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How to Email Your Resume Professionally (Quick Guide)

You may think you know how to email a resume to a potential
employer. But consider this, if the email with your resume is constantly
filtered out or ignored, your chances of being considered for the job are gone.

Employers often receive hundreds of resumes in response to a
single ad. Resumes are often sorted (and eliminated) by an Applicant Tracking
System (ATS) before they ever reach a human. That’s why it’s important to know
how to email your resume in a way that gets it in front of a hiring manager.

How to email your resume and cover letter
Do you know how to email your resume and cover letter to help land a new position? (graphic source)

There are steps you can take to make your resume email stand out from the rest. In this article, we’ll explore emailing a resume for a job in depth. We’ll look at every aspect of the process, including what to say when emailing a resume and how to properly attach a resume to an email.

1. Create a Professional Resume & Cover Letter

How your resume and cover letter looks is important. An
attractive design can mean the difference between a resume that gets a second
look and a resume that’s passed over. This is especially true if you know a
human will be reviewing your resume.

Get a Pro Resume Template

The fastest way to get a professional looking resume that’s
sure to make a good first impression is to use a professionally-designed resume
template and matching cover letter. With a resume template, the design work is
already done. All you need to do is plug in your information and it’s ready to use.

You may wonder where to find a professionally designed
resume template and cover letter. At GraphicRiver you’ll find a good selection of professional resume templates or browse through this curated list: 

Gather All Your Information

Once you’ve selected a resume template, you’re ready to
begin the resume-writing process. This tutorial explains what you’ll need to
get started:

Some of the specific information you’ll need includes past
job titles, past employers, and years employed, as well as records of any
education programs you’ve completed. Once you’ve gathered the information you need, you’re ready to put it
into the resume template.

Consider Your Resume Length

Resume length is a controversial subject. Most resume
experts agree that a resume should be kept short. Unless you’ve got many years of work
experience, one page is probably long enough.

While you may be tempted to list complete details for every
position you’ve ever held, keep in mind that most HR professionals decide very
quickly whether to move your application forward in the hiring process. It’s in
your best interest to edit out any irrelevant details.

For a complete discussion of resume length, read this Envato Tuts+ tutorial:

 2. Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter

A common resume mistake is to send the exact same resume and
cover letter with every job application. Don’t make this mistake. Instead,
tailor your resume to each position you’re applying to.

How Do You Tailor Your Resume to a Position?

Start by reading the job description carefully. Then, look
at your own experience and find the parts of your experience that match the job description. The matching experience is what you want to highlight in your

For example, you’re applying to be a web designer. Your
previous job was as an administrative assistant at a web design company. In
that job, you answered phone calls and sent out invoices. But, you were also
responsible for making updates to current clients’ websites. In addition, your
employer paid for you to take web design classes. The parts of your experience
you’d focus on from your current job would be that you updated client websites
and completed web design classes.

It also helps if you’re specific. So, if you can, provide
numbers and details of your experience.

When applying for the web design position, you might
describe your former position like this:

Administrative Assistant. Anytown Consulting
(2014 to present). Responsibilities included updating 42 client websites
monthly. Completed six web design classes at ABC University.

In contrast, if you were applying for another administrative
assistant positions, you would focus more on the administrative aspect of your
current position. The description of your former position might look something like

Administrative Assistant. Anytown Consulting
(2014 to present). Responsibilities included supporting six full-time web
designers in a busy office. Also updated client sites as needed. Completed web
design classes at ABC University.

Be Sure to Customize Your Cover Letter as Well

Follow through with the customization in your cover letter.
Think of your cover letter as another chance to explain why your experience is
relevant to the job. Again, use the job description as a guide.

Here’s a sample of what to write in an email when sending a
resume. This example explains why the administrative assistant position is
relevant to the web design job:

In my administrative assistant role at Anytown Consulting, I
became familiar with the field of web design. I learned to update client
websites. I also enrolled in and completed web design classes at ABC
University. I believe my experience at Anytown Consulting, in combination with
my education, has prepared me for a full-time role as a web designer with your

For even more effective cover letter samples, review this

3. Double-Check Your Resume

Mistakes in your resume make you look bad. So, double-check
your resume carefully to avoid the following:

  • Spelling Errors. Any spelling error is bad, but be especially careful about the
    spelling of company names. Using the wrong name for a company may make it hard
    to check your information.
  • Grammar Errors. Poor grammar makes your resume and cover letter look sloppy. If
    grammar isn’t your thing, consider having someone proofread them for you.
  • Inaccurate Information. Make sure your years of employment and graduation dates are

If your authoring tool has a built-in spell check tool, use
it. But don’t stop there. While spell check tools catch some mistakes, many of
them fail to catch improper word usage. So, be sure to read through your resume and
cover letter carefully.

Typos can really derail a resume. For example, I remember
reviewing a resume for a writer. They had listed 1897 as their college
graduation date, when it should’ve been 1997. Naturally, the mistake in the
date made the writer look careless.

4. Avoid the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

The sad truth is that many resumes never make it to a human.
They’re weeded out by Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). You can improve your
chances of making it through the ATS by using keywords and key phrases and by
formatting your resume specifically for the ATS. Learn more in these tutorials:

But, the best way to make sure a human sees your resume is
to give it directly to a human. This tactic bypasses the ATS and can ensure
that your resume gets the attention it deserves.

Send Your Resume to a Company Contact

To give your resume to a human, start by looking for a
contact who works in the company where you’re applying. A good place to look
for contacts is in your LinkedIn profile. If you find a contact within the
company, you can use LinkedIn’s own messaging system to ask them if they would
be willing to deliver your resume to the hiring manager.

Your note could look something like this:

Hi Jane Doe,

Remember when we both worked at Anytown consulting? It’s
been a few years, but I’ll never forget your work on the NOP project. That was
quite a project.

I notice that you now work at XYZ consulting. I’m applying
for a position as an associate there and I was wondering if you would be
willing to recommend me for the position and deliver my resume to the hiring

If you could help me, I’d really appreciate it. I’ve
attached my current resume to this email.

Best wishes,

Avery Smith

Note: Some companies
offer a referral bonus to employees for qualified candidates they refer. So not
only are they doing you a favor by referring you, you could also be doing them a favor as well.

Finding Company Contacts on LInkedIn

If you don’t know a contact within the company, you still
may be able to find the name of the hiring manager on LinkedIn. Once you’ve got
a name, invite them to be a connection first—this lets them see your profile
and acquaint themselves with your qualifications. 

Meanwhile, apply for the
position through the conventional means, then send the hiring manager a short note (remember, these people are busy) mentioning your interest in working for
the company. Quickly explain that you applied for the position and why you feel
you’re qualified.

With any luck, the hiring manager will respond and start a
conversation with you. If your LinkedIn profile looks good, they may search for
your resume in the pool of applicants or ask you to send it directly to them.
Either way, you’ve met your goal of getting your resume in front of a real person.

For guidance on how to set up a professional LinkedIn
profile, study this article:

5. Use a Professional Email Address

The email address you use for job applications and to send
out your resume can make a bad impression. If you’re like many of us, you may
have created an email years ago when you were in school. Unfortunately, some of
those student usernames may give a potential employer the wrong impression.

The best email addresses use a well-known email service
(such as Gmail) and a variation of your first and last name. Alternately, if
you’ve got a personal professional website, it’s acceptable to use that email.
Again, use your first and last name as the user name.

Here’s are examples of professional and unprofessional email

Unprofessional Email Address


Professional Email Address


6. How to Attach a Resume to Email

Now that you’ve created a professional resume, you’re ready
to submit it to a company. If you’re responding to a job posting, follow the
instructions carefully. If you’re sending the resume to an individual, you’ll
likely be using email.

Be careful about the time you choose to send your resume
email. An email sent on a Friday, or late in the day (just before closing) is
less likely to be read.

Most email services make it easy to attach a document.
Here’s how to attach a resume to email using two common email service

How to Attach a Resume With Gmail

Here’s how to email cover letter and resume in Gmail:

1. Start a new email by clicking the Compose button.

2. Type the email, including the recipient’s email
address and subject line.

attach a resume to email in Gmail
Use the Attach icon to attach a resume to an email in Gmail.

3. Click the Attach
icon (it looks like a paper clip) on the bottom of the screen.

From the File
screen, attach the file that contains your resume and cover letter.

attach a file with resume and cover letter to an email in Gmail
After you’ve attached your resume to your email in Gmail you can send it.

5. Click the Open
button at the bottom of the File Upload
screen. The resume is attached to the email.

6. Click the Send
button in the left of your message to send the email with your resume.

Learn more about getting started working with Gmail

How to Attach a Resume With MS Outlook

Here’s how to email cover letter and resume in MS Outlook:

1. Click the New
button in the upper left corner to start a new email.

2. Type the email, including the recipient’s email address
and subject line.

attach a file with resume to an email in Outlook
Use the Attach File icon to attach your resume to an email in MS Outlook.

3. Click the Attach
icon (it looks like a paper clip) on the top of the screen.

4. Click the Browse
this PC
option and navigate to where you’ve got your resume file stored.

attach a file with resume and cover letter to an email in Gmail
After you’ve attached your resume and cover letter, you can send the email.

5. Click the Open
button at the bottom of the Insert File
screen. The resume is attached to the email.

6. Click the Send
button in the top left of your message to send it.

Learn more about whether Gmail or Outlook is better to use: 

7. Follow Up

Once you’ve sent your resume via email, it’s important to
follow up. If you haven’t heard from your contact after a day or two, send a
follow up email. It’s possible they never received your emailed resume, or they
may have questions for you.

If all goes well, you may find yourself negotiating a salary
for your new position. If that happens, you’ll need the information in this


You’ve just learned how to email a resume so that the hiring
manager notices. Your chances of finding employment are much better when you
use your professional network to direct your resume to the right person.

We’ve also discussed some techniques that’ll keep you from
making a bad first impression, such as using a professional resume template and
sending your information from a professional email address.

To learn even more about creating a standout resume, study
our series of tutorials on resumes, How to
Create a Great Resume (Ultimate Guide)

Good luck in
your job search and landing a great position!