With more folks hunting for jobs than ever, I get asked quite often what considerations to keep in mind when e-mailing resumes and cover letters.
What is the proper way to e-mail a cover letter and resume to an employer or recruiter who has requested you e-mail your résumé?
Notice I mentioned requested? You will never make a positive impression by randomly e-mailing your information to any e-mail address you find that is not posted specifically for this purpose. Nor will a recruiter or potential employer appreciate being sent attachments they did not ask for.
First, include a brief and professional note with your attachment confirming their request.
I appreciate your speaking with me today. Per our conversation, please find attached….
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have. Thank you for your time and consideration.
If they did not specifically give you a format that they prefer I would send my cover letter and resume in one Adobe PDF file.
The Adobe Reader is free and on almost every computer and will allow them to open one file to get both documents. PDF is the only format that will make sure the layout is like your original on any operating system.
For example, if you send your résumé and cover letter in Word format and the prospective employer has WordPerfect (or vice-versa), their software will convert to the native format and the layout of your documents can end up not being as impressive as you planned. You can lose complete control of your presentation.
If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat software to create a PDF file, (Word allows you to save as PDF) there are several free services online that will convert your documents for you — just do a search at your favorite Search Engine.
Another suggestion is to name your file in a descriptive way. For example:
This helps to make sure once the recruiter has your file on their computer they know who and what it is at a glance.
Good luck with your job search!