Resumes: Electronic vs Hard Copy
One of the most frequent questions I am asked pertains to "hard copies" of resumes. NPs often wonder if after sending their resume via e-mail or after attaching their resume to an online application if I recommend also faxing or snail mailing a hard copy.
There is a certain amount of nervousness that seems to accompany the electronic method of submitting resumes. For some job seekers it just doesn't seem complete. This phenomenon isn't unique to NPs; I see this question posed to recruiters in other disciplines and professions as well. However, my advice is going to differ from what they usually say.
It's been my experience that when an ad or job notification asks you to submit your information electronically they really do mean to send it electronically. In other professions, mainly business, it seems that it's OK that applicants send a "hard copy" of their resume as follow-up to the digital copy. This is where our profession is unique.
Most feedback I get from HR and recruiters in the medical world is that if they want a paper copy they will ask you for one. Some even go so far to say that they find the faxed or mailed copy to be rather irritating.
HR specialists and recruiters deal with large volumes of information, and the vast majority of them are coping with this task digitally. Adding paper to the mix will feel like a huge step backward to them and may get you crossed of the list. Worst case scenario they assume you aren't comfortable with technology thus not suited for the job, best case scenario your resume ends up in the recycle bin and no one ever sees it.
I can't claim this is true for every single instance -- I'm sure there is some clinic or hospital out there that doesn't mind the paper shuffle. But speaking generally, it's really best to do what the job posting asks you to do. If it says send it via e-mail, then do it that way. If they want an e-mail attachment, then that's what you ought to send. Likewise if it says no calls, then don't call.
In our current economy most job openings have high numbers of applicants and are highly competitive. Do you really want to be the one who stands out because you failed to follow directions? ... I didn't think so.