A Return to Snailmail for Resume Submissions? Might Just Be a Differentiator


“Consider a corporate management-trainee position with 400+ resumes uploaded in response to the job posting,” suggests the white paper, Findings of 2010 Global Career Brainstorming Day: Trends for the Now, the New & the Next in Careers. A qualified candidate’s resume arriving via postal mail into that scenario could really stand out. The white paper notes that the job-seeker who sends the resume through postal mail “has made it easy for that manager to invite [him or her] for an interview.” To cover your bases, we’d recommend both electronic and postal submission. The white paper notes that candidates should weigh the “specific hiring audience” when deciding whether to submit a resume by snailmail but doesn’t make clear which audiences are most receptive. After we published this post, we heard from Bridget Weide Brooks of Resume Writers Digest, who suggested the following formula:
I’ve always used the 1+1=3 reminder for clients when applying for jobs. Applying two ways (mail + online, in-person + online, fax + online, fax + mail, mail + in-person) gets you 3x the results of just applying one way.
Bridget also offered these thoughts on which hiring audiences are most receptive to postal-mail submissions:
I don’t think it’s so much about “industry” or “sectors” as it is about company. From talking to HR managers, the bigger the company, the more involvement there is for resume screening — and the more control HR wants over the process (i.e., resume submission through the online interface only so it goes straight into their applicant tracking systems), no phone calls for follow-up, etc. Interestingly, a hard copy of a resume hand-delivered (usually through intermediaries or off-premises) to a hiring manager … or snail mailed to them directly — can be extremely powerful in a big company, because they’re not used to getting resumes outside of the “norm.” The applicant will still need to meet all the HR criteria for applying for the position, but if the hiring manager can recommend him/her into the final selection group, that’s a hurdle overcome! In smaller companies, a fax or snail mail resume can also stand out. A hand-delivered resume — even more so! What the Career Thought Leaders information is really tracking is that companies are overwhelmed by the volume of online submissions because it’s so easy to apply for dozens or hundreds of jobs online, without researching the company or targeting the career documents. Applicant tracking systems are just a way to cope with the “deluge,” not necessarily evaluate quality or competency. Differentiation — in the form of a snail mail resume — can be huge.
The brainstorming day that resulted in the white paper was held in December 2010 by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium, publishers of the white paper.