Mass Production, E-mail, and Distribution
At one time, people worried about things like typesetting and having a clean ribbon in the typewriter. Then it was a good laser printer, picking the right paper, and finding matching envelopes. That eventually moved into fax machines and now e-mail. Each era comes with its own advantages and pitfalls.
Most of your resumes will probably go out via e-mail or be posted to the Web, though you will still need a printed version as well. In either case, it's important to make a good first impression. Make your resume effective with strong format, very simple graphics (as long as they contribute to your statement), and an attractive design.
Most resumes are created or updated using word-processing software and duplicated on paper using quality printers and photocopiers. It's best to use standard portrait orientation (with the resume reading top to bottom on the page), and while you've probably seen creatively formatted resumes — horizontal style, foldouts, or brochures, for instance — it's really best to stick with the standard.
For paper copies, use a top-quality laser printer or photocopier, and use bond or linen paper. White, ivory, natural, and off-white are your best color options. The content and format of your resume will make your document stand out; the color of your paper does not matter. If you have your resumes copied, get extra paper and matching envelopes. Use the same paper for your cover letters and other correspondence. Brand yourself; a professional image contributes to your marketability.