The Different Ways of Submitting a Resume

Home > 
Blog > 
The Different Ways of Submitting...
Apr 21, 2023 11 min read

You’ve put in the work. You wrote an incredible resume that will impress recruiters and hiring managers alike. Congratulations!

Now it’s time for the scary part. Submitting that resume and landing a job.

There is a plethora of ways to submit a resume, especially in today’s technological world. Factors like your industry and access can help determine which avenue is right for you.

It’s good practice to be prepared for all of them. You never know when an opportunity to submit your resume might come up.

In this article, we’ll cover how to submit a resume in the following ways:

  • Email
  • In person
  • Networking at conferences
  • Paper resume
  • Online forms and job boards

Before you start sending out your resume, make sure it’s the best it can be by using our resume builder.

Submitting a resume via email

Applying for a job by emailing your resume to companies can be intimidating.

You read and re-read the email a dozen times. You check and double-check that the files have been attached successfully. Then you hit send and hope for the best.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure best practices and boost your confidence.

How to do submit your resume

The first step is to follow directions. That may sound obvious, but a startling number of people don’t do it.

Carefully read the job listing for which you’re applying. There will typically be instructions toward the bottom on the next steps. Most likely a link to an online form or information on where to send an email.

Follow the directions closely. Address the email, name the subject, and format your files exactly as they say. Not being able to follow simple directions doesn’t give a great first impression.

Attach the file in PDF format unless specifically directed otherwise.

If the job listing doesn’t state the name of a person, address it to the hiring manager. This might take a bit of research. If you can’t find a name, address your email to the department manager using the following format:

“[Company name] [Department name] Manager”

Example: Comcast Marketing Manager

What to say when you submit your resume

The body of your email should be brief and professional. Simply introduce yourself, explain the purpose of your email, and write a brief career summary.

Refer back to the job listing. Some companies will request that you use the body of your email as your cover letter. If there is no specific ask, keep it simple.

We’ve made it easy for you and created a template you can use when submitting your resume.

Subject: [ Job position ] - job application - [ Your name ]

Body: Dear, [ Hiring manager’s name ],

Please find attached a copy of my resume for the [ Job position ] with [ Company name].

With [ X ] years of experience in [ areas of expertise and skills ] and a proven record of [ list a few key achievements ], my goal is to leverage my expertise to help [ Company name ] succeed in achieving [ company vision/team goals ].

Can we schedule a meeting next week to discuss my ideas for your company’s growth?


[ Your Name ]

[ Email ]

[ Phone ]

[ LinkedIn ] - optional

[ Portfolio ] - optional

[ Personal or professional website ] - optional

Fill in the template above with your own information and feel confident submitting your resume. For more detail on the subject, check out our article on emailing your resume to employers.

Submitting a resume in person

For those just entering the workforce in today’s climate, submitting a resume in person may seem fairly archaic.

It’s true, much of the job search and application process has shifted to the virtual world in recent years.

However, there are some situations that are better suited for an in-person approach.

There are many variables that determine whether or not submitting an in-person resume is the right thing to do, but here are a few possibilities:

  • Small businesses
  • Service jobs
  • Entry-level positions
  • Specialized services (Example: asking a local business if they’re interested in hiring outside vendors to sell products in their store)

Before you go marching into an establishment with your resume, it’s important to take a few things into consideration and plan ahead.

What to do when you submit a resume in person

Once you’ve got your sights set on a particular business, see if they already have a job listing.

Is there a ‘hiring’ sign in the window? Are they listed on an online job board? Have they posted about job openings on their website or social media?

If there is a listing for an open position, read it carefully. As mentioned earlier in the post, make sure you are following directions. A larger number of people will be filtered out by ignoring application instructions.

Some businesses may explicitly state that they do not accept in-person applications. Others may require one. Don’t try to be the exception. Just follow the rules.

If they do accept in-person resume submissions, plan your visit. It’s important to be mindful of when to go, who to talk to, and what to say.

pro tip icon
Pro tip

If you can’t find a job listing, visit the business and ask if they are hiring. Ask if there is a manager available to speak with you so you can give them your resume.

The right time to go varies by industry. You want to deliver your resume when the staff isn’t overwhelmed and the manager is available to speak with you.

For a quiet mom-and-pop boutique, day and time might not be a huge factor. For a restaurant, avoid busy times like weekends and the dinner rush.

Always ask to speak with the manager directly. It’s best to go straight to the source. It shows initiative and the manager will be able to get a first impression of you before they read your resume.

If the manager is unavailable, ask the staff for a better time to return. They might instead offer to take your resume and pass it along. This is fine, just be sure to follow up with the manager later.

Regardless of who you speak with, keep it brief, polite, and professional. You are potentially interrupting their work day. You want to respect their time and willingness to meet with you.

Introduce yourself, state the position you’re applying for, and provide a very short synopsis of your qualifications.

One of the major differences between in-person and virtual resume posting is that face-to-face interactions include body language.

Stand tall with a straight posture. Look everyone in the eye and smile politely. Dress appropriately for the industry and setting.

Be prepared to answer questions. Don’t come this far just to choke on a basic question.

They probably won’t put you through a whole interview, but do some general preparation just in case.

Rehearse your responses to some common interview questions like why do you want to work here? Why are you the right fit for this role? What strengths would you bring to this company?

Before you leave, end with the next steps. Ask for the manager’s contact info and find out their timeline for filling the position. Be sure to thank them for their time and follow up later.

Benefits of applying in person

There are a few advantages to submitting your resume in person as opposed to online.

Going to a company’s physical location and interacting with the staff allows for first impressions in both directions. It allows them to see how you fit into their environment and allows you to see if it is really the right fit for you.

Even if it’s a business you’ve been to countless times before, you might get a different impression after talking to staff and management about working there.

You might discover that it’s not what you expected and decide you don’t actually want to work there. This is an opportunity you don’t get by sending your resume electronically.

Another benefit of submitting your resume in person is that it shows initiative and eagerness to work.

Anyone can click a button and send a file from the safety of the other side of a computer screen. Going in person shows that you’re serious about the role and willing to put yourself out there.

This is a good quality for fast-paced roles with a high turnover like the restaurant industry. If the hiring manager sees that you can show up on time and are capable of the physical demands of the job, then you’re one step closer to getting hired.

Submitting your resume in person can also help to expedite the hiring process for small businesses. Busy floor managers may not have the time to sit down and sift through resumes at a computer. Going straight to the in-person meeting speeds things up.

Submitting a resume when networking at conferences

For some, networking at conferences is where they thrive. For those more comfortable behind a desk, it can be scary.

Knowing when and how to submit a resume while networking is one of the more tricky aspects. The process starts before you even arrive at the conference or career fair.

The first thing you want to do is research the conference ahead of time. Find out the format, opportunities to network, other companies you want to network with, etc.

The other crucial step to take ahead of the conference is to make sure that your online resume is in order.

Odds are that the majority of your resume distribution at networking events will be by way of directing others to your LinkedIn profile or another online resume.

Make sure that all your information is up-to-date and accurate. You don’t know when recruiters are going to look at it and you don’t want to be updating it in the middle of the conference.

pro tip icon
Pro tip

Looking to give your resume an update but not sure where to start? Browse our collection of resume examples for inspiration.

When to submit your resume at a conference

Depending on the format of the event, there may be situations that are set up specifically to collect resumes. At other times, a recruiter or company representative may ask for it while networking.

Do not hand someone a physical resume unsolicited!

It’s generally a bad idea to just hand someone your resume if they didn’t ask for it. Hiring managers have a system for how they collect and review resumes. Now you’ve interrupted it and are making them do extra work.

They have to keep track of your paper resume among all their other responsibilities at the conference. It’s far better to submit it to them in the manner requested.

Not to mention, forcing your resume on anyone who will take it shows desperation and a lack of business acumen. The whole point of networking is to make a good impression.

Do print out multiple copies of your resume so that you’re prepared if someone does ask, but keep them in a folder for yourself unless it comes up.

A more likely scenario is that you will find yourself speaking with an interested recruiter and they will ask for your contact information. This is when you hand them your business card which contains a link to your online resume.

Don’t forget to follow up after the conference.

When to use a paper resume

This article has already covered some of the most common situations that call for a paper resume.

To recap, having a paper resume is useful for

  • Submitting a resume in person to local businesses
  • Distributing your resume at networking events when asked
  • If job listing directions require one

Additionally, bringing a printed resume to an interview is good practice.

Having a paper resume on-hand during an interview is wise for a few reasons. First and foremost, it shows preparedness and professionalism.

Hiring managers might be interviewing several candidates a day and don’t have your resume in front of them for your interview. Providing another copy for their reference makes it easier for them.

It’s also useful for your own reference. The interviewer might ask a specific question you can’t recall on the spot, like how many years you were at a previous job. It’s much better to look at your resume and give the correct answer than guess and get it wrong.

Other electronic resume formats

There are other ways of submitting your resume online than simply attaching it to an email. Electronic resume posting comes in a number of ways and it’s good to be prepared for all of them.

LinkedIn profile

This article briefly touched on distributing your LinkedIn URL above.

A great deal of networking happens right on LinkedIn. Your profile itself presents as a resume that recruiters can browse at any time.

Be sure it is accurate, up-to-date, and professional. You could be missing out on countless opportunities if hiring managers follow your URL and wind up on a dead page.

Link to an online resume or portfolio

LinkedIn isn’t the only place to post your resume. Depending on your position and industry, it might be more suitable to have an online portfolio of work.

Providing hiring managers with a link to your portfolio lets them explore your body of work and past projects.

With a portfolio or online resume on a different platform, always be sure to keep everything accurate and up-to-date.

Job board

Uploading your resume to an online job board can be an efficient way to quickly browse and apply to multiple jobs.

Do your research and be sure the job board you’re using is legitimate. You don’t want your personal information floating around cyberspace on unsafe platforms.

Be mindful that your best chance at standing out to hiring managers is by using a targeted resume. Creating a blanket resume and mass applying to job openings is less effective.

Online form

You may click to apply to a job listing and find that it leads to an online form prompting you to type in your resume information directly.

This is the bane of many job searchers. You spent all this time creating the perfect resume, now you have to re-type it for every submission?

This is often the choice of larger companies that receive a massive number of applicants for each role. Online forms allow for easy use of ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) that filter out resumes using specific keywords.

This instantly cuts down on the number of resumes an actual person has to review. Research your target company and create an ATS-friendly resume that reaches recruiters.

Key takeaways for submitting a resume

Be sure to follow directions closely and include a brief, professional message when emailing your resume to hiring managers.

If you’re applying to a small business, do some research and decide if delivering your resume in person is more suitable.

Be prepared to distribute both paper and digital versions of your resume at networking conferences, but only when appropriate.

Know when a paper resume is necessary and bring a printed copy to job interviews.

Explore the multiple avenues of electronic resumes and be sure that yours is always professional, accurate, and up-to-date.

Make your move!
Your resume is an extension of yourself.
Make one that's truly you.
Rate my article:
The Different Ways of Submitting a Resume
Average: 4.83 / 5.00
(389 people already rated it)
Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He has written more than 500 resume guides and deep-dive articles on how to create your resume and cover letter, that inspire job applicants to make a resume to be proud of. His work has been featured in Forbes, Zendesk, HubSpot, and Business Insider, and cited by top universities and educational institutions, like Thunderbird School of Management, Rochester University, University of Miami, and Udemy. Volen applies his deep knowledge and practical experience to write about career changes, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
Linkedin Logo
Resume Guides