When someone is looking for a job, they may assume that the more resumes they throw out there, for as many people to see, is a good idea. But this heavily depends on what you do, what you’ve done and what you want to do and accomplish.
How effective this is depends on a few factors:
At what stage of your career are you? The less experience you have the more general and widely you can distribute your resume without consequence. The more experienced and established you are the more discriminating you should be about where your resume is distributed.
Are you specialized or perhaps even subspecialized? The more specialized your career, the more selective you should be.
How much in need (or desperate) are you to find a job? Your degree of need is a personal determination and different from individual to individual. Regardless, the previous two questions should have an influence.
There are other factors: the size of your professional market niche is a consideration. Are you working with recruiters or employment agencies is another. In both cases, it is not in your favor to toss around your resume like confetti. In a small professional niche word will spread that your resume is making the rounds. Likewise, if more than a couple recruiters are sending your paperwork around it can hurt you. You may be thinking that is a good thing and might make for a competitive side-effect in your favor. Rather the effect is the opposite, the perception whether true or not is that you are desperate. Things of great value are such because they are rare, conversely, that which is commonly laying around everywhere -- isn’t. If you work with a recruiter, you should make clear they should not distribute your resume without your notification and approval – especially if you are presently working while seeking another job.
Last, you have to keep a running tally and record of where, when and to whom you’ve sent your resume. This is in order to not lose track and help prevent awkward moments when someone calls you and says they are interested in you and you have no clue as to who it is, or say something empty headed half-way into the conversation, such as, “Um, uh what company…” or “…who are you?”
When you do receive a call, after the initial introduction one of your very first responses should be to ask in a friendly but professional tone, “And may I ask, how did you get my name (or resume)?” This conveys that it may have been through their receipt of your resume or perhaps they were referred personally to you.