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Emailing a Resume: Dos and Don’ts

Emailing a resume may seem as easy as it can be. In fact, it has somehow become the norm nowadays. However, it does come with a bit of a challenge. You don’t really get that much of a chance at creating an impact the same level as submitting a printed resume yourself.

If you have tried emailing tens of resumes without getting a single reply, you must think that your emails haven’t been getting through. Otherwise, you might’ve missed something or that you’ve done something terribly wrong. Below are some of the most important dos and don’ts when emailing a resume.

Emailing a Resume Dos

Make sure to follow these dos to a tee when emailing your resume. It will up your chances of getting noticed and create a good impression of you to the hiring manager.

Invest in a good subject line

Your subject line is probably the most crucial aspect of your resume email. It can spell the difference between getting an interview and being junked. Your subject line is the very first impression that a hiring manager gets from you, so you want it to be as adequate as possible.

You want your subject line to be clear, compelling, professional, and not spammy at all. To be safe, your subject line should include the job position you are applying for and your full name. You may also include the term “resume” so that the reader will know exactly what to expect in your email at first glance.

Address the hiring manager by name

A generic “Dear Ma’am/Sir” or a “Dear Hiring Manager” or worse, a “To whom it may concern” is all too generic and makes it look like you’ve just copy-pasted a template letter from one application to another. Addressing the hiring manager by their name shows that you’re paying attention and/or that you’ve done your research.

State your purpose

Make your intentions clear at the very beginning of your email. Introduce yourself and tell the reader that you are sending the email to apply for the job that they have posted. Treat the first paragraph of your email as the explanation or extension of your subject line. This makes it clear to the hiring manager that you are indeed after a job in their company.

Add value

To support your stipulated desire in the first paragraph, you may follow it up by adding value to the next section. Highlight your best skills, why you think you are the best candidate for the job, and what you can contribute to the company. In a nutshell, sell yourself a little. This part of your email should make the reader feel compelled to open your attachment and browse through your resume.

Tell them you’re eager to meet.

Don’t just stop at making them eager to open your resume. Make sure you state how you look forward to meeting them in person. This imbues a sense of eagerness in your email and makes the reader feel that you really want this position without being too pushy or unprofessional.

Add a professional signature with full contact details.

You may customize your email signature, but make sure that it appears professional. Include your full name and title in your signature. Try to use a single color that is not too bright and flashy. For example, a bright yellow would be difficult to read on-screen against a white backdrop.

In addition, you may also add your contact details under your email signature so that they have a reference of how to reach you within the email itself even before opening your resume attachment. 

Attach your resume (Preferably in PDF) with a proper file name

While in previous practice, attaching a Word file was the standard, the current approach encourages sending a PDF instead. A PDF gives a more “finished” appearance as the resume’s elements are flattened and immovable. In contrast, a Word file will usually have that blinking cursor and remains editable at the receiver’s end.

More importantly, your file name must be formatted appropriately. It should be professional and precise -meaning that the receiver will know instantly what it is by the file name alone. Just like your subject line, you may include your name, the job position, and the term “resume.”

Learn more about writing professional emails through this online course by Skill Success.

Emailing a Resume Don’ts

Just as you have best practices when emailing a resume, there are also big no-nos. Here are some things you need to be mindful of when emailing your application.

Using an unprofessional email address

If you’ve been a professional for several years now, this must be a no-brainer for you. However, there are still some who slip up and send emails through their old high school email account. “Kittycat143” and “death_by_metal” are not the ideal email addresses you would typically expect professional emails from. Make sure your email address is as clean and as professional as possible. A safe bet would be to simply use your name (and a couple of numerics, in case your name is already taken).

Writing nothing

A common mistake noobs make when emailing a resume is not writing anything in the email itself. This practice is downright confusing and unprofessional. Imagine receiving an envelope with a blank page inside. Writing nothing will likely prompt the reader to junk your email.

No subject line

Just as we have stressed above, your subject line is very, very important. It is the gateway that will lead the hiring manager to your application, so why skimp on it? If you don’t write anything on the subject line, you might as well not send in your resume at all.

Generic file name attachment

Your resume attachment should have a proper label to it. It would be safe to assume that the hiring manager will likely download the file for their reference, and if that file is simply named “file.pdf,” it would be easier for it to get lost. Including your name on the filename itself is one way to ensure that the hiring manager knows that it is your resume, regardless of whether or not it is still attached to the email.

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