Do I Still Need to Print a Resume (and Copies) for an Interview?

Since you’re reading this, we’re going to assume that you’re proactively seeking employment. We’re also going to assume that you have sent your resume out to signify that you are applying for a job opening, and after receiving your resume (and possibly speaking to you over the phone or via email), that the employer(s) who posted the job openings you applied to have requested an interview. Let us start out by saying a big “Congratulations!” Landing an interview is certainly a good thing, as it signifies that you have successfully passed the first phase of the process of applying for a job. Now it’s time to meet with the employer for an interview. 

When preparing for your upcoming interview, selecting the right attire (and making sure that they’re clean and pressed), ensuring that you look as presentable and professional as possible, and readying essential documents are certainly important. While you’re prepping for your upcoming interview, you may be asking yourself, “Should I print out and bring copies of my resume?” That’s a great question! Let’s take a look at the answer. 

Preparing for an interview  

While an interview is certainly exciting, it can also be nerve-racking. It goes without saying that you want to make the best impression possible and really highlight why you’re the perfect candidate to fill the position. Dressing for success, speaking clearly, enunciating your qualifications, showcasing your personality, and demonstrating your interpersonal skills are all essential ways of setting yourself up for success. There’s another key element that you’re going to want to show prospective employers: organization. 

No matter the industry and the position, organization is a vital skill that pretty much every employer is going to want to make sure that candidates demonstrate. Organized people tend to work more efficiently and effectively, and it’s no secret that the more efficient and effective an employee is, the more they’re going to bring to the table – and the more they’re going to do for the success of the business. While there are a lot of ways that you can demonstrate you’re an organized individual, one of the easiest ways to do so is by bringing along one simple, yet vital document: a copy of your resume. 

Why Bringing a Copy of Your Resume Matters

We know what you’re thinking: “I sent my resume to the employer and they obviously read it, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten a call for an interview. So why do I need to bring a copy of my resume with me to the interview?” Are we right? We hear you! That’s a totally logical thought process. But here’s a look at some very good reasons why taking a printed copy with you to an interview is so important. 

  • It shows you’re organized. First and foremost, as we mentioned above, bringing along a copy of your resume to an interview shows the prospective employer that you’re organized. It illustrates that you brought along anything that you might possibly need to showcase your credentials and why you’re a good fit for the position. By demonstrating your organizational skills, you’re more likely to make a good impression on the employer. 
  • It demonstrates professionalism. Believe it or not, bringing along a copy of your resume to the interview shows the employer that you’re a professional. It tells the employer that you took the time to prepare for the interview ahead of time; kind of like why wearing an appropriate outfit and looking presentable is important for an interview. 
  • It’s expected. While yes, it’s true that the employer or hiring manager already read through your resume (clearly, otherwise they wouldn’t have called and invited you in for an interview); however, presenting a resume in-person is kind of part of the whole interview process. After exchanging salutations and handshakes, handing over a resume is usually the next step in the process. Often, it’s nothing more than a prop that helps to break the ice and gets the conversation going; nevertheless, even if the interviewer doesn’t look at the document you presented or already has a copy on-hand, it certainly won’t deduct any points from your score. 
  • It’s a courtesy. This is perhaps the most important reason to bring a printed copy of your resume to an interview. Employers and HR reps are super-busy. In the midst of their chaotic schedule, your resume may have been misplaced or the interviewer may have forgotten to print it out themselves and bring it along. Whatever the case, if the person who is interviewing you does want to see a copy of your resume and doesn’t have the document themselves, if you have it readily available and present it to them, you’re definitely going to score some points. 
  • You’re interviewing with a group. The position you’re applying for may require an interview with a group of people; the owner of the company, the HR rep, and the manager that will be overseeing your department, for example. If so, there’s a good chance that not everyone in the group that you’ll be interviewing with will have a copy of your resume. If you are going to be meeting with more than one person, a good hiring manager will let you know and will tell you who exactly it is that you’ll be meeting with. If that’s the case, bring along enough copies of your resume for each interviewer, and add in an extra for good measure. If you aren’t sure how many people you’ll be meeting with, print out about 7 to 10 copies; yes, it may be too many, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

It can provide updated information. If you have some new and pertinent information that you would like to add that isn’t on the resume you initially sent out to the employer, bringing a printed updated copy definitely a must. Just present the updated version to the interviewer and let them know about the new information, which will also serve as a great way to spark up a conversation about that key information.

Conclusion. Even during times of employee shortage it’s important to showcase your skills and put yourself above the competition if you want to land those high quality jobs. Though we do live in the digital age perspective employees will set themselves ahead of the pack by printing their completely up to date resume for employers. Of course, there are some other things you can do to set yourself ahead of the competition as well.

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