11

My concern is that if I send my application to an employer through email, it is likely that he/she would not be able to read it thoroughly, given the number of application emails he/ she receives.

But would sending my application through a courier hurt my chances of landing the job?

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    Keep in mind that some companies expect all applications to come via email or through an online submission portal. Sending a hard copy of your resume might just mean it will be lost or ignored. Depending on the field, this could be viewed as an antiquated approach from someone out of touch with modern business practices. – Nuclear Wang Mar 13 '17 at 12:43
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    "it is likely that he/she would not be able to read it thoroughly, given the number of application emails he/ she receives" - and why would your application be prioritized if it arrives by courier? – O. R. Mapper Mar 13 '17 at 16:21
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    To me, it would stand out as showy and pushy. It wouldn't reflect well on you for me. – Lightness Races with Monica Mar 13 '17 at 17:23
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    From joelonsoftware.com/2004/01/26/getting-your-resume-read : Paper résumés can’t get into the email folder we’re using to keep track of applicants unless we scan them in, and, you know what? The scanner is right next to the shredder in my office and the shredder is easier to use. – Emilio M Bumachar Mar 13 '17 at 19:37
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    You're going to interact with a potential employer on the assumption that the people you are interacting with suck at their job or are too overwhelmed to do a good job? – David Schwartz Mar 13 '17 at 21:17
35

My concern is that if I send my application to an employer through email, it is likely that he/she would not be able to read it thoroughly, given the number of application emails he/ she receives.

But would sending my application through a courier hurt my chances of landing the job?

Bad idea.

You would look foolish.

And you probably wouldn't increase the chances that your resume would be read any differently than any other resume.

Just because a courier delivers a resume, that doesn't mean it gets read any differently. Almost certainly it would have to go through HR first (to get logged and initially screened). And then it would just be in the same pile as all the others.

As @ChristopherEstep points out, HR may well not even know that it was couriered. The courier delivers it to reception or receiving and then it just gets put in the same pile as the rest of the mail for HR.

The only exception would be those "creative" jobs where it might be an advantage to have your resume "make an entrance" via courier, pajama-gram, or carrier pigeon. But those are few and far between.

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    Couldn't agree more, especially with "You would look foolish". Not to mention, unless this is a pretty small company, HR may well not even know that it was couriered. The courier delivers it to reception or receiving and then it just gets put in the same pile as the rest of the mail for HR. – Chris E Mar 13 '17 at 13:58
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    Further more, reception may in-fact scan it, and email the scanned copy to HR. This is how post is sometimes handled at larger places (save on internal mail run). And this means that HR gets a lower quality scan of your application, rather than a nicely formatted email/pdf attachment. – Lyndon White Mar 13 '17 at 17:15
  • Or HR might not even read it at all--if they tell you to apply online, they might just sigh, say "Oh, another person who didn't follow our instructions," and drop your beautiful resume in the circular file. – MissMonicaE Mar 13 '17 at 18:34
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    courier, pajama-gram, carrier pigeon, or pajama-pigeon. One certainly should not limit oneself in the creative department – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Mar 13 '17 at 20:49
  • Also, based on what I've heard, some places here actually just put those resumes on the bin/trashcan. I don't know if it is actually true, but, in the remote chance it is, just save paper and ink by sending it over email. – Ismael Miguel Mar 13 '17 at 22:33
10

I would not do this, as most HR folks would find this annoying.

Most HR departments either have an HR System ( tied into their online HR\Career portal ), or at the very least would want your credentials in electronic format for easy distribution between departments.

Take a look at this older, but still relevant article Resume in the mail ( or courier )

These days, most hiring managers vastly prefer an electronic version of your resume. In fact, a lot of companies can't even get your resume into their applicant tracking system unless you E-mail it.

Even when an employer does accept snail-mailed resumes, providing only a hard copy makes it harder for the employer to share it with the various decision-makers. I'll frequently E-mail a candidate's resume to a colleague to ask for their input; if I only have a hard copy, it can be scanned in, but it adds an extra step to the process when your goal should be to make it easier, not more onerous, for the employer to hire you.

10

There was a time when such a creative approach would be well received.

Those times are past, however, and for several reasons.

  • Everything is electronic now. There are no longer piles of resumes being mailed in, everything is routed through HR systems, or at least emailed and routed to hiring managers
  • Recent years of high unemployment have soured employers to the creative approach. It's been done so many times that you're no longer seen as creative, just as another kook trying to get attention.
  • It's much more likely to get lost. Any resume sent by mail still needs to get scanned into an electronic system. You will be remembered, but not fondly. Even if the person who receives your resume bothers to scan it in, you'll be known as the person who created more work for him
  • You will be seen as a nuisance. For all the reasons listed above,

A better approach is through networking, and "stealth networking". if you can find someone to sent it "attention to" or if you can call and ask a few questions of HR, you'll make a human connection to a real person. Try this approach instead.

2

The only time to do this would be if a paper application is required (rare but it still happens) and it's the only way to meet the deadline. Even then the courier-like services provided by the post office are most likely to be appropriate, unless your postal service is unreliable.

1

You've successfully realized that submitting your resume via email or online portal is a crappy way of applying. The problem is that a courier isn't going to be any more effective. At best it might be seen as cutesy, but it's more likely to be seen as weird, given that 99 percent of resumes will arrive in electronic form and be sent on to hiring managers from HR in electronic form. Carrying something down the hall or having to scan it before emailing might be the hassle that causes it to end up in the trash.

If you want a leg up on the competition, the solution is to know someone who knows the hiring manager. For example, if you're a programmer, finding a programmer in your professional contacts who knows the hiring manager and can vouch for you is a great way to skip over the entire hiring process.

A second-best approach would be to get a headhunter or recruiter who knows is familiar with your background to do an introduction to HR and get you past to the hiring people. This approach is common in tech, but not so much in other fields.

0

A better question would be "In addition to sending my resume by e-mail, should I ALSO send it by mail or courier (and in the cover letter, make it clear that I also applied electronically")?

I don't know if that's necessarily the best approach, but it has all the advantages that the other posters say about e-mailing resumes; plus you get a bit more attention.

The only disadvantage is you might still look like a kook.

-3

The fact that everything is electronic in the hiring process is exactly why you should be thinking outside the box.

When employers are inundated with applications from sources like indeed.com from applicants that have no reason to even apply make setting yourself away from the pack make even more sense.

You may very well impress those on the receiving and an then again you may not. Nobody can accurately answer this question because they will not be there when it arrives or understand how the position may or may not be filled.

Standing apart from the crowd does need to happen. Many electronics resumes are not even looked at, thanks to the one button apply by phone feature. All resumes are digitally received in an unformatted text nightmare. Having a hand delivered resume on quality paper that not only is designed well but has quality and sought after content is a plus. That will not hurt you unless it was specified not to issue any other way.

Think about what they are receiving. You must be found to be considered. Realistically, if you follow the pack you may not even accomplish that.

  • I believe the content is what is important. If I get voted down for not breaking the text then I'd rather not. My answer could prove useful to those looking for information. – user2012681 Mar 13 '17 at 17:00
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    This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review – mcknz Mar 13 '17 at 17:59
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    You should try to stand out by being an outstanding candidate with an outstanding resume and cover letter, not by being the candidate who doesn't know about hiring norms. – MissMonicaE Mar 13 '17 at 18:35
  • I don't think anyone downvoted you for formatting! Someone edited your formatting--that's a normal part of SE, and generally unconnected from voting. Downvotes mean that people think your answer isn't helpful/correct. – MissMonicaE Mar 13 '17 at 18:50

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