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Samantha Greenfield

Guidelines for e-mailing your resume

Nothing in life is simple! As society continues to technically advance, you would think that things would get easier, but that is not always the case. Let's talk (once again!) about our good friend, the resume...

The most important thing a job seeker can do is to get his resume into the hands of decision makers, and the best way to achieve that is to do the next best thing, get it into their e-mail inbox. You think this would be simple -- just send an e-mail with your resume attached, right? No so fast! Familiarize yourself with the following guidelines before you e-mail your next resume.

First and foremost, make sure you have a PROFESSIONAL e-mail address. Please do not use something cute, unprofessional or suggestive! If you have a "personalized" e-mail address, that's fine for friends and family, but when you are e-mailing employers make sure you have a professional e-mail address. Example: lastnamefirstinitialyearofbirth@yahoo.com

Make sure send your resume attachment in the format the job description states. If the job description is not specific, send the resume attachment as a PDF or word.doc. If you choose to send your resume as a word.doc it is a good idea to send it in the Microsoft Office 2003 version. Not all companies have updated to newer versions. It is also good practice to copy and paste a plain text version of your resume into the body of your e-mail. This way, you can be certain the reader will be able to review your resume. Bonus: It also gives you an opportunity to show off your savvy technical abilities! Read up on ways to spiffy up your plain text resume so that it really stands out. Better yet, attend our Plain Text Resume Conversion Workshop at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 24.

If you have recently updated your resume or are using some type of template, e-mail the resume to yourself before you send it to an employer. It's a good idea to see how the resume looks when it is opened up. Make sure you do not have sentences that run on and on or that crazy characters have not replaced your intended font style!

Give your resume attachment a name. On your personal computer you may only have one resume, so it makes sense to call your resume "resume." If you are a recruiter or HR assistant, you will have hundreds of resumes saved on your computer. Set yourself apart from all the other resumes by calling yours "yourlastname_jobtitleresume." For example: If I was responding to a job posting for a waitress, I would call my resume "Greenfield_waitress." This way it is easier for the person screening resumes to identify you.

Fill in the subject line with the job number and/or job title for which you are applying.

Use the body of the e-mail for your cover letter.


Upcoming workshops:

  • Thursday, Feb. 3 @ 1:30 p.m.: Marketing Yourself in a Highly Competitive Job Market (My personal favorite!)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 8 @ 9:30 a.m.: Finding the Hidden Job Market
  • Thursday, Feb. 10 @ 4 p.m.: Computer Basics for the Absolute Beginner

I am always happy to schedule appointments for one-on-one consultations. Call 540-722-3415 or e-mail Samantha.Greenfield@vec.Virginia.gov to schedule a time to meet.

Thank you!


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