The Information Age has opened a new way to transmit resumes and cover letters to employers: Email. But is it best to email or mail a resume? It depends…
Emailed resumes and cover letters are here to stay. Approximately 80% of Fortune 500 employers post job openings on their company websites with the expectation that jobseekers will apply electronically.
But although email resumes and cover letters are rapidly becoming the norm, you shouldn’t automatically assume that email is the best venue. If the employer clearly describes their preferred application method in the job posting, you must adhere to their guidelines. If not, the choice is yours – and there are a few things you may want to consider.
Emailing Your Resume
There are a lot of reasons why the scales tip in favor of emailing your resume to prospective employers. Most importantly, email resumes are convenient for both you and the employer. These days, employers typically import resumes into searchable databases that simplify the application process and enable them to manage high volumes of applicants.
The downside of an emailed resume is formatting. If the employer requires you to submit your resume in the body of the email, the hours you spent formatting your resume can quickly deteriorate into a jumble of misplaced bullet points and floating headers.
PROs: Convenience, searchability; critical for time-sensitive application processes.
CONs: Formatting issues, potential for file formatting problems.
Mailing (Snail Mailing) Your Resume
Jobseekers who prefer to submit resumes via snail mail need to reconcile themselves to the fact that they are in the minority – and their insistence on mailing their resume can have a devastating effect.
Although hard copies of your resume are important for job fairs, hand deliveries and traditional employers, more and more employers require resumes to be emailed because it eliminates the additional step of scanning hard copies into their database.
At Mudgood, we’ve heard from jobseekers who think that sending a resume by mail (rather than email) will help make their resume stand out from other job applicants. It will – but not for the right reasons. Unless the employer specifies that you can’t email your resume, it’s almost always a smart move to submit your resume electronically.
PROs: Good for personal deliveries, job fairs, traditional employers.
CONs: Requires employers to take additional steps; higher rejection rates.