5 Tips When Emailing a Resume or Job Application [2020 Updated]

how to email a resume

Many job applications will ask that you send your resume by email. Job listings that are available online might have an email address such as applications@company.com or hr@company.com which go to the Human Resources group.

When sending in your application, you want to make sure that your resume gets noticed. And you want to make sure that you represent yourself in the most professional light.

In this guide, we’re going to break down all the qualities that make up a great email when sending in your resume, cover letter, or job application.

how to email a resume

Table of Contents

How You Should Email Your Resume

Sending your resume by email is a simple process. You’ll want to make sure you use the correct email address specified, use a wonderful greeting in the email, have an email body that is short (200-300 words at most) but effective, and an email subject line that will catch the readers attention.

Here’s the general process for sending your resume in by email:

Tip 1: The File Name Convention Of Your Resume

This is an often-overlooked technique. The filename of your resume is what you describe the file to be on your computer. Something that looks like this, “file-name.docx”

When you attach your resume, be sure that you name your file something that will make it easy for the receiver to reference again the future. They will most likely download your resume, and then reference it again at a later date.

To make it easy for them to reference your resume, name your resume something like the following convention, “First-Last-Resume.docx”

So for example, if your name is John Smith your file name should be: john-smith-resume.docx

By not having your resume formatted this way you could risk having your HR manager find your resume again.

If you can, convert your Docx file to a PDF file. This will make it easier for the HR manager to zoom in and read your resume without having to open Microsoft Word. The easiest way to do this is to go to File -> Print -> Save as PDF. Or to export as PDF in both Google Docs and Microsoft Word.

Tip 2: Your Email Signature

This is another overlooked component of your application process. Professional email signatures can help ensure that you show your future employer that you know what proper business etiquette looks like.

Professional email signatures are apart of everyday business for professionals. Having a poorly formatted email signature can make you look like you lack proper business experience.

You should ensure that your email signature contains information and links about you that might be helpful for the reader as well. Links to your Twitter account, LinkedIn or personal website.

Additionally, information regarding your cell phone number or your full name, just for reference.

Here’s a good email signature template you should use:

First Last
P: 555-555-5555
LinkedIn - Twitter - Personal Website
[Desired Job Title]

Which would look like:

John Smith
First Last
P: 555-555-5555
LinkedIn - Twitter - Personal Website
VP of Business Development

Be sure that you link all of the accounts that you are listing in your email signature. Send yourself a test email to ensure it looks good and that the links work before you send in your job application.

Tip 3: Your Email Greeting

At all costs, avoid terms like “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear” which lack personality. If anything, choose a greeting which either contains the name of someone on the HR team (like the senior manager) or simply say “Dear HR Team”

The greeting to your email, if used improperly, could make your email appear like SPAM and could send your email to the SPAM folder for the HR team.

Using terms like “To Whom It May Concern” is a greeting that is often used by spammers. Avoid this at all costs as email filters could reprioritize this email in their inbox.

Tip 4: Your Email Salutation

When closing your email, don’t just say “Thank you”. Personalize the ending of your email as much as you can. Show appreciation to the reader. It’s okay to use a lengthy ending to your email. You are trying to tell the reader that you care.

Use something like, “I look forward to speaking with you” or “Thank you so much” instead.

These small changes can make you appear empathetic and appreciative, which indicates that you might be a top candidate to look at.

Tip 5: Including Your Profile Picture In The Email

This is a small thing. But if you can, attach your profile picture. Or embed your profile picture in your email signature or at the end of your email. Having your professional profile picture as part of your application can add personality to the email.

Attaching a profile picture won’t send your email to SPAM. But be sure that you use a smaller image that is friendly to the reader. Some email clients won’t shrink large images. Which can make your email look sloppy.

Instead, use a smaller profile picture, one that you would use on your LinkedIn profile page. And then simply embed that into the body of the email.

Choosing An Effective Email Subject Line

When sending in your application or resume, choosing the proper email subject line format can be helpful to the reader as well as efficient for them.

The two things you should indicate in your email subject line is your name as well as the job title you are applying for.

Here is an example: John Smith Resume for VP of Business Development

This email subject line is easy to read, it’s professional and it gets the point across. This helps the reader assess who you are and recognize that your application is going to toward a job title that they posted about online.

Avoid email subject lines that seem overly optimized. For example, including professional or educational merits as part of your email subject. Here would be an example: John Smith (3.8GPA, Harvard) Resume

While that may seem like a great optimization, it’s more efficient to include some of these details in the body of your email versus trying to put it into the email subject line.

Writing Your Email Body

When writing an effective email body, it’s important to bring up a few points of interest. Be sure that your email contains:

Here’s what an effective job application email should look like. Use this sample email as a guide for your job hunt.

Dear HR team —

When this position came up online, I was eager to apply. I’ve followed the founding story of John for years. I would love nothing more than to have the opportunity to be able to work at your company.

This is my resume, cover letter, and general application for the position of VP of Business Development.

Please let me know if you need anything from me.

I really look forward to speaking with you,

Job Emails FAQ

Questions from job seekers regarding the emailing of a job application or resume.

What if I'm sending a cold email, what should it say?

You should send a cold email much like you send a regular application email. Try to position yourself to the hiring manager in a way that makes you sound appealing. There may not be a job post on the company website or open job opportunity when you do this. Meaning, you'll need to spend more time considering what application materials might need to be included to make you appealing.

What if I emailed but didn't hear anything back?

If you want to check on your application status, you should reply to the recipient through your sent email folder. This will attach the email to the thread and ensure that any future emails the recipient receives are in order or their date for context. It is a normal occurrence in the hiring process not hear anything about the application right away.

Should I include the job posting or job advertisement link in my application email?

It can be helpful for the hiring manager but it isn't necessary. As long as you indicate which job title it is that you're interested in, the hiring manager should be able to determine your candidacy. It's normal in the job search process for candidates not to link to the job ad. As a job seeker, this won't hurt your chances of being asked to interview or be considered by the prospective employer as a valid applicant or candidate.

Should I speak to work experience in my email?

Yes, absolutely. You should bring up achievements that show you are qualified for the job vacancy or job opening that's available.

What if the employer replied to my email but told me nothing is available?

You should ask your potential employer if they have any job alert software that you can sign up for. Or, use tools like Indeed.com which can set up an alert for you without the employer.

Resume Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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