Seven Strategies for Sending Out Your Resume

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By Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP, FAAN

You know that the content and format of your resume is important, but don’t overlook the method by which you get it to the reader. Here are seven tips to follow when sending your next resume.

1. Always include a cover letter when you mail or fax your resume. Your resume lists your credentials and experiences, but a cover letter lets a little bit of your personality shine through. Use the cover letter to highlight the portions of your background that are most relevant to the position for which you’re applying.

2. Rather than fold your resume and cover letter in thirds, mail it unfolded in a 9 x 12-inch white envelope. This makes a very professional presentation and doesn’t fold itself up on the reader’s desk. Also, the recipient will find it easier to fax, photocopy, scan, and file an unfolded resume. You should use a typed, peel-off label for the address on envelopes this large. Also, remember to use sufficient postage; you don’t want your resume arriving postage due.

3. Include your business card, if you have one, when mailing your resume and cover letter. Affix it to the top of your resume with a small paper clip so it doesn’t get lost in the envelope.

4. Never staple your resume pages together. Instead, your name and a page number should be printed at the top of the second and each successive page, if applicable, in case they get separated.

5. If you’re responding to a classified ad that gives you an option to fax or mail your resume, then mail it. A hard-copy document makes a much better impression than a faxed one. Besides, a faxed copy is often crooked, blurred, or can get jammed in the machine at the receiver’s end. Of course, if the ad only gives you a fax number, you have no choice but to fax.

6. Fax your resume if time is an issue, or if someone specifically asks you to do so. Just be sure you follow up with a hard copy in the mail.

7. Don’t include your resume in the body of an e-mail. Because this can result in the loss of many formatting features, your resume can be hard to read. Instead, send your resume as an attachment, presuming it is in a format that is readable by the receiver. You’ll find that Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing format. Still, there is no guarantee that your resume will be electronically transmitted in an easily readable format.

If you follow these seven strategies, you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting your reader’s attention.

For more information about resumes and CVs check out: The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses – Practical Strategies for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career

Reprinted with permission from (
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