Email or fax a resume?

I’m applying for a job and the post says I can email or fax in my resume. Is one of them better than another?

While your first instinct might be to email a resume to a potential employer on the off-chance that it’s more convenient, I would actually recommend faxing if that’s an option provided. The thing is, it’s a little too easy to send emails. Employers are bombarded by a glut of hundreds of emails every day. The chances that your resume might be lost, batch-deleted, or just glanced over is disconcertingly high.

The nice thing about faxing is that you are pretty much guaranteed that someone will look at it. And if it ends up on a stack in the hiring manager’s desk, they will be looking at a real, physical copy of your resume, which will reduce the likelihood of them just giving it a quick glance and then deleting it. The only time email would be a direct advantage over fax is if you’re in a field where you would want to include links to your websites or published work, which is easier to do from a computer.

If you are going to fax a resume, make sure that you’re still doing so in the most effective and professional way. That means you should have a fax cover sheet that has your name, contact information, the number of pages you’re sending, your recipient, and the job to which you’re applying. Follow this up with your cover letter and resume, both of which should be numbered so that the employer knows how many pages to expect.

When choosing a resume format, don’t use color, as the employer probably only receives faxes in black and white. Some smudging may occur, so don’t use a lot of designs or fancy script. Keep the font on the larger side, and make sure there’s plenty of space between lines so that everything is legible.

When you’re ready to send, you should have, facing up in a pile, the following documents in the following order: a fax cover sheet, a cover letter for your resume, followed by the resume itself. Put them in the fax machine in the direction the machine tells you, and make sure that you send it to the business’ fax number and not their phone number.

A lot of people don’t fax their resumes because they don’t have ready access to a fax machine. If you have access to a computer, though, it’s just as easy as email. Head to FaxZero, upload your three documents in the correct order, and send your resume for free.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.