Methods of submitting a resume and how they impact the job search

Submitting a resume sounds simple enough, but with so many methods of doing so – and different preferences from one company to the next – it can have a major effect on the progression of your application. You may or may not be considered for a job depending on how quickly you can get your resume to the hiring manager, and in today’s job market, timing is everything.

While we prefer to receive resumes as an attachment via email, applicants submit them in many formats including faxed copy, hand-delivered hard-copy, and even through postal mail. In order to find a great opportunity, submitting a well-organized, well-formatted resume is key; submitting a resume in a print and reader friendly format as quickly as possible is also a must. The majority of our applicants submit through email, while others still rely on fax and hard copy as a means to deliver. Many also insist on presenting themselves, in addition to the resume, in person. We handle each method in a similar fashion, but there are some things the applicant must consider before deciding on one (or more) type of delivery:

Hard Copy (US Mail) – while it’s a nice thought to stuff an envelope with a resume printed on high quality resume paper and mail it, it’s not the best method in terms of time. If you’re looking to get an application in quickly and ensure that it’s been delivered in a timely fashion, this is not the best method of submission.

Fax machines are common, easy to use, and yield quick results but the results are often blurry, uneven copies of one of the most important documents you’ll ever create. What’s more, there isn’t a lot that can be done with a faxed resume. Recruiters can review the document, but the progress stops there. The next step on the applicant’s behalf would be to submit through email, and each extra step takes time.

Hand delivery is a good way to present yourself to a potential employer/recruiter, and personally giving one or two copies of your resume and references to a representative of the organization will likely result in a review. Rarely, though, will hand delivering a resume ensure that a recruiter can meet one-on-one with the applicant at that given time. Stopping by an office and dropping off a resume is great, but having high expectations of getting an in-person interview on the spot is not reasonable due to busy office scheduling and other time restraints.

Submitting a resume via online form (with an option to browse/attach a file) is most often safe, secure, and quick to deliver. The majority of online forms forward submissions directly to the organization’s primary contact email address; after clicking “submit”, the information is delivered to an email inbox with very little (or no) lag time. It’s never a bad idea to follow up with a phone call or quick email, just to ensure that the information was received on behalf of the organization.

Of course, there’s always the simple email (sent from your personal email account) with a resume file attachment. It’s quick and reliable, and several corresponding documents can be included as well. It can be tracked, and once recruiters have your resume in electronic format, they’ll quickly and easily be able to send it to hiring managers. To avoid embarrassment, make sure your personal email address is professionally acceptable!

The goal in submitting a resume is to be fast, thorough, and available for immediate follow-up. Choose the method that is most convenient for you, but keep in mind that time matters. It’s in your best interest to contact the employer if you’re unsure of their preference.

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