September 19, 2013, 11:33 AM — We all know the importance of following directions when applying for a job. Therefore, if the listing says to apply online, don't bother sending in a paper resume, right?
Wrong, career expert Terry Pile tells Business Insider.
Those hiring today - usually Baby Boomers or Gen Xers - like paper resumes, yet they may only receive electronic applications because their company is using resume-filtering software.
So, yes, apply online if that's the directive, but see if you can also get a hard copy of your resume into the hands of the hiring manager. Pile tells Business Insider's Vivian Giang that move significantly increases your chances of getting an interview.
"If you are depending on electronic resumes alone, no one may ever see it," he notes. "If you fax it, someone will have to touch it and do something with it. Generally that person will route the resume to the hiring manager or HR. If the resume is sitting on someone’s desk, they'll pick it up."
This move may pay off big in larger firms that solely rely on resume-filtering software. If the software doesn't pick up the right - or enough - keywords on your resume to meet the criteria, it may never make it to a hiring manager. However, if you can get your resume into the hands of a human, they may like what they see.