Some proven resume presentation advice for your consideration:
(1) The cover letter is meant to ‘whet the appetite’ and the resume should ‘sell you’ to the interviewer. So present the cover letter first, and then the resume. If you need to include a photo, put that first. If submitting through the mail, I recommend stacking in this order: photo, cover letter and resume. Do not include anything else to detract from these documents. Note: We don’t recommend stapling your cover letter or photo to your resume. Use a paper clip so they can be separated, and make sure your name is on your photo (if any).
(2) When submitting through the mail, do NOT fold your documents. Use a light colored (white or off-white is best; manila envelopes can have a negative effect) envelope and put your resume and cover letter, unfolded, in the envelope with the type facing the flap side of the envelope. I recommend NOT sealing the envelope if it has another way (like a ‘bendy’ envelope closer) to close it.
(3) Paper types are not as important as they used to be, but when choosing what sort of paper to print your resume on, we recommend the following: (Again, do not fold your resume) Ladies: A good 60lb weight paper in an off-white or light almond color. Leave your cover letter on simple, crisp, clean white paper. Gentlemen: A good 60lb weight paper in an off-white, light grey or light-almond color. Leave your cover letter on crisp, clean white paper. Note: It’s important not to detract from your resume with the paper you choose to print it on. Therefore, we’d stay away from overt colors and ‘designer’ papers that may make your resume harder to read.
(4) Don’t be ‘stingy’ with your resume! Send it/hand it to everyone who may be able to refer or recommend you to a potential employer. Think of it as ‘your brochure’, and until you find that perfect job, you want to ‘plaster’ the (very resume rich) market with your superior resume. Have extra copies in your car, briefcase or purse to hand to people you encounter in the halls, elevators, parking lots, coffee houses, etc. Don’t be shy showing off your personal marketing document!
(5) Keep a contact list of the key people you share your resume with. Get back to them, where appropriate, until either you have the job, or you think that job is no longer a possibility for you. In most cases, people will respect you for making the effort to get in touch, every several days, until you have an answer.
(6) When in an in-person interview, just hand the resume to the interviewer when he/she asks for it. Your cover letter is only important when you aren’t there. Have the important introductory information of your cover letter committed to memory, and remember that it’s most important to present your resume at the appropriate time.
(7) When presenting your resume for the interviewer’s consideration, we recommend standing (casually), keeping your distance from his/her desk (and thereby granting the interviewer his/her space), bending over to place the document (text facing toward THEM) on his/her desk (in an open area, don’t put it on top of other documents!), smiling, and returning to your chair. Make a little ceremony of it! The interviewer may not recognize it as such, but it shows that (1) you are a polite person, (2) you’re proud of your resume, (3) you’re willing to ‘go the extra mile’ to be polite and accommodating even before you get the job.
* If you haven’t yet, we recommend reading “7 Common-Sense Steps to Getting Hired”.