There are a number of effective methods to use when submitting your resume for a job application. To avoid missing any opportunities you should ensure to do a little preparation and that way you will set yourself up for success. Here are my success strategies for submitting your resume.
In Person At Request Of Company
Sometimes when applying for a job companies may request you to drop you resume in. This step should not be underestimated. It is a test to see how you are presented and conduct yourself. Ensure you are dressed in the attire that would be expected for the position.
Don't forget the basics like neatly brushed hair, clean shoes etc. Take the time before walking in to get composed. Greet the receptionist in a friendly, confident manner. If you feel it appropriate and they are not run off their feet a bit of small talk will give them a chance to see that you are able to communicate effectively.
Businesses only ask for this method if the position requires liaising with the public. Occasionally, I have found this to be an "unexpected" meet and greet with the boss, so be prepared if the receptionist asks you to wait a moment she may go and get someone to speak with you. For this reason prepare for the interview (a bit of company research etc), before dropping your resume off to be well prepared for any surprises.
If you prepare in this way, it will definitely set you apart from the majority of applicants.
Attach a very minimal cover letter to your resume because you don't know who else may need to look at it that has not seen you. An application form may need to be completed on the spot so make sure you take in your referees contact numbers and check for permission from them beforehand.
Dropping your resume off randomly to businesses you site that you would like to work for has high value. A high number of people that do this actually end up getting a great job out of this method (me included). Follow all the tips in the last section, and add onto your cover letter, a statement that you have taken an interest in this business and would like to express interest in any opportunities that may be available. Don't be concerned if you don't here back first time it can take up to three to four visits over six months for the business to see you are serious and take notice.
This has now become the most common way for resumes to be submitted. I can't stress to you how important it is to follow the guidelines exactly for this method. That is the number 1 filtering process. For example the job application may request a particular subject line in the email, a particular version compatibility for word (eg. Not docx), or pdf format. Other requests I have seen include to copy resume text and paste into an email rather than an attachment being sent. Restriction on number of pages or words and anything else you can think of...
So the rule here is to follow the guidelines. If no subject line requirements have been sent then mark subject with your name and in brackets the position. Eg. Luke Matthews (forklift driver)
Snail Mail (Postal Service)
A small minority of companies may request you post your resume to them. In this case presentation of the physical document is vital. Use an A4 envelope (don't fold the resume) to mail.
Use neat handwriting to address the envelope. Add a cover letter to your resume and sign it. Use another color paper for the cover letter or a banner or color on the printing to help it stand out. Make sure your resume and cover letter are not soiled at all with dirty marks or fingerprints etc.
You may be asked to fax your resume. If you don't have one, your local newsagent should be able to do this for you. Make sure your contact information is clear so the company does not assume it is your fax number. Follow the same presentation as posting your resume (without the color tips obviously). Wait to get the confirmation slip form the newsagent that it has been received.
If you take care to prepare your resume following the methods above, you will have a definite advantage over your contenders. Good luck with your job hunting.