Your Comprehensive Guide To Emailing a Resume (With Steps)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you find a great job opportunity you want to apply to, it's important you introduce yourself with a positive first impression. Sending your resume in an email can help you secure an interview and, eventually, the job where you can advance your career. If you're preparing to submit your resume to employers, you might benefit from reviewing the best practices for sending your resume via email. In this article, we explain what emailing a resume entails, provide the steps to follow when doing so and offer tips to help you professionally submit your resume.

Related: 6 Universal Rules for Writing Your Resume

Why is emailing a resume important?

Emailing a resume is important because it represents a distinct but common way professionals submit their resumes. Many companies have their own websites where employees upload all necessary documents, removing the need for writing an email. Others rely on job search websites, where they can independently access or request a candidate's resume. Both of these common scenarios are convenient, but when you draft an email and attach your resume, employers still expect you to do so correctly, adhering to proper business etiquette.

How to write an email for your resume

Here are the steps to take when drafting an email that contains your resume:

1. Review the employer's instructions

Before starting an email, check the employer's instructions for applying. To find them, you can explore the company's website, review the job posting or contact the company directly and ask a representative. If the company uses a specific site or service to collect resumes, then you may not be required to write an email at all.

If the employer uses email for resume submission, they might specify additional key directions. They may request, for instance, that you limit the length of your resume or include certain details on it. The employer could also have a deadline when they plan to stop accepting applications for an opening. If the employer requires a cover letter along with a resume submission, they typically say so in their directions, as well. If this is the case, be sure to attach your cover letter to the email as well to ensure you follow the employer's directions.

2. Attach your resume

Open a new email and attach your resume. Doing this step first ensures you avoid the common mistake of sending an email without your intended attachment. Regardless of the word processor you use, proceed to export or save your resume as a .doc, .docx or .pdf file. These are the standard file types employers expect candidates to use. If you're changing the file type of your resume, review it before attaching it. Sometimes, changing the original file type can affect your document's formatting.

Read more: How To Format Your Resume (With Examples)

3. Write your subject line

The subject line can tell an employer what the email contains, who's applying and for which position. The employer might have specified how to format your subject line, otherwise aim to keep it neat and simple. Here are two examples of how you can format your subject line:

  • [Your name] Resume for [Position]

  • Resume: [Your name] for [Position]

4. Draft the body of the email

The body of your email serves as a quick introduction that expresses your enthusiasm for the opening. Begin by addressing the hiring manager by name, if possible, and then explain what led you to submit your resume. For example, an acquaintance may have mentioned the opening, or you might have seen a job posting online. As with the subject line, specify the exact position that interests you.

Continue with a second paragraph of two or three sentences that explains why you're a good fit for the role and how you would apply your previous experience to the present opportunity. Conclude by thanking the hiring manager for their consideration and telling them you hope to speak with them about the position soon.

5. Close with your signature and contact information

Close with a standard professional sign off such as "Best regards" or "Sincerely." After signing your name, include your email address and phone number, so the hiring manager can reach you for an interview. If relevant, you can also include a link to a personal website or your professional social media accounts.

Tips for emailing a resume

Here are a few tips to help you ensure your communication is professional and successful:

Send a test email

Once you click send, however you formatted your email represents your first impression. To ensure the hiring manager receives the ideal version of your resume email, consider sending it to yourself first, so you can make sure it looks and reads as intended. When you receive your own email, check each component closely, including the subject, body and attached resume. Make sure when you open your document, no errors or issues occur.

You might benefit from not entering the hiring manager's email until you've completed this step. Leaving the recipient line blank or filling it with your personal email address first ensures that if you accidentally click send, the message goes either nowhere or to your inbox.

Related: How To Write a Resume If You Are a Fresh Graduate

Proofread and revise your email

When an employer receives a communication from a candidate they may not know well or at all, they pay attention to the writing skills displayed. Employers look for hires who, throughout the application process, prove they can communicate professionally, using proper language and writing without typos. Closely review the contents of your email and resume itself to ensure that you've eliminated all spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and ambiguous sentences. You can find free online proofreading apps to help you check your work.

Ensure your email address is professional

Sometimes people have a fun or silly personal email address they use for day-to-day purposes, like signing up for mailing lists and corresponding with friends. However, when contacting a potential employer, it's important to signal your professionalism. A professional email address usually uses your name as its basis and minimises extra details such as numbers or words.

Title your resume file neatly

When saving a file from a word processor, the automatically generated title is often unclear and unspecific. Make sure to either save your file with an informative and neat title or to edit your resume file name before attaching. As with your email's subject line, clearly state your name, that it's a resume and the relevant position.

FAQs about emailing a resume

Here are a few questions professionals commonly have about the resume emailing process:

Can I email my resume to more than one employer at once?

Even if you are applying to several similar jobs, it's important that you correspond with each employer separately. Taking the additional step of sending individualised emails is a business etiquette expectation that communicates you're serious about pursuing the specific employer's opening. Drafting different emails is also essential for writing distinct body sections, so you can tailor your messages.

Is it a good idea to mail a physical copy of my resume?

In most cases, you benefit from not sending a physical copy of your resume. Elsewhere in business, you might want to have a hard and digital copy of communications, but, as a job candidate, make it as easy as possible for employers to receive and process your resume. A proper email gives employers all the information, so they can decide if they want to consider you for an opening. If the company doesn't request physical copies, it could be inconvenient for an employee of the company to route your resume to the right person.

Should I drop my resume off instead of emailing it?

Sometimes, it's appropriate to drop a resume off in person instead of emailing it. Often, small business owners don't have dedicated websites to handle their hiring processes. If they've publicly posted that they're hiring, they might appreciate the chance to meet you briefly in person. If the business has explicitly stated for you to email your resume, follow their directions. Otherwise, when dropping off a resume, time your delivery, so the business isn't busy when you arrive. You can introduce yourself, but respect the manager's or owner's time and avoid trying to sell your candidacy.

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