01Follow the Employer's Instructions
When you apply for jobs via email, the employer may require you to send your resume and cover letter as an attachment to an email message. It's important to send your attachments correctly, to include all the information you need so your email message is opened and read, and to let the receiver know how they can contact you to schedule an interview.
What's most important is to follow the employer's instructions and send exactly what they have asked for in the format it's requested. If you don't, your message may end up in a spam or trash folder.
02Save Your Cover Letter and Resume
When you are sending cover letter and resume attachments, the first step is to save your resume as a PDF or a Word document. This way the receiver will get a copy of the resume in the original format. You can either save your cover letter in document format or write it directly in the email message.
If you have word processing software other than Microsoft Word save your resume as a Word (.doc or .docx) document. File, Save As, should be an option in your program.
Depending on your word processing software, you may be able to File, Print to PDF, to save your documents as a PDF. If not, there are free programs you can use to convert a file to a PDF.
A PDF file retains the format of your resume and letter, so the recipient will see them as you wrote them when they open the file(s) you send.
Use your name as the file name, so the employer knows whose resume and cover letter it is, i.e., janedoeresume.doc and janedoecoverletter.doc.
03Be Sure to Include a Subject Line in the Email Message
The subject line is one of the most important parts of the email messages you send to apply for jobs. If you don't include one, your message may not even get opened.
Your email message must include a subject line, and it should explain to the reader who you are and what job you are applying for. Be specific, so the recipient knows what he or she is receiving. Employers often hire for many positions at the same time, so include both your name and the job title.
Add a subject to the email message before you start writing it. That way, you won't forget to include it afterward.
Here's what to write:
Subject: Your Name - Job Title
If the employer requests additional information, like a job ID number, be sure to include that too.
04Write an Email Message to Send With Your Resume
Once you have saved your resume and cover letter and they are ready to send, the next step is to write an email message to send with your documents.
First, open your email account. Then click on Message at the top left of the screen or click on File, New, Message.
You can either type your cover letter directly into the email message, copy and paste from a word processing document or if the company requests an attachment, send your cover letter and resume with the email message. So, your choices are to send a cover letter attachment or to use the email message as your cover letter.
If you are attaching a cover letter, your email message can be brief. Simply state that your resume and cover letter are attached. Offer to provide additional information and let the reader know how you can be contacted.
If you're writing an email cover letter, review these formatting tips before you send it.
Also, be sure to follow the directions in the job posting for how to apply when sending your cover letter and resume or your application may not be considered.
Review a Sample Email Message
Subject: Sarah Smith – Museum Docent
Dear Ms. Cooper,
I’m writing to apply for the summer docent program at the Museum of Local History.
I have extensive docent experience, having volunteered at both the Harbor Museum and ABC Art, and have led tours both as a student leader and a member of the town historical society. In addition, I’m a lifelong town resident and an enthusiastic amateur historian.
I’ve attached my cover letter and resume for your review. I hope you’ll contact me at your convenience to discuss the program and to arrange an interview. Thank you for your time.
05Add Your Signature to an Email Message
It is important to include an email signature with your contact information, so it's easy for hiring managers and recruiters to get in touch with you. Include your full name, your email address, and your phone number in your email signature, so the hiring manager can see, at a glance, how to contact you.
If you have a LinkedIn profile, include it in your signature. Do the same with any other social media accounts you use for career and business purposes.
To add your signature to your email message, click on File, Insert, Signature if you have a signature saved that you use for job searching. If you haven't created an email signature, type your contact information (name, email address, phone, LinkedIn) at the bottom of your message.
06Attach Your Resume and Cover Letter to an Email Message
Once your email message is ready to send, you need to attach your resume and cover letter to your message:
Click on Insert, Attach File. Your email client will display a list of files in the default file folder of your computer. If your resume and cover letter are stored in a different folder, click on the appropriate folder.
Click to select the file you want to add to your email message, and then click on Insert to attach the document to your email message. Take the time to carefully proofread the message before you send it.
Before you click Send, send the message to yourself to be sure all the attachments come through, and your email message is perfect.
Send a copy of the message to yourself, as well as to the company, so you have a copy for your records. Add yourself as a Bcc (blind carbon copy) by clicking Bcc and adding your email address.
Then click Send, and your cover letter and your resume will be on its way to the employer.
How to Email a Resume and Cover Letter Attachment
Depending on the job for which you're applying, you may need to email your resume and cover letter to the hiring manager. Networking contacts who are helping you with your job search may also ask you to email your application materials so they can review them and share your resume with prospective employers. If you've asked someone to give you a reference, they may want a copy of your resume to review prior to writing a recommendation.
What's the easiest way to attach your resume and cover letter to an email message? When you're asked to send a resume or cover letter via email, follow these steps to ensure you have correctly attached your documents, written an email explaining what you are sending and why, added your signature to the email, and included a subject line that will get your message opened and readby the recipient.