As an Executive Recruiter for 8+ years, I can speak on this topic with some authority. While it might seem like a simple task, knowing how to email a resume correctly is very important. We all know that first impressions are everything. Yet, not a day goes by that I get a sloppy presentation from what seems to be a desperate job seeker.
My goal in this blog post is to not just talk about the technical mechanics of attaching a resume document to a new email. Hopefully, you know how to do that. My goal is to share branding and presentation tips that can help you get a better response.
How to Email a Resume
1. Send your resume in a .doc file – It is extrememly important that you email your resume in a typical Word document. This is important for several reasons. Primarily because it is the most common file format for every situation. Sending the latest .docx file or even .pdf is not a good idea.
Some resume databases do not handle these documents well and they are not able to be “keyword searched.” Also, if the hiring manager does not have the latest Microsoft Office they cannot open your document without downloading an add-on. I have known some hiring managers to just delete resumes that show up in a .docx file.
Recruiters do not like .pdf files because they do not have the ability to edit them. Recruiters who represent you will want to place their logo on the resume and remove your contact info. Also, they may want to make “quick edits” on your resume since they have a good understanding of what is acceptable and not acceptable on a resume.
2. Do not copy and paste your generic cover letter in the body of the email – I will admit that the cover letter is more likely to get read if it is in the body of the email instead of a separate attachment. Still, it appears to the end user that not a lot of thought was put into the email when it looks and feels like a cover letter in the body of the email. You are better off re-typing the cover letter to have a more personal feel. Also, do not go beyond two paragraphs (about the length of an average email).
3. Do not combine the cover letter and resume into one document – Recruiters and hiring managers do not like it when they open up a resume and see a cover letter first. It is confusing and most will just scroll past to find the resume.
4. Never send a “read receipt” – Do this to your detriment. In fact, I can’t think of one reason why it is ever a good idea to do a read receipt. A read receipt is an email feature that notifies the sender that their email has been opened. This will aggrevate the end user and they will feel tricked.
The above 4 tips are absolutely important when it comes to learning how to email a resume. Take some thought before you hit send and be sure that you are not making any of the above mistakes.