Q: I recently submitted a resume for a position as Director of Innovation for a hospitality industry company. I had prepared an “innovative” cover letter presentation but was unable to get it attached through their website process. I posted my resume through the website but also sent a hard copy with the cover letter presentation Express Mail.
I received a call the next day from an HR recruiter that she had received my resume through the web site and would send it on to the hiring manager. I asked did she receive the hard copy; “yes but it’s against policy, so I won’t be able to pass that on.” I explained my inability to get it attached through the website and given this was a creative position I was applying for, I felt compelled to go a bit beyond the norm. The cover letter consisted of a cover letter and a two page attachement. In the end she agreed to submit the letter without the attachment. But without the two additional pages, the cover letter on it’s own is not likely to have the same impact.
A: I am saddenned to hear a company looking for someone innovative isn’t innovative in their hiring practices!
Unfortunately in many situations, people are “hiding behind rules and regulations” in the immortal words of Leonard McCoy. Certainly, I can understand a company not wanting to be bombarded by extraneous paperwork, but in your case it seems like a simple request yet they turned into a problem.
Smart HR departments now ask for more than just a resume; many ask for a portfolio of work, links to references, and in some cases links to social networks you belong to so they can see consistency as well as how you market yourself.
Certainly in positions like the one you speak of, a sheet of paper may be good enough to vet away poor matches, but what really helps the company in the end make one person stick out from another?