What size paper and envelope should I use?

Posted in Career Blog

So, you’ve finished brainstorming the content for your cover letter, now what? First, you have to know how to put all the information together in a lucid address to your prospective employer. Second, you need to know how to present it in a manner that is polished and professional. Beyond ensuring the correct format is used and grammar perfected; you’ll also want to ensure that you use the correct paper and envelope-if you are sending your application by mail.

First, you may be wondering what kind of paper you should use. Though many career sites and resources will tell you that standard office paper will work for a mailed cover letter and resume, it is really best to use a nice weighted professional stock paper for all materials included in an application. This paper you can find at any office supply store, and will even be entitled resume paper for your convenience. This way you address your employer with the best professional approach, rather than just using cheap copy paper. Remember, first impressions are more important than ever when applying for a job-and this includes the paper that you use in an application. Moreover, you need to ensure you use the same paper for all documents in the package.

If you decide to take the advice in the previous paragraph and buy resume paper, then you do not have to worry about the right size paper and envelopes; however, you want to buy other paper of equal value and want to know the size expected when applying for a job, it is 8.5”X11”. Anything smaller than this standard size looks like a personal note, and might also get lost more easily in a hiring manager’s papers. Anything larger than 8.5”X11” looks out of place, like a poster might. In short, a hiring manager is expecting certain things from a cover letter, and letting them down with something other than that does not look unique; but, instead, unprofessional.

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