Posted by Brian McCullough
Remember the fax?
Like the telegraph, it had it’s brief moment in the sun as a major communication technology before being usurped by another technology – in this case, email.
I hope I’m not showing my age, but I’ve been in this business long enough that I remember when it was important to put a fax number on your resume.
Email? Cell phone number? Who had that?
Of course, nowadays there’s no reason to put a fax number on your resume. A company might ask that you apply via fax, but there’s little chance they will need to communicate back to you via fax.
But hold on. That doesn’t mean we should forget the lowly, forgotten fax machine as a tool in our job search arsenal.
As I’ve told you before, the modern application process is very intangible. At best, your resume and job application exist as an email in someone’s inbox. At worse, you’re just a number and a file in a database. It’s very hard to stand out in a virtual environment like that because – OOPS! – CLICK – the hiring manager just moved on from your resume. With the click of the mouse, she’s on to the next one.
That’s why you have to be creative. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Don’t be afraid to be physical.
I’ve written before about how sending in a physical resume can be an excellent old school job search hack. And of course, nothing puts a name to a face like applying for the job in person. If you can.
But what about the fax? This is another way to avoid just being another file in a database. If you send in your resume via fax, some human being has to at some point sort that piece of paper. And if the employer is even slightly conscientious, your piece of paper will be sorted into the hiring process.
Best case scenario: the hiring manager notices: “Ah. This is the application from that guy who also faxed in his resume. He must really be interested in the job.”
So, my advice is as follows: if they happen to mention a fax number, don’t ignore it. Of course, you should always follow the application directions the company recommends (to the letter!). But if a fax number is posted also, why not make use of it?
Can help you stand out.