Job seekers are putting away their postage stamps and hitting "send" instead. In a recent survey, Canadian executives said 53% of the résumés they receive are submitted by e-mail.
The national poll includes responses from 100 senior executives -- including those from human resources, finance and marketing departments -- with Canada's 1,000 largest companies. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by staffing service Accountemps.
Executives were asked, "What percentage of résumés that you receive are sent via e-mail?" The mean response was 53%.
"With a good strategy, job seekers can use e-mail to conduct an ambitious, highly targeted search that vastly increases their odds of finding a position," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Job Hunting For Dummies, 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "résumés should be easy-to-read and tailored to the opportunity. The closer a résumé matches the qualifications an employer is seeking, the greater the chances of getting an interview."
Messmer offered tips for applicants to ensure their e-mailed résumés stand out:
* Target your résumé. Don't broadcast your résumé indiscriminately. Select positions that fit with your credentials, and customize your résumé to the opening.
* Make it computer-friendly. Format your résumé in plain text so that nearly every computer can read it. Many employers use software programs that scan résumés for key words, including specific technical and managerial skills. Incorporate words in your résumé that are also used in the job description.
* Send it in the correct format. While some companies have online application processes, others don't. Companies with firewalls and anti-virus software usually discourage e-mail attachments. Paste the text of your résumé in the body of the e-mail instead.
* Use the subject line wisely. Make your intentions clear to the recruiter or hiring manager by including the title of the position in the subject line of your e-mail.
* Prompt the recipient to continue reading. Include an introductory message briefly describing your skills and experience, and the reasons you feel you are right for the position.
* Provide hard copies. Bring copies of your resume printed on quality paper to interviews and keep them on hand when networking.
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