How To Use Email To Deliver Your Resume

Author: Heather Eagar

When submitting your resume to a company for employment consideration, it’s become almost a rule to do so over the Internet. Some companies won't even look at a resume at all if it's submitted any other way, as Internet received resumes can be more easily cataloged and searched.

So now that you know that you will very likely continue to be required to submit your resume online, it’s a good idea to learn how to do so the right way. Here are a few tips to consider:


There is a little bit of a debate going on about whether you should add the resume as an attachment when submitting it or placing it in the body of the e-mail. Some say that attachments aren't a good idea, as they take up space in the employer's inbox and may possibly contain viruses. Also, a company’s security may block the message – or a hiring manager may just not want to take time to open the attachment.

On the other hand, depending on what e-mail program you’re using (and the employer is using) cutting and pasting your resume into the body of an email could look ill-formatted. Spacing and fonts can change, leaving you with a completely different document than what you'd worked hard to lay out. It is for this reason that many pros suggest doing both. This works whether the hiring manager you're emailing dislikes attachments or prefers them, and it avoids possible issues that your attachment might have like data corruption. For the attached resume, consider using the PDF format, because it looks very clean and it can't be changed by anyone who isn't authorized.

If You Are Cutting and Pasting …

If you’ve decided that you want to go ahead and paste your resume into the body of an e-mail, it’s good to consider a few rules of cutting and pasting. First, remember to add a brief introduction of yourself, something that would do the job of a cover letter. You should also limit your introduction to two paragraphs or less, and limit each paragraph to two or three sentences.

Third, use text for the e-mail instead of HTML. As mentioned previously, formatting can cause a lot of problems when copying and pasting into e-mails – especially from word processing programs like Microsoft Word. If you don't know how to change your emails into simple text, try writing your resume out in a text only program like Notepad (under Accessories on the Windows menu) and then copying and pasting into your email. Unfortunately, you won't have the ability to use bold or italics in your resume with plain text, so you'll have to use a bit of creativity to set different sections apart from one another--try using special characters around words, or using your capitalization ("RESUME INTRODUCTION", etc).

Avoiding Spam Folders

As mentioned previously, your resume can sometimes get lost in a company’s security efforts. So to help you avoid spam folders and other issues, you could consider keeping punctuation (especially exclamation marks) out of the subject line and avoiding any other words that might be misinterpreted as something inappropriate by spam folders.

The last thing that you want is to create the perfect resume only to not have it reach its destination appropriately. It doesn't make sense to spend hours and hours on your resume, only to submit it incorrectly via email and ruin your chances of getting a job, so be sure to consider the above tips before clicking that send button.

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