Q: Is there a correct way to share a resume via email? I recently met a manager at a firm of interest. He said “send us a resume.” I assume that means via email. What is the best way to do this? Can you share any advice?
A: Technology has changed the way resumes are submitted and received in the job-hunting process. A few months ago, someone asked if I they could fax me a resume. I have not had a fax in years! Email is often preferred since it is far easier to share with a client or another contact. Here is some additional advice:
- Ensure that you are sending your resume in a format that is “openable” by the receiver. Most companies use Microsoft Word. This is probably the most commonly acceptable format. Sometimes I receive resumes that cannot be opened or read. This is unfortunate. Sometimes I will email the job seeker and request that the resume be re-sent, but it may be a day or two before I finally receive the version which can be opened. Conversely, sometimes I don’t receive a new version, or we have already moved on to other candidates. Timing can be a factor in this type of circumstance.
- Send it to the correct email address. Confirm that you are using an accurate email address.
- Name your resume appropriately. Avoid names like resume2023.doc or resume.doc. Instead consider PatriciaHSinacole.doc or PatriciaHSinacoleresume.doc. Why does it matter? When I am searching for a resume, I usually know the candidate’s name. A title of resume2010 is not helpful for searching purposes. Additionally avoid names like Sinacolesalesresume.doc. It makes it sound like you are not really a sales person but instead you are using just one version of your resume and elaborating on the sales areas within your background.
- When possible, try to email your resume to a person rather than a generic email@example.com. The value of networking is important. If you know an employee within the company, that employee will often forward it to the appropriate contact. I always pay more attention to personal referrals rather than just responses to an online job post.
- Consider this option: write your cover letter in the body of the email and attach a copy of your resume. This eliminates the need to click on two attachments (on the receiving end).
- Make sure that your email and your resume has your correct contact information. It is smart to add an email signature line with your contact information, at the bottom of your email. I have called candidates only to find out that they have provided the wrong phone number on their resume and/or within their email.
- Spelling and grammar can be a differentiator. Understand that and make sure that your correspondence is crisp, well-written and easy to read.
When you email a resume to another individual, you are often connecting to that person for the first time. First impressions count. It is important to understand that, even via email, you are sending a message about who you are as a candidate.
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.
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