Career · Underemployment

E-mailing Your Resume and Cover Letter

As a job seeker, I’ve attached a couple hundred resume/cover letter duos to emails before sending them off to be lost in the sea of applications. After speaking to a number of friends about their take on something as simple as emailing a resume, I’ve learned that there are a lot of areas for variation in sending your resume.

Can I possibly help you with that?

For example, Which document format do you use?

I had always sent my resume attached as a standard .doc file until one day I learned that a potential employer couldn’t open the file. I immediately switched to .pdf files. PDF files are easy to open and ensure that your resume formatting remains consistent.

Should your email contain your Cover Letter?

I’ve been asked a couple times whether I paste my cover letter into the email that my resume is attached to. I know that some people swear by this method, but I’ve always kept my cover letter separate to avoid information over-load. I typically email my resume and cover letter as a single attachment and write a short email of introduction.

What do you say in the email?

I write a very brief introduction to myself, a statement of interest/intent, and I always refer the reader to my attached cover letter and resume.

**However, I found this post on Businessweek that suggests that instead of attaching a cover letter to your email, a brief email cover letter would suffice.

So, as always, it comes down to personal preference.

How do you send your email resume/cover letter? There are likely endless possibilities for this seemingly basic task!



6 thoughts on “E-mailing Your Resume and Cover Letter

  1. You know what’s the most complicated way to deliver your resume? When companies have those stupid online applications and instead of uploading your resume, you need to copy and paste it into a box. I hate those!!!!

  2. Agree with Tiana Feng. I also hate those resume autofills that you have to go back and reformat. Also not a fan of those 15 page questionnaires asking you everything that you already included in your resume…

    As far as cover letters go, I think a short email is enough. I wouldn’t waste my time sending separate attachments that they might not even read (if they have hundreds/thousands of responses as is often the case).

  3. I always include my cover letter and resume as PDF attachments. I strongly recommend against sending doc files because not every person has the same version and/or fonts installed. Formatting inconsistencies between version of Word can wreak havoc on your resume.

    Also, some employers will actually print both the cover letter and resume to have on file and at your interview – another reason why I want them to look good. :)

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