How should you submit a resume via email?

In your job search, a recruiter or hiring authority has asked you to send them your resume directly.  Or, perhaps someone in your network has told you “I heard about an opportunity you would be perfect for.  I know who you need to send your resume to.  Here’s the email address.”  They provide you with the email where they would like you to send it.

Ideally, the subject line should contain only three things: 1) your name 2) the word ‘Resume’ and 3) the city or location of the opening.  It should look like this:

Chris Gustafson Resume – Dallas

Those elements in a subject line tell the recipient everything they need to know about what the email is for and what it contains.  There’s no guess-work or excess information.  If there are any other details you believe should be included, I recommend you leave that for the text of the email.  I recommend adding the city because all too often recruiters or hiring authorities have multiple positions in multiple markets.  Listing the location is a very simple way for them to know where the candidate is located.  It also makes it easy for future searching.  Presenting your information this way prevents the recruiter from having to guess what email your resume is in or opening multiple emails trying to find the one with your resume in it.  Additionally, if it gets forwarded, more often than not, nothing needs to be changed in the subject line.  It’s already ready to go.

And another quick suggestion is to label (name) your resume with your name only; first and last.  Don’t put the date it was last updated or anything else.  It just makes things confusing. Ultimately, you want to make the experience of receiving your resume via email an easy experience.  Who ever you send it to will want to name it based on their system so having a lot of additional information is unnecessary.

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2 comments on “How should you submit a resume via email?

  1. Sharon Larkin says:

    Thanks for the smart, practical advice–from someone who knows. I have a related question for you … In relation to other kinds of content (not job seeking and resume stuff) I’ve been reading that you shouldn’t send attachments to emails, but you should send links instead. I assume that this is good advice when you just want people to consume content but not when you’re delivering something you want people to save, forward, etc., like your resume. Do I have that right? What do you think?

    • That’s a good question Sharon. These days, a lot of things can be sent through links. Google Drive is great for sending links to resumes and cover letters and any other type of job-search related “stuff”. The main thing that would drive my decision on what or how to send anything is a specific directive that you’ve been given by the recipient. If they specifically say “no attachments” then that’s pretty easy advice to follow. Same goes for the items you’re delivering…like a resume. Pay attention to how they want it sent (if they tell you) and do it that way. If they don’t specify, then it’s best to err on the side of simplicity. Keep it short and simple.

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