While it is most common for employers to accept resumes through online job applications, some job postings may include a requirement to submit your resume via email. If this is the case, what’s the best way to email your resume for success? The key is to read the job posting carefully. You will want to follow any instructions the employer gives you on emailing your resume. Below are tips on how to follow the instructions and other guidance on sending a professional email.
1. Name and contact information
2. Summary or objective
3. Professional history
a. Company name
b. Dates of tenure
c. Description of role and achievement
6. Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)
Start by following any given instructions
The first thing you should do before sending your resume is to carefully read the job posting for any instructions on how the employer would like you to apply. If the job description asks you to email a resume, the employer may also include information about the email address you should send to, the subject line formatting, questions they want you to answer in the body of the email, file name and more.
Follow these instructions carefully—if you don’t, you could risk having your application overlooked. Often, employers may ask you to follow instructions so they can see and respond to the email, others may be testing that you will read and complete the instructions properly.
If they don’t have any instructions, keep your email professional, simple and easy to find with the following steps:
Attach a file
The easiest way to email your resume is by attaching the file directly to the email. First, save your resume file as a Word Document (.doc, .docx) or PDF (.pdf) file format. To do this, find “Save As” in your toolbar. From the file formats available, select Word Document or PDF. These are the top two desired formats by potential employers.
Take care when naming the file you’re going to attach. You’ll want to make the name clear, concise and meaningful. Avoid generic names like “Resume.” Here are two examples of good file names:
Avoid using extremely large files (anything larger than 10MB is too big). Also avoid saving your file in a format other than .doc, .docx or PDF. A file that is too large or in the wrong format could distort the way your resume appears in the recipient's inbox.
Once your resume file is saved in the correct format and named appropriately, you can attach it to the email.
Some employers may instead ask you to copy and paste the contents of your resume directly into the email in plain text. To do this, copy the content of your resume file and paste it into the body of the email you are writing.
Write a brief, clear subject line
Follow any subject line formatting instructions that are given in the job description. If none are given, write a concise subject line that will let the recipient know exactly what the email is about. Here are a few examples of subject lines:
Resume – Job Title – Your Name
Resume: Your Name for Job Title
Your Name Resume: Job Title
Decide if you need a cover letter
Use the information you have about the job to determine if you should include a cover letter. If you decide you want or need to include a cover letter, you can either post the text directly in the email or attach it as a second file in addition to your resume.
If you decide you don’t want to include a full cover letter, include a brief message that quickly summarizes your interest in the job, notes that your resume is attached, indicates when you will follow up and closes with your full name and additional contact information (such as a phone number and link to your personal website). If the employer or recruiter’s name is included in the job description, address them by name in your message. If you don’t know the name of your recipient, you can use a general greeting like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Hello.” An example might look like this:
I came across the posting for your account manager opening on Indeed.com—it seems like a great opportunity! I’ve attached my resume and cover letter here, and I would love to be considered for the position.
Please let me know if there is additional information I can send to you and your team. I’ll follow up if I don’t hear back within a week.
Thanks so much for your time.
If you’re sending your resume to a contact who can apply internally, follow the same general guidelines. Keep your note professional but add a personal touch and a high-level overview on why you’d be good for the position, that they can pass along to the recruiter.
Send from a professional email address
One of the first things your recruiter and/or hiring manager will see when your email comes through is the email address you sent it from. If they are met with an unprofessional email address, such as “*email@example.com,” you might have a disadvantage in the selection process.
Instead, use a professional email address made up of your first and last name: firstname.lastname@example.org. If your full name is already taken, try using a combination of your name and initials (e.g. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). Avoid using nicknames or numbers, if possible.
Conclude with a proper signature
Close your message with a professional signature for the reader to reference your name and contact information. This can be simple, like:
First Name Last Name
If you have one, it may also be appropriate to include a link to your personal website.
Related: How to End an Email (With Examples)
Proofread and send a test email
Check your resume, cover letter (if applicable) and email message for any spelling, grammar or formatting errors. Sending yourself a test email can help you understand exactly what your email will look like to the recipient, and check to ensure everything is working properly. Download the attachment from your test email and check that it’s the correct file before sending your final resume email to the hiring manager.
Following any instructions given in the description will give your resume the best chance of reaching the right recipient. If the description doesn’t provide instructions, keep your message clear, concise and informative from the subject line to the body text and file name.