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Should I Bring A Resume To The Interview?

October 23rd, 2008 · 12 Comments

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The end.

Sometimes my job search tips seem obvious. Sometimes the tips are so simple, you would think everyone would say, well, duh.

But this tip comes from an encounter with a client I had this morning which drove home yet again the idea that no tip is too simple. There’s always someone out there who could use the suggestion, no matter how obvious it might seem.

So here’s my simple advice: don’t forget to take a paper copy of your resume along with you to every interview. In fact, take more than one copy.

Why do you need to take your resume to an interview in this day and age of online resumes and application submissions?

Well, first off, it’s a courtesy. It shows that you’ve prepared and have a certain degree of professionalism. It’s sort of the same thing as wearing a decent outfit to the interview.

It’s also a ritual thing. Handing your resume across the desk is just part of the whole interview ritual. Sometimes the resume is just a prop to get the discussion going. If they don’t need to look at it, the worst they can do is decline your offer. No problem, you slide your copy back into your folder or portfolio.

But here’s where it’s just common sense: any HR rep will tell you that their job can very often be chaotic. Sure, you’re on their schedule, and maybe you’re already an assigned file in their database.

But that doesn’t mean they’ll have all their paperwork together when you sit down for the interview. Being able to hand them what they need can get the ball rolling.

And, leaving behind a tangible piece of evidence is one more bit of insurance that you won’t be forgotten or lost in the shuffle.

So, even in this electronic age, you should absolutely bring along a physical copy of your resume to every interview.

(Oh… and why do I recommend bringing more than one copy? Well, answer me this: how sure are you that you are going to be interviewed only once? Or only by one person at a time? Better bring enough resumes along so that everyone can have one of their own.)

And, of course, you’ll be better off if you bring along a resume written by a professional resume writing service.

Related posts:

  1. Interview AND Resume Tip- The Job Description Is Just The Starting Point
  2. 6 Signs The Job Interview Went Well
  3. Train Yourself To Ace The Interview By Going On Trial Run Interviews
  4. Resume Tip- 4 Quick Ways To Make Your Resume Stand Out
  5. Ask Brian- How To Schedule An Interview When You Already Have A Job
  6. Old School Resume Hack- Snail Mail

Tags: Interviewing · Resumes

  • Jodith

    I always take about 5 copies of my resume to each interview along with my reference list. In never hurts for the interviewer to have a 2nd copy.

    One of the reasons I always offer it is because many times these days, you are applying for jobs on-line and you submit a text only resume. I like to hand over a copy of my professionally formatted resume at the interview because it just helps show your professionalism, and as a secretary, that you know how to properly format documents.

    I rarely have had an interviewer turn down a fresh copy of my resume.

  • ScottG

    I agree with taking more resumes with you for an interview. For one, you never know if you’d be facing an interview board. Sure they may have ‘copies’ of your resume but with additional resumes makes you appear professional, ready, and it’s much nicer than some old xeroxed copy.

  • Richard Rinyai

    Hi Brian,

    I also think that having a copy of it in front of you can be used as que cards. This way, it will help you get through the points that you want to mention, just in case you blank out part way of the interview.


    Richard Rinyai

  • Jonathan

    Brian – Good advice…you dont want to read the resume though…you have to be able to talk about what you did and the nuances of what made you succesful. So many people are freaking out about the economy but I still see thousands of jobs posted on employment sites. (networking) (aggregated listings) (matches you to jobs)

    good luck to those searching for jobs.

  • Pingback: Getting the details right « Career Solutions’s Weblog

  • ScottG

    The resume is meant to get your foot in the door for an interview. The rest is up to you. You should have your ‘stories’ built around your resume focusing on your accomplishments and how you can save them money and/or time OR make them money. The interview is NOT about you but about THEM the employer as to WHY they should hire you! (and not just to give you a job!)

  • gWallet

    I can’t imagine who wouldn’t bring a resume to an interview. Sure, chances are that your potential employer already has a copy, but it’s your job as the potential employee to come prepared for anything. The resume, if nothing else, is an ice breaker.

  • Kenny

    I have a interview thurs. what is a good way to bring the resume into the interview? I do not want to just bring in peices of paper should i bring it in a folder?

  • omar

    kenny would be a good idea if you have some kind of nice folder to keep you resume in.. maybe invest in a leather folder like i did:D

  • Corinn

    I am attending to an interview this afternoon and have printed out the exact number of resumes for the number of interviewers. I placed each one in a new manilla envelope. This suffices well, which allows them to transport the resume themselves without losing anything and also keeping it neat and clean.

  • Squirrilpants

    I found this as helpful as a sandwhich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Lol. Hey, they can’t all be deep dissertations!