How to Use Your New Resume

by Greg Faherty, CPRW
You’ve finally got your new professional resume in your hands. Now you’re ready to start sending it. But what’s the best way to do that?

Traditionally, resumes were handed out in person or sent through the mail. Later, people were able to fax their resume to companies. Today, you can add e-mailing, posting online, and creating a resume website to the list, as well as distributing it to headhunters and employment agencies.

But are all of these right for you?

While some people might disagree, I say "Yes."

The more resumes you get out there, the better your odds of getting interviews. And as we all know, the more interviews you have, the better the chances of getting a job you’re happy with.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus your job search, or use a little common sense. There are some general rules you can follow that will make your search effective while minimizing your efforts.

1. Focus your job search.  Identify the types of jobs you’re interested in, based on your qualifications and goals. Try to apply for positions where you meet all, or at least most, of the requirements. While it can never hurt to apply for a position a little higher than your last one, be practical. If you’ve spent the past five years repairing computers, a job as a CIO is probably out of your reach. However, that dream position of Technical Team Supervisor might not be.

2. Once you’ve identified the types of jobs you want to apply for, it’s time for some old-fashioned elbow grease. You’ve got to locate those positions. Here is where I recommend using every tool at your disposal. Read the want ads in the newspapers. Do online searches. Go through the phone book and find companies in your area that might need your type of skills, and then see if they have a website. You might be able to fax or e-mail your resume right to the HR office or department manager. Other companies have a place on their sites where you can upload your resume. If all else fails, print a copy on good, plain white resume paper and mail it. (Remember—never fold the resume. Place it, and your cover letter, in a flat 9”x11” envelope.)

3. Distribution services.   These can be very handy. While you can take the time to post your resume on all the major job boards, such as or Yahoo!Jobs, and send it to all the employment agencies in your phone book, why bother? Sign up with a company that offers these services for you. Not only will you save hours of time, but usually those companies have much larger distribution lists than you do.

4. Don’t sit around.  Remember, finding a job is a job. I always tell my clients, if you’re not sending out 20-25 resumes per week, you’re not working hard enough to find that new job.

5. Networking.  Over 50% of people still find their jobs this way. You know people, who know people, who work with people who know people. Use those connections. One of the new services we offer at is business card resumes. They have your vital information on the front, and key skills and/or achievements on the back. You can hand them out at work, at social events, and to acquaintances. Much easier than carrying around a stack of resumes all the time.

6. Follow up.  If you’ve sent your resume to a particular person instead of that generic “Hiring Manager,” then by all means follow up. Don’t start bugging someone the next day, of course, but after five to seven days, feel free to call or e-mail, just to remind them you’re still interested and to keep yourself on their radar.

To what extent you use the above steps is up to you, but studies have shown again and again that a well-considered, carefully-planned job search is always the most effective way to maximize the efficiency of your job search.