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Do Resume Blasting, Resume Distribution Services Work?

Posted By Jim On 04/06/2010 @ 7:06 am In Career | 19 Comments

For a hundred bucks, you can pay a company like ResumeBlaster to send your resume and cover letter to 3000+ recruiters in up to 6 of “your disciplines.” I know nothing about their particular service but I know that they are one of several out there that will bulk mail out your resume and cover letter to recruiters in their database. If you’ve been looking for a job for a while, this service probably looks very appealing to you. For a mere $89, or less if you want to reach fewer people, you can do something that would otherwise take you several days. It seems like a good deal, almost too good to be true, right?

Before you pony up a nice dinner, let me offer up some reasons why this might not be a good idea.

Junk Mail Syndrome

Unless you’ve done a really good job opting out of junk mail (how to opt out of junk mail [3], credit offers from existing relationships [4]), you probably get a bunch of letters each week you’d classify as junk mail. You also probably shred them without even opening them.

I’m inclined to believe that a recruiter who is tired of getting bulk resume mailers is probably doing the same thing. If you read reviews about resume mailing services, you’ll notice one trend – a very low response rate. Direct mail, which is the industry term for what we call junk mail, has a response rate that is very low but relies on a large number of mailers. Half a percent is acceptable if you’re mailing out millions of mailers.

Expensive

If you assume a response rate of 0.5% (which may be a reasonable response rate [5]), that’s 15 responses for $89. That’s $5.93 a response. That’s expensive compared to submitting your resume to a job hunting website [6] for free. When you do that, chances are a headhunter/recruiter will see your resume and start trying to place you for jobs if they know of any that apply. Headhunters make jobs when they place you, so you’ll know quickly if you have marketable skills.

So $5.93 with a resume bulk mailer, assuming a half percent response rate, or free with a job hunting website.

Spamming

When you send a resume yourself, you know they want to receive it. They may not have asked you for it but you know they’re taking resumes and you’re sending it in a way they deem acceptable. When you use a resume distribution service, you can’t be sure. Maybe they opted into the service as a recruiter, maybe their email was pulled off a list of recruiter, maybe they don’t want to receive anything in bulk and the distributor isn’t as clean as they should be. Either way, when you outsource distribution, you may be getting their attention in a bad way. If the recruiters opted in, wonderful, but can you be sure every single one of them opted in?

Building Relationships

I believe that the most effective way to get a job at a company is by developing relationships with people at that company. Talk to friends, family, friends of friends, attend networking events, conferences, and the like to build these relationships. Even cold calling on a telephone is far more effective than sending out thousands of identical cover letters and resumes. You need to develop relationships to be the most successful in a job hunt and you can’t do that through mass mailings, electronic or otherwise. The USPS would love it more people blasted out their resumes at 44 cents a pop but the reality is that there are more effective methods.

My advice, having never used these services before, is to avoid them. $100 for a few thousand resumes sent may seem cheap, especially if it results in securing a job, but there are better alternatives and all of them are guaranteed not to piss off the recruiter. Finally, remember that these folks are overwhelmed as it is [7], “blasting” a whole bunch of them probably isn’t going to help.

Have you had experience with services like this? If so I’d love to hear your opinions.


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[1] Tweet: http://twitter.com/share

[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/do-resume-blasting-resume-distribution-services-work.html

[3] how to opt out of junk mail: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/stop-unsolicited-junk-mail-credit-loan-offers.html

[4] credit offers from existing relationships: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/opt-out-of-credit-card-internal-marketing.html

[5] reasonable response rate: http://www.gaebler.com/Direct-Mail-Response-Rates.htm

[6] job hunting website: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/best-employment-job-search-websites.html

[7] overwhelmed as it is: http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/29/news/economy/resume_jobs_applications.fortune/index.htm

Thank you for reading!