E-mail versus Snail Mail

Those who remember record albums and rotary telephones also remember the job search was different in the olden days. Today, e-mail is the most common and accepted way to send resumes and all follow-up letters. But do not forget that alternating media can diminish the potential for oversaturation and negative consequences and might even give you a competitive advantage.

“Snail mail” is a phrase used for the slow but sure (we think) U.S. Postal Service. At one time, the only persons who delivered resumes, cover letters, and all other correspondence were the men and women in red, white, and blue. Today, we have wearers of the brown (UPS), blue and orange (FedEx ), and others who can guarantee delivery in one or two days. Don't ignore the impact of express delivery on specific individuals, particularly those with whom you have spoken over the phone, but remember that e-communication is now the most cost-effective, immediate, and safe form of delivery.

If you think recipients may be concerned about virus-carrying e-mails, copy and paste your resume straight into the text box, and do not identify it as an attachment. Remember to note the title of the job desired and the words “Enclosed resume” in the e-mail subject heading.

E-mailed cover letters can and should be shorter than traditionally mailed cover letters. An e-mail recipient expects correspondence to be brief and to the point. Be sure to note in your subject line something like: Marketing Exec w/10+ years in B2B for Director of Marketing Opening. The body of your message should generate immediate interest by indicating experience and relevant skills. Reference your attached resume. Do not be overly friendly or use any instant messaging abbreviations or smiley-faced emoticons.

You can follow some electronically transmitted letters with hard copies, just to be safe and traditional, but do not depend solely on paper, envelopes, and stamps as your job-search tools. When you do send items by mail, make sure you have the correct postage. Match your resume and cover letter paper, and use large mailing envelopes so you don't have to fold your contents.

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