For the new graduate, building a stationery wardrobe and learning how to use which types of correspondence when can be quite overwhelming, but, when mastered, quite rewarding. We often get emails asking which types of stationery a new graduate should have in his/her possession. In order of importance, we suggest the following three:
The correspondence card is a flat card that can be used for post-interview thank you notes. We recommend an ecru or white paper color with one’s full name printed at the top. Contact information such as email address and/or phone number can also be included. Your font and ink color should reflect your personal style, however keep in mind that this stationery will often be sent in a professional context. As a new graduate, letterpress or thermograph printing is preferable, as engraving may come across as too extravagant. (Treat yourself to the latter the day you receive a notable promotion.)
The calling card is similar in size to a business card and most often used in both social and networking situations to pass along your contact information. Calling cards can, in addition to white and ecru, be printed on colored stock. Navy and grey are both nice choices. Like your correspondence card, your font and ink color should reflect your personal style—however keep in mind that this stationery will often be given in a professional context—and letterpress or thermograph printing is preferable, as engraving may come across as too extravagant.
Nice paper sheets are always good to have on hand, as they can be used for the resumes you will hand out during interviews. Both ecru and white are acceptable color choices. Always choose a conservative, easy to read font and ink color.
Of course, using a sub-par pen on such lovely stationery would be like wearing gym sneakers with an expensive suit, so make sure yours is high quality and writes in either blue or black ink. When shopping for a pen, we suggest doing so in person and bringing along a piece of stationery on which to do a “test drive.” Always remember that a handwritten note never goes unnoticed.
A potential employer undecided between two equally qualified candidates may just be swayed by such a gesture. After all, thoughtfulness is a quality always in high demand.
For more graduate etiquette advice, please enjoy posts on the sites below (many of which are giving away a lovely Sheaffer pen) June 24th through June 27th, courtesy of the #wisdomforgrads series:
If you have more questions about stationery and/or the etiquette that goes with it, please contact our Crane Concierge at firstname.lastname@example.org.