Follow these six steps to send your resume by email:
1. Use the Name of the Person You’re Emailing
Use a personalized cover letter salutation for your email by using the hiring manager’s name.
Calling them by name proves that you took the initiative to research the company.
Begin with a standard greeting, like “Dear Mr. Chen.” Informal greetings like “Hi Bill” or “Hey Mrs. Lopez” are unprofessional, especially if you’ve never met the hiring manager.
If you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, addressing your email to the department you want to work in or the human resources manager is acceptable.
2. Make Your Subject Line Clear and Professional
There are three elements to a professional email subject line:
- Your name
- Target job title
- The term “job application”
Paul Smith IT manager job application
3. Attach Your Cover Letter
There are two ways to include your cover letter in your application email:
- Use the body of your email as your cover letter and only attach your resume
- Attach your cover letter to the email. That email should include a short introduction, and state you’re applying for the job and have attached your cover letter and resume
If you choose to attach your cover letter to the email, either attach it as a PDF or DOCX (skip to step 4 if you’re not sure which is best).
Next, give the file a clear name. Include your name, what the document is, and the job title. For example:
What to write in an email when sending a resume and cover letter
Don’t copy the content from your full-length cover letter. Instead, summarize your career highlights in a sentence or two. Here’s an example email cover letter introduction:
Dear Mx. Webber,
I saw your job ad for a restaurant manager and would love to be considered for the position.
I am a head server who has won Employee of the Month three times in a row and spearheaded a wine sales campaign that resulted in a 10% increase in alcohol revenue. My goal is to use my 10 years of serving experience to increase sales at your establishment and the number of regular customers.
Please find attached my resume and cover letter. I look forward to meeting you in person to discuss the opportunity.
4. Attach Your Resume
Next, attach your resume to the email. There are two standard resume file formats to choose from: PDF and DOCX. See if the job ad lists a preference. If you don’t see anything, either is acceptable.
As a PDF
- preserves your resume format
- easy for the hiring manager to open and read
- the hiring manager can’t accidentally change your resume or cover letter
- difficult to edit or modify
- applicant tracking systems might not be able to read them
As a DOCX
- easy to for the hiring manager to open and read
- applicant tracking systems (ATSs) can easily read them
- easy for you to edit
- your resume formatting might be messed up (for example, if the hiring manager doesn’t have the same resume fonts installed)
- the hiring manager might accidentally edit your resume
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is software that scans your resume for resume keywords. If the software decides your resume qualifies you for the job, it forwards it to the hiring manager. Older applicant tracking systems can’t read image files.
Whichever format you choose, name the file properly. For example:
5. Mention You’ve Attached Your Application Materials
Actually writing out “please find attached my resume” or something similar in your email body reminds the hiring manager not to overlook your resume.
Sending your email without attaching your application documents is embarrassing and makes you appear disorganized.
With most hiring managers seeking employees who have great organizational skills, coming off as disorganized doesn’t bode well for your chances of getting hired.
6. Send a Test Email to Yourself
Before you submit your application to the hiring manager, send the email to yourself or a friend. You can then make sure:
- there are no typos or grammatical mistakes
- all of your attachments are present
- your attachments open properly
Ensure that your email is perfect so that when it lands in an employer’s inbox you immediately come off as a professional — someone any company would be happy to hire. Good luck on the job hunt!