How To Email a Resume

By Hanne Keiling

Updated October 27, 2022

Published July 26, 2021

Hanne Keiling is a senior digital communications expert with over eight years of experience ideating, executing and launching user-first experiences to achieve business goals. She is a former Indeed editorial team member who helped job seekers be successful on Indeed throughout their job search and into their careers.

Employers may receive thousands of job applications regarding various job postings. Ensuring that your resume stands out the best among other candidates applying for the same position involves more than just writing an excellent resume. It's crucial to learn how to email your resume to ensure that it gets to the prospective employer on time and in the right format. In this article, we explain what is a resume and discuss how to email a resume so you can remain under consideration for the new role you're applying for.

What is a resume?

A resume is a document that includes important details like your employment history, achievements, skills, and qualifications. You may send your resume to prospective employers to show your interest in their open position and to allow them to evaluate your suitability for the job. Before emailing your resume, it's important to make sure you're providing the most up-to-date information and that you've tailored the details you include the job you're applying for. An employer may request that you email them your resume and reviewing your resume as appropriate will prepare you for submitting it to your potential new manager.

Read more: How To Write a Resume

5 steps to email a resume

Here are the steps you can follow to email your resume to a prospective employer:

1. Follow the instructions carefully

Once you create or update your resume, consider reviewing the instructions within the job posting to understand how the employer wants their candidates to submit their job applications and supplemental documents. If the post asks you to send your resume via email, ensure you know the email address to use, the subject line format, your resume's file name, and any other question that they may want you to answer in the body of the email.

Reading the instructions carefully can improve your chances of moving to the next stage of the hiring process, as it shows employers how good you are at following instructions, which can increase their confidence in you as a potential candidate.

2. Attach your resume

When sending a resume via email, you usually have two options. You can either attach the resume as a file or send it in the body of the email, but this depends on the instructions you receive from the employer. If you must attach the resume as a file, here are some of the most common file formats you can use:

  • DOC or DOCX

  • PDF

  • RTF

The employers may specify which file format they prefer, but if they don't, consider attaching a PDF version. While other file formats may render differently depending on the program version you and your recipient is using, a PDF version is more likely to display in the same you intend. To send your resume as an attachment, follow these tips:

  • Create your resume in a word processing program.

  • Separate the resume from the cover letter and create file names that are clear, professional, and make it easy for employers to identify your files once they download them.

  • Ensure that the file is free of any virus and the format is correct.

If you must send your resume in the body of the email, think about following these steps:

  • Copy and paste your resume a few spaces just below your brief introduction.

  • Keep everything justified to the left and use business style.

  • Send the email to a friend to ensure it opens correctly before sending it to an employer.

Some recruiters may not ask for a cover letter, but depending on the information you receive, decide if it's important to email both the cover letter and resume. You may copy and paste your cover letter in the email body or attach it as a separate file in your email. If you choose not to include a cover letter, ensure you write a summary of your interest in the job and state that you have attached your resume for easy reference.

3. Use a strong subject line

Your email address and email subject line create a first impression for the recruiter, so consider how you can write a subject line that showcases your professionalism while also securing the hiring manager's consideration. Here are some tips for writing an excellent email subject line:

  • Keep it short and clear. Write a brief subject line that's around 50 characters or less. The first information should show your interest in applying for the job and attract the reader's attention.

  • Include referral details. If you learned about the job opening through a referral, include the name of the person in the subject line. Referrals build credibility, and it's usually an added advantage to a job seeker.

  • Follow the instructions.Read the job description carefully and be sure to follow any submission instructions that the employer has included. Many times, employers will discard any candidate who hasn't followed the directions.

  • Be professional. Keep the email subject line professional and avoid using abbreviations if the job post doesn't include them.

  • Proofread. Proofreading your subject line helps you identify spelling and grammatical errors, ensuring you show yourself in the most professional way. Using your email provider to conduct a spell check, which can identify a lot of common mistakes before you complete a final proofread.

If the job description does not have instructions on how to apply, and you lack referral, your subject line can include two of the following:

  • The reason for sending your email

  • Job title

  • Job location

  • Job ID

  • Your name

Related: 20 Best Practices for Professional Email Etiquette

4. Use a professional email address

A professional email builds credibility and trust to recruiters, so consider creating a new one if your current email is more personal or casual. You can visit the websites of different email service providers to create a professional email address that you can use for all of your job search process. Before submitting your resume to your recruiter, send yourself or a trusted friend the email to make sure everything displays well. Consider testing that the:

  • Attachment opens properly

  • Resume is free of grammatical errors

  • Dates in your resume are correct

5. Follow up

Because it's possible that there is an issue with the email server and the hiring manager doesn't receive your resume, consider following up on your submission. You may even find the hiring manager has your application but hasn't reviewed it. If your email isn't in their inbox, ask if you can resend your resume so they can see it right away.

Related: How To Write a Letter: Format and Example

Additional tips on how to email a resume

Here are tips to guide you in emailing your resume:

Include your signature

Your email signature can include your contact details to make it easy for the hiring manager to call or email you. Important information in your signature includes your full name, phone number, email address, and a link to your professional social media profile and portfolio if you have one. If you want to create a professional email signature, these tips can help:

  • Keep it short, ideally a maximum of four lines.

  • Include your picture.

  • Remember to optimize your signature for mobile devices by making it condensed and easy to read.

Observe the deadline

Be sure to check the application timeline so that your hiring manager gets your resume on time. While emailing your resume within the appropriate time frame is crucial, submitting it within four days from the time the employer first advertised the position can increase your hiring chances. It can also help if the recruiter receives your resume before they receive a larger number of candidate applications and get need to take even more time to review.

Read more: How To Write a Job Application Letter Step by Step

Think about the best time to send

Rather than submitting your resume after business hours or in the middle of the day, consider sending it between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. when the recruitment team is ready to start work. You may be able to get their attention before they need to attend meetings, speak with clients, or begin other work projects for the day.

Create a personal connection in your email

When sending a resume by email, try to create a personal connection with the recruiter, which can increase the likelihood that a recruiter contacts you. One way to create a connection is by addressing the hiring manager or recruiter by name. You may also review the company's website to get their correct designation or learn more about them or attend networking events to meet them in person.

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