How to Email a Resume

Tips for Emailing a Resume and Cover Letter to an Employer

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Do you need to email a resume to apply for a job? What's the best way to do it? When you're sending an email resume, it's important to follow the employer's instructions on how to submit your cover letter and resume.

The job posting should give you detailed information on how you are expected to apply. If it's by email, you may be advised as to what format you should use for your resume, what to include in the subject line of the email message, and when the employer needs to receive it.

When there aren't instructions, the easiest way to send your resume is as an attachment. That will preserve your resume content and format. Your cover letter can either be attached, as well, or written in the email message.

Tips for Emailing a Resume to an Employer

Choose a Resume File Format

The employer may want your resume attached to the email message and sent in a specific format, typically as a Microsoft Word document or a PDF.

When applying for employment via email, copy and paste your cover letter into the email message or write your cover letter in the body of an email message.

Save Your Resume Document

If the job posting asks you to send an attachment, send your resume as a PDF or a Word document. If you have word processing software other than Microsoft Word save your resume as a Word (.doc or .docx) document. File, Save As, should be an option in your program. Here are tips for choosing a file name for your resume.

To save your document as a PDF, depending on your word processing software you may be able to select File, Print to Adobe PDF. If not, there are free programs you can use to convert a file to a PDF.

Some employers do not accept attachments. In these cases, paste your resume into your email message as plain text.

Use a simple font and remove the fancy formatting. Don't use HTML. You don't know what email client the employer is using, so simple is best because the employer may not see a formatted message the same way you do.

Options for Sending Your Cover Letter

When applying for employment via email, you can copy and paste your cover letter into the email message or write your cover letter directly in the body of an email message.

You can also choose to send your cover letter as an attachment, in the same format as your resume. If you send your cover letter as an attachment, use the same naming convention as you did for your resume i.e. janedoecoverletter.doc.

Be sure to read the directions on the job application carefully: sometimes companies want all your materials sent as one PDF or Word document, and other times they want separate attachments for each document.

If you do send your letter as an attachment, still include a brief introduction in your email message, stating the job you are applying for and noting that your resume and cover letter are attached.

Don't Forget the Details

The Subject Line of Your Email Message
Make sure you list the position you are applying for in the subject line of your email message, so the employer is clear as to what job you are applying for.

Include Your Signature
Include a signature with your contact information, so it's easy for the hiring manager to get in touch with you.

Proofread and Proofread Again

Make sure you spell check and check your grammar and capitalization. Employers expect the same level of professionalism in email as they do in paper correspondence. Many email programs have built-in spell checkers you can use. Or, write your cover letter message in a word processing program, spell and grammar check it, and paste into the email message.

No matter how you write it, be sure not to rely solely on spell checkers, which can miss many grammar and spelling mistakes. Reread your message yourself, and consider having a friend look at it as well. 

Send a Test Email Message

Before you click send, send yourself a test email message to be sure your application is perfect and good to go.

Attach your resume, then send the message to yourself first to test that the formatting works. Open the attachment so you are sure you attached the right file in the right format, and that it opens correctly. If everything is set, send to the employer. If not, update your materials and send another test message to yourself.

Email Resume and Cover Letter Examples

Sample Email Message With Attached Resume
Sample email cover letter to use when you are sending your resume as an email attachment.

Sample Email With Resume Included 
Sample email cover letter with resume included in the body of the email message.

Email Cover Letter Template
Template to use when creating an email cover letter.

Sample Email Cover Letter Message
Sample cover letter email message to use to apply for a job.

Email Inquiry Letter
Email cover letter sample inquiring about possible job openings.

Email Cover Letter - Part-Time Job
Email cover letter sample applying for a part-time job.

Email Cover Letter - Summer
Email cover letter sample applying for a summer job.

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