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Old School Resume Hack- Snail Mail

March 11th, 2008 · 6 Comments

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Keeping with our theme today (arts and crafts?)…

One of the things job seekers obsess over when it comes to the resume is how to make the resume stand out.

And there’s good reason to focus on this. The deck is literally stacked against you.

We all have that mental image of a stack of resumes, piled high on some manager’s desk. How does yours look any different then all the other pieces of paper you’re competing against? Your just another name in a stack.

It’s even worse in the modern job search environment. Your resume is just an attachment to an email… amongst hundreds of other emails in an inbox. Or worse, you’re just a list of submissions on a job board. In this case, you’re not even anything physical… you’re just a series of ones and zeros.

Sometimes, the old methods are the best methods. And in this case, using an old school method that not many people consider anymore, can be extremely effective.

If you can get a name and an address for the hiring manager, considering mailing your resume.

I mean, US Postal Service mailing.

This accomplishes three things.

  • Firstly, you stand out. 34 people responded to a job post and sent in resumes. You’re the only one who mailed a physical copy. Boom. Right there, you’re different and will get noticed.
  • Second, you are demonstrating a commitment and deep interest in this particular job. Everyone else just clicked “SEND” with their mouse button. You took the time to research, figure out who does the hiring… sat down and put together a physical resume and mailed it. This isn’t just some job you’ve run across. This is a job you really want.
  • Thirdly, as we discussed in our thank you note post earlier today, sending a physical resume (nice paper stock, neatly printed, nice envelope) shows a certain touch of class… a level of professionalism that is a little old school but very impressive.
  • (An obvious point that needs to be made here… if you can’t get a name or specific address down to the office or division, then this won’t be as effective. If you send a resume addressed to Whoever Does The Hiring at Google Headquarters, then clearly you haven’t done your homework. It’s just a cold-call-resume.)

I’ll give you a real world example of how this sort of thing can be effective from my own experience as a hiring manager.

One of the best resume writers I ever hired was someone out of the blue. This was early on in the company when we were just hitting our growth stride.

One day in the regular mail (snail mail, not email) I opened up a large legal-sized envelope. Inside was a two-page resume along with sample resumes and a formal introduction letter from a retired lawyer on the west coast. It turns out that the gentleman, upon retirement, had started to specialize in writing legal resumes, a very sought after specialization for us. He had taken the time to become certified, and his sample work was outstanding.

The resume and the letter were formal and very professional. It was clear in just the tone of his writing that this guy was good… old-school good. Not only had he taken the time to submit his resume the traditional, professional way, with care, craft and on paper- he sent it to my personal address! This meant he had taken the time to research the company, find out who was in charge, and put himself in front of me directly in the best way possible. Far from being offended, I was thrilled because clearly this guy knew how to win the job search game.

Long story short, I phoned the guy up immediately, interviewed him, and hired him right away. He specializes ONLY in legal resumes, so he doesn’t work with as many clients some of our others writers do. But his resumes are golden, and the clients always adore him. He’s still with ResumeWriters to this day.

Related posts:

  1. Resume Tip- 4 Quick Ways To Make Your Resume Stand Out
  2. Ask Brian – What is the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?
  3. Ask Brian- Best Resume Tip
  4. Ask Brian- Taking A Step “Backward” And How To Address This In My Resume
  5. Ask Brian- Politics on My Resume
  6. The E-tiquette of E-mail

Tags: Resumes

  • Dee

    I just did this yesterday. I had been emailing the editor of a paper I wanted to freelance for and he had yet to respond so I printed everything out and sent it to him snail mail. I’ll see if I have any luck now.

  • Richard Rinyai

    When I was looking for jobs in the past, I started e-mailing my resume to places. I noticed that I didn’t get any calls back. I didn’t want to waste my money on a gazillion stamps, so I decided to fax them instead.

    This created more and more calls, interviews and eventually getting the job. As you mentioned in your post, the physical piece of paper is the one that they look at, not the electronic copy. It’s so easy to hit the delete button!


    Richard Rinyai

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  • Jodith

    This can be a nice trick if you are essentially making a cold call to someone who may or may not be hiring.

    However, if you are answering an ad, odds are the person opening the mail and processing the resume is not the person who is going to review the resume and do the hiring. Most of the time, and administrative assistant like myself will open the resumes, make photocopies for the person or team reviewing them, and then keeps the original in the hiring file. There’s a good chance that the person doing the hiring will never see your nice, expensive paper and even less likely they’ll ever see an envelope, as that is usually tossed first thing.

    Just something to consider before going to the expense of stamps, paper and envelopes.

    And, you won’t piss off the administrative assistant who’s wondering why you are wasting her time having to scan your resume into an electronic format for eventual storage. Trust me, never piss off the admin where you eventually hope to work.

    And, you might be telling everyone that you are a bit too old school, i.e. not tech savvy enough to manage an e-mail.

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