Executives Receive More Than Half of Resumes Electronically, Survey Finds

MENLO PARK, CA -- Job seekers are putting away their postage stamps and hitting “send” instead. In a recent survey, executives said 56 percent of the resumes they receive are submitted by e-mail -- a 22 percent increase from three years ago.

The national poll includes responses from 150 senior executives -- including those from human resources, finance and marketing departments -- with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals.

Executives were asked, “What percentage of resumes that you receive are sent via e-mail?” The mean response was 56 percent. When executives were asked this question in 2000, the mean response was 34 percent.

“With a good strategy, job seekers can use e-mail to conduct an ambitious, highly targeted search that vastly increases their odds of finding a position,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Job Hunting For Dummies®, 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “Resumes should be easy-to-read and tailored to the opportunity. The closer a resume matches the qualifications an employer is seeking, the greater the chances of getting an interview.”

Messmer offered tips for applicants to ensure their e-mailed resumes stand out:

  • Target your resume. Don’t broadcast your resume indiscriminately. Select positions that fit with your credentials, and customize your resume to the opening.
  • Make it computer-friendly. Format your resume in plain text so that nearly every computer can read it. Many employers use software programs that scan resumes for key words, including specific technical and managerial skills. Incorporate words in your resume that are also used in the job description.
  • Send it in the correct format. While some companies have online application processes, others do not. Companies with firewalls and anti-virus software usually discourage e-mail attachments. Paste the text of your resume in the body of the e-mail instead.
  • Use the subject line wisely. Make your intentions clear to the recruiter or hiring manager by including the title of the position in the subject line of your e-mail.
  • Prompt the recipient to continue reading. Include an introductory message briefly describing your skills and experience, and the reasons you feel you are right for the position.
  • Provide hard copies. Bring copies of your resume printed on quality paper to interviews and keep them on hand when networking.

Accountemps has more than 325 offices throughout North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and offers online job search services at

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