Sending your resume
Since there are several ways to get your resume into the hands of an employer, We'll cover each in detail.
Also known as snail mail to those of us who depend on e-mail for much of our daily correspondence, traditional paper mail is how you will probably send most of your resumes to employers.
To ensure maximum results, follow these steps:
- Don't agonize over the envelope. A standard number 10 business envelope will work fine. For added emphasis, you can always FedEx your resume or send it in an oversized or stationery envelope. More important than the type of envelope you use is the spelling on the outside. Make sure EVERY WORD is spelled correctly. A misspelled name or address can kill your chances before the employer ever gets to your resume.
- It's OK to fold your resume. Follow standard business protocol and fold your resume twice, so that the document is divided into three parts from top to bottom.
- Sign your cover letter. Don't just run off hundreds of copies at Kinko's or from your own computer. The personal touch is important. And studies show that the signature is the second or third thing that readers look to in every letter. So, if sending a cover letter, be sure your signature is easy to read (but not too outlandish).
The main advantage of sending your resume by fax is speed. It will arrive within minutes, as opposed to the days it will take your resume to get there by paper mail. However, a fax is printed on flimsy paper and won't give your resume a very memorable appearance.
So, how can you combine the speed of faxing your resume with the high-quality appearance of mailing a stationery copy?
Do both! If you can send your resume by fax, send another copy by paper mail. This has several advantages:
- The faxed version will arrive quickly and should suffice if the employer wants your resume right away.
- The stationery version you send by mail will reinforce the positive impression of your faxed resume. By sending the resume twice, it shows you are REALLY interested in this position.
- You'll increase the potential audience of readers. Chances are, more people will read your resume ? and want to call you ? because your resume will be seen by whoever reads faxes and opens mail, in addition to the person your resume is addressed to. This can only improve your chances!
As with mailing stationery copies, be sure to sign any cover letters that you fax out.
While e-mail is the most convenient way to send your resume to employers, the problem is often this - sometimes, when you send your resume to companies by e-mail, they write back saying the document was garbled or not attached to the e-mail correctly.
If employers can't read your resume, how are they going to hire you?
This can make you look all thumbs when it comes to technology. Worse, it can bring your job search to a screeching halt. So, how do you make sure your e-mailed resume is readable?
Most people send their resume either as an attachment or in the body of an e-mail message.
But, for maximum results and minimum headaches, I recommend that you do both.
First, send your resume as an attachment. Almost all e-mail programs (Eudora, AOL e-mail, etc.) let you send attachments, which are documents that ride along with the e-mail.
When the reader gets your e-mail, they can "open" (download and read) whatever document you have attached. Word for Windows is the most popular word processor (to my knowledge), so use this format for your attached resume, if possible.
WordPerfect is another good choice.
But attachments aren't foolproof. They may get scrambled during transmission and become impossible to open.
Or, the reader may not have the same word processor as you, preventing them from reading your attached resume.
Then there's the old Mac/PC problem - if your resume was written in a Macintosh format, it won't be readable by a PC (and vice versa).
So, to make sure everyone can read your resume, you should also copy and paste the text into the body of your e-mail message. In your word processor, simply highlight the entire text of your resume, and copy it into the clipboard (short-term memory). Then, switch over to your e-mail program and paste the text into your message.
That's it! When you e-mail your resume as both an attachment and with the text in the message itself, you can be certain that one way or another, your resume will get read.
Timing can be everything!
If at all possible, try to send your resume so that it does NOT arrive on Monday or Friday.
Reason? Most employers (anyone with a job, in fact!) have their minds elsewhere on these two days. They're usually swamped with projects and meetings on Monday, and thinking about the weekend all day Friday. As a result, they may not give your resume all the attention it deserves on these two days, despite your best efforts.
So, it may work to your advantage if your resume arrives on the employer's desk on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.