Get that paper out of here.

I’ve started paying closer attention to what comes in my mailbox. It’s generally crap. Minimal crap, but crap. Yesterday, I came home to find only a Victoria’s Secret catalogue addressed to me. Dear Victoria’s Secret, as a gay male, I am disinterested in your catalogue on multiple levels, but thank you for thinking of me.

Today, I checked my mail and there was nothing. Not a single piece of mail. Am I really that surprised? Of course not. Everyone that I correspond with sends me e-mail. It’s way faster and it’s much more convenient. But it’s that new fangled contraption that’s responsible for essentially killing our mail system. And if things don’t change, it’s going to get worse as mail volume continues to decrease.

And this got me thinking about people that apply for jobs.  In the past month, we’ve received over 200 resumes from candidates (perspective time: we got about 1500 resumes per year, so we expect about 100-150…that extra 50-100% is certainly due to the economy, but it’s still pretty crazy). Of those 200, about 10-15% were mailed.

Really? In this day and age there are that many people applying by mail?

Most companies have a least some kind of automated process whereby they can take whatever is submitted and put it directly to an Applicant Tracking System of sorts. We don’t have anything that fancy, but we do have some kind of database set up. While there’s nothing wrong with applying by mail or in person (though I tend to agree with Ask a Manager’s response to this), it tends to create extra work for HR and is, in all honesty, a pain. Because of the system we’ve set up and the fact that I don’t want print resumes just lying around, I’ve taken to scanning every single one so I can input it into the database. Let me repeat that. I’ve taken to scanning every single print resume so I can manually input it. Annoying.

Does it get you an advantage? No. If the excuse is that you really don’t have access to the Internet, I’ll buy that. But the percentage of people that that applies to, at least for our purposes, is next to nil. That said, without a legit reason to do otherwise, just follow the instructions companies give you on the website, be it applying via a web-based system or just sending an e-mail. If you’re great, you’re great, that won’t change based on your submittal method.

If you think you know best and continue being antiquated by getting high quality paper that you can send to give yourself a personal touch, you’re probably headed the way of my Victoria’s Secret catalogue.

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7 responses to “Get that paper out of here.

  1. Soooooo…if you’re not going to need that catalogue…

    Have you noticed junk mail go down as well? Have even the cockroaches of the advertising world moved to a purely digital format?

    • Even the junk mail that comes to me is nearly non-existent. I get the occasional piece of mail from Comcast, but overall, there’s almost nothing that comes for me or even for “Resident”.

  2. Pingback: Applying for Jobs 101 « The HR Intern

  3. I somewhat disagree with this post. While that may be true for your firm, in other instances, it may give you a leg up. Email is easier to discard of – mentally – than something in hard copy. One press of the button and an unwanted distraction is gone. But sometimes, when someone takes the time to stamp and mail something to you and you have it in your hand, you’re more likely to give it even a 30-second glance that you might not give to an unsolicited email during a busy day.

    • @You – I’m curious if you’re coming at this from an applicant perspective or from an HR/Admin perspective. I’m coming at this as the person in my office who is receiving and responding to applicants. With few exceptions, I’m looking at all of them by myself. You’re definitely right in that having that personal touch of sending your application in through the mail can potentially give you a leg up. But do I find that a print resume rarely has something that an online version could not convey. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time that happened. How does that compare to your experience?

  4. Pingback: YOU be the judge. | The HR Intern

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