You have expertly designed your resume, tailored it to the needs of your potential employer, and now you're ready to hand off your fate to the powers that be. There are several options you have at this point as far as how to submit your cover letter and resume:
- Submit your resume via old-fashioned snail mail. This is probably the worst way to send your information, simply because you would use a business-sized envelope, and it would get sent to the company with all of the bills and junk mail and thus would either sit on someone's desk for a week or so before opened, or get tossed in the garbage and never read. Only if specifically instructed by the business you are interested in should you use this method.
- Submit your resume through electronic mail. This would be the second worst way to present your interest in a job position, because it is much the same as the above-mentioned method. With the ever-increasing numbers of spam and unsolicited email, most employers now have filters set up that will move any unknown sender's mail immediately to the virtual trash can. Also, many employers will refuse to open any resume sent as an attachment file due to the deviousness of those who create computer viruses. So, just like the previous step, unless directed by the job posting or the employer directly, avoid using email as your primary means of communication.
- The best way to get the attention of the company and prove yourself a qualified, truly interested candidate is to drop off your cover letter and resume IN PERSON. As if you were visiting the business for an interview, dress appropriately (see "How to Dress for an Interview"), carry your documents in a nice, sturdy folder to avoid wrinkles or dirtiness, and arrive at the office during business hours. Steer clear of visits late in the afternoon at general business offices; the person you will want to speak to is less likely to be overwhelmed with things to do earlier in the day and may have a moment to chat with you. When submitting your resume in person, follow these guidelines:
- Arrive early, immediately approach the front desk or the nearest person who can direct you, and introduce yourself with your name and a firm handshake. Inform them that you are there to drop off a resume, and ask if there is a specific person you should speak with
- Make sure you can give the person you talk to the information about which position specifically you are interested in, and why you are interested in working for the company. Also, be able to explain anything on your resume in full detail.
- End your conversation with another handshake, an "It was very nice to meet you," and let the person know you look forward to speaking with them again soon. These small acts will show the business that you are serious about the position and interested in a future with the company.
The most effective way to submit your cover letter and resume is to do it in person. Not only does it give you a chance to see the business in action and give you an idea of who you might be working for, but it gives your potential employer the chance to immediately put a face with a piece of paper and associate you with your resume. A well-groomed, professional-looking applicant will get the company's attention, and offer a great first impression and lead-in to the stunning qualifications on your well-designed resume.