Your resume was good enough to get you an interview, but if you show up with a wrinkled copy -- or worse yet, without one -- it may cost you the job. Interviewers ask important questions, but they also look for the little things that show you pay attention to details and are organized. A professional resume presented in a polished and attractive manner demonstrates these traits.
Your resume highlights your relevant work experience, education, skills, abilities and accomplishments in a summarized form. It's vital to an interviewer, who uses it to ask questions and dig deeper into your qualifications. Keep it simple and professional. Your interviewer has already seen your resume and will likely have it in front of her during your interview, but asking politely if she needs a copy lets her know you're well-prepared. You may also find that other people sit in on the interview, so bring extra copies to distribute as needed.
Just as you give a first impression with your outfit, handshake and smile, your resume is also making an impression. Print copies on high-quality white paper, preferably the kind that is created for resumes and other high-end business materials. Because paperwork is often processed electronically, it's a good idea to avoid paper in ivory or other colors, because they might not scan well. Leave generous margins on all sides when you print the resume, because interviewers often take notes in the margins during an interview. Try to keep the resume to one page, so she doesn't have to flip back and forth between pages, which is distracting.
Folding a copy of your resume and sticking it in your purse isn't a good option for keeping it in pristine condition. You may purchase special envelopes or folders made for resumes and carry them with you. A folder also makes a nice touch when you're presenting it to your interviewer. If you choose this route, it's a good idea to put the folder in some kind of carrying case, such as a briefcase or laptop bag, particularly if you have more than one copy. Another option is to place resume copies in a portfolio with a hard cover, because you can carry it without putting it in another case.
In addition to copies of your resume, bring copies of your references and other materials. Use the same quality paper for your references, and put them on the opposite side of your folder or portfolio from your resume. A hard-sided portfolio with at least two pockets is particularly helpful when you have more than just a resume to carry. Some interviews may require reference letters, examples of past work or other materials.
Since 1997, Maria Christensen has written about business, history, food, culture and travel for diverse publications. She ran her own business writing employee handbooks and business process manuals for small businesses, authored a guidebook to Seattle, and works as an accountant for a software company. Christensen studied communications at the University of Washington and history at Armstrong Atlantic State University.