field, submitting a resume and cover letter on letterhead paper in a pale shade such as green or blue may work, but again it’s best to make your decision about this very carefully. If you do decide on a full color or 4/0 professional letterhead approach for you business keep it businesslike. Refrain from looking gimmicky such as having each letter in your name a different color. Use a professional printer and choose a clean, classy letterhead on quality weight paper for your resume.


Here are some ideas for paper to use for your letterhead resume and cover letter:


70 pound opaque This smooth, high quality offset stock paper is used in communications media such as magazines and books. It is great looking and feels heavy in the hand. This is the ideal choice when you want the back of your resume and cover letter to have a smooth look without the print from the front showing through.


24 pound laid When you want a personalized look that is a little creative, yet also completely professional and acceptable everywhere, this paper features a subtle finish that looks similar to that of hand-made papers. This is a great choice for both cover letters and resumes and it presents as unpretentious and unique.


24 pound linen classic This is an all purpose business paper most likely very familiar to the readers of your cover letters and resumes. The linen-like texture adds a touch of elegance. This classic paper is used daily in many businesses for corporate reports, legal briefs and business letterheads. You’ll make a professional impression when you use this for both cover letters and resumes. This or the 70 lb. opaque is especially suitable for more conservative career fields such as healthcare and law.

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