If you are contemplating use of a mass-mailing program to send your resume to employers, you will be playing a bit of a “numbers game.” Although a staple of most well-planned job-hunting campaigns, such mass mailings seldom produce significant results when compared to other, more productive job-hunting sources, such as networking, recruitment advertising, and employment agencies. Nonetheless, should you elect to use the direct-mail approach, you will need an effective
cover letter to help you realize a reasonable return on the time and money you invest in this process.
Professionals who specialize in the direct-mail business expect a well-executed, direct-mail campaign will normally generate a return in the 3% to 5% range. Thus, a targeted mailing of 300 letters should generate about 9 to 15 responses. If you are planning to utilize this approach as part of your job search program, your mailing should target several hundred firms.
In a tight labor market, characterized by high unemployment and a glut of available candidates on the market, the direct-mail approach can be even less effective. Research conducted during such a market, for example, has shown a positive response rate of only about 3%. Further, some knowledgeable employment experts feel that the rate of return is likely to be even lower, depending on the severity of market conditions.
When considering whether to utilize direct mail as part of your job-hunting program, the important thing to remember is that it takes only a single favorable response to generate a job interview. If it’s the right job, this approach can pay off handsomely, providing you with the career opportunity of a lifetime! Don’t be discouraged by the meager statistical results cited here. Instead, be sure to make the direct-mail campaign a component of your overall job-search strategy. Just remember to maintain realistic expectations.