Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter

It’s easy to overlook how important email can be in the job search process. Job-seekers use email on a regular basis to apply for jobs, send inquiries to employers, follow up on applications, send thank you messages and much more. Yet, despite how important it is, some job-seekers will give it little attention – preferring to spend hours choosing just the right font for their resume but not giving a second thought to what “message” their email message is giving employers.

In the first part of this series we will look at how to properly attach your resume and cover letter to an email.

An email message that contains a resume and cover letter often helps to form the employers first impression of you. In some ways this type of message has replaced the handshake. Is your attachment in a commonly accepted format ? Microsoft word or an Adobe pdf are typically expected. Many employers specify what format to use, so this can be a first test of how well an applicant can follow instructions. If you are using an alternate Word Processor like Google Docs or Open Office make sure you know how to save your resume in a traditional format.

Is your resume named resume.doc and your cover letter letter.doc ? So is everybody else’s ! I have spent time rooting around in a folder full of resumes in an attempt to find one in particular – it’s not a fun experience. Your resume should be something like JoeSmithResume.doc or WendyEvansAccountant.doc – even a simple thing like a file name can extend your brand and make the employers task of finding your contact information a little easier.

Other tips:

  • Don’t bury the employer in attachments. Don’t send your transcripts, certificates and letters of recommendation unless they are requested.
  • Just because you are attaching a resume and cover letter don’t assume your work is done. Use the subject of the email to specify the job you are applying for. Also, use the body of the message to state one or two of your key qualifications.
  • One of the most common mistakes is forgetting to actually attach the documents or to attach the wrong ones. Before you click send, double-check everything and look for typos.
  • If you are new to email consider sending a test email to a friend to make sure everything works as expected. The resource centre staff at GT Hiring, Beacon Community Services or Worklink can also help you with this.

In Part 2 of this series we’ll delve deeper into the world of email and examine how important your email address is to your personal brand.