Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




My resume any way to save $ via snail mail?

I plan on sending a cover letter and resume out to various local businesses, consulting firms, and body shops. Some of my cover letters and resumes will be personalized others won't be. I would like to save some money by reducing the cost of postage.

While I plan on visiting the U.S. Postal Service's web site, I am hoping that some JOS readers have recently mass mailed their resume via snail mail and can briefly explain to me how it actually works nowadays.

I have been told that the U.S. Postal Service changed the way it deals with small-sized bulk mailings several years ago and that I can no longer qualify for a decent discount rate by following a simple set of regulations. What I have been told is that before I can receive a "decent discount rate", I must pre-pay the Post Office some money for a bulk mailing account.

My memory sucks, but I believe the simple post office regulations I spoke about used to go something like this:

- A minimum of 200 envelopes must be sent to qualify for a bulk rate
- All envelopes must weigh the same
- All envelopes must be pre-sorted by zip code and bundled up with rubber bands

By following these "simple rules" the Post Office would charge me at the reduced Third Class postage rate.

The person I was talking with told me that he believes that the regulations I spoke of haven't changed but the discount rate has (First Class rate instead of a Third Class rate) and that it isn't worth the effort for me to attempt to qualify for the discount being offered.

TruthSeeker
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Do you really want a potential employer receiving your resume as bulk mail, and knowing that you sent it to more than 200 places?

Kevin
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Kevin, took the words right out of my mouth! ...err... off my fingers.

Mr. Analogy
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Truth seeker, the way I've read it described is this: most business people sort their mail by standing over a trash can. All of the bulk mail and junk that the person isn't interested in goes into the can. Which is almost all marketing and sales related stuff.

The book "The Ultimate Sales Letter" by Dan Kennedy describes how you can prepare your mailing to be likely to be read. A bulk mail imprint lowers your chances significantly because it looks like all the other crap.

The most plausible way to do this on a small scale and with limited budget is to make each letter look like it was sent only to the recipient. This generally means a first class stamp (not even a postage meter), typing the recipient's address directly on the envelope (no labels), or even addressing it by hand.

Bored Bystander
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Why not spend your time focusing and developing real relationships with these people instead of spamming... er, shotgunning your resume out to people who probably couldn't care less?

John C.
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Hmm I've been working in software industry for 7 years (currently in my 3rd job not counting college internships). I don're recall ever snail-mailing a resume... Doesn't every software company have a website with job openings and recruiting contact info by now?

Or do you guys think that mailing a resume gets you better results than emailing it? I don't see why it would...

genius
Thursday, July 22, 2004

If you're sending out so many that paying $0.37 each is too much, then you're doing something wrong.

Even sending 100 (which seems like way too many) would set you back less than $50.  So what's the problem?

I just finished a job search, and the vast majority of companies I looked at made it clear that they did not accept resumes that were not submitted for a specific listed opening.  I probably submitted 50 resumes over 3 months, every one of them electronically.

Jason
Thursday, July 22, 2004

The following is why I want to mail all of my letters out at the same time.

Btw, I plan on sending my resume out to companies that are within a 100 miles or so of my apartment

My plan is to spam the local body shops since these companies typically stick your qualifications into a database. It has been my experience that unless you are applying for a legit advertised position on one of the online job boards it doesn't really matter how you approach them.

Most of my so called personalized letters will be going to HR droids at places where I have no idea if the company is hiring or not. These companies wound up in my contact database because at one time or another they advertised for someone who has experience with programming language X or technology Y.

While I am sure that many HR droids do pay attention to the type of postage stamp being used, I do want to point out that I am not applying for advertised positions. I am hoping that some of these HR droids will stick me in their database and eventually contact me the next time they play buzzword bingo. I know my success rate will be very low that is why I want to keep my costs down.

TruthSeeker
Thursday, July 22, 2004

You do realise though, that because you are mailing it, unless you include a floppy disk with a word doc of your resume it will be too much effort for them to "stick you in their database".

I would have thought if you sent it to more than 5-6 within a 2 week period you will lose track of who is calling you though. This won't leave a good impression if they call you and you have to fumble through your diary / crm package to figure out what coverletter etc you sent them.

Chris
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Yeah, that was always a pain in the ass - answer the phone and get "Hello, this is Frank at Penetrobe - you sent us your resume, do you have time to talk?"

So then I'm sitting there trying to nurse details out of the caller so I can remember exactly which company this was and what they do.

Philo

Philo
Thursday, July 22, 2004

You could achieve the better results talking to a good independent recruiter. They know the people inside the organisations, know the positions and know whether you stand a chance or not -- they have to -- their earnings depend on knowing this.

Shotgunning your resume to everyone is a stupid idea even in situations where it does not cost you much like at a recruitment fair.

Code Monkey
Thursday, July 22, 2004

1.  Mass mailing your resume is penny-wise, pound foolish.

2.  Your resume is golden to you.  At least, you should treat it that way.

3.  When you mail your resume to a company, it is the first thing that company sees about you.  You want to make a good impression.  You don't really want to advertise that they are merely one of 100 or 200 places you've applied to. 

If they pick-up on your resume, and call you, they want to feel that you'll come to work for them, all other things being equal.  If they are merely 1 of 100, that makes them feel you are not taking THEM seriously.

I know, it takes a lot of resumes mailed to get a few contacts.  Even so, you need to be serious about each resume mailed.

4.  Better ways to make serious contacts:

4.1  Attend a job fair.  Make personal connections.  Yes you still need to give them your resume.  This is also an excellent way to research what people are really doing out there -- which also makes the experience of all those 'we'll call you's ' much easier to bear.

4.2  Network (if possible).  Have people who know you, who you've gone to school with, whom you've worked for, family members, tell you about positions they know about.  Have THEM submit your resume.

#4 is the only way I've successfully gotten jobs.  Note that timing helps also.  It helps to do the #4 things at a time when people are actually hiring.  That time does seem to be now, in the Washington D.C. area, anyway.

AllanL5
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Why not just rent a billboard that's easily viewable on a major interstate if you want to reach hundreds or thousands of people.

Mark S
Friday, July 23, 2004

I play hardball with my resume. Especially with recruiters.

Unless I am happy with the role they are describing, they don't get my resume.

Spamming does not really work. You are better off making 100 local calls, and they like what you are offering, they might invite you to send a CV.

If you like what you hear on the other end, you might actually send it in. Follow it up with a phonecall a few days later. Much better than to spam people.

Take the $50, and spend it on a copy of What Colour is your Parachute.

Tapiwa
Friday, July 23, 2004

Get elected to the U.S. Congress.  They are allowed to mail whatever they want for free, even if blatently self-promotional...

Bill Carlson
Friday, July 23, 2004

Would you really want to work for a software company that prefers resumes sent by mail?

At the very least email them (and don't use bcc or cc) and tell them you are also sending a copy in the post.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, July 25, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home