Survey Shows Executives Prefer to Receive Resumes Via E-Mail

MENLO PARK, CA -- Job seekers sending out resumes may want to put away their stamps. In a recent survey of executives, nearly half (48 percent) of respondents said their firm's preferred way to receive resumes is via e-mail -- a substantial turnaround from just two years ago, when only 4 percent said they favored this method.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 executives with the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, "What is the preferred method at your firm for receiving resumes?" Their responses: 

  2000 1998
By e-mail 48% 4%
By mail 21% 21%
By fax 11% 8%
In person 1% 1%
No preference 19% 64%
Don't know 0% 2%
  100% 100%

Executives were also asked what percentage of resumes they receive are sent via e-mail. The mean response was 34 percent.

"The Internet enables you to get your credentials directly into the hands of hiring managers and may give you an advantage over less immediate delivery methods," said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam. She points out, however, that while e-mailing may be a less formal means of communication, the need for professionalism and attention to detail remains unchanged. She offers the following tips:  

  • Proofread - A typo in an e-mail message can eliminate you from consideration just as quickly as it can on paper. Carefully proofread your application materials, and ask a friend to do the same. 
  • Include a cover letter - Introduce yourself with a brief, one to two paragraph cover letter stating your interest in the job and why you'd be a good fit for the company. 
  • Use an "e-friendly" format - Make sure your resume and cover letter will translate well when viewed by those using various platforms and browsers. E-mail your application materials to several friends and ask them how the information appears on their screens. 
  • Make information clear and easily accessible - Send the resume as both text and as an attachment, and include the position of interest and your name in the subject line. Label your resume attachment with your name as well. Receiving hundreds of documents titled "resume" can be confusing to a prospective employer.

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