Q. I have heard from others that there is a preferred “way” of sending a resume via email. I am not sure I am sending resumes in the best way. Can you share any advice?
A: Email has certainly changed the way resumes are submitted and received in the job hunting process. I still have job seekers send me hard copies through the mail or by fax. However, email is often preferred since it is far easier to share with a client or another contact. Here is some advice –
1. Make sure that you are sending your resume in a format that is “openable” by the receiver. Most companies use MS Word. This is probably the most commonly acceptable format. Sometimes I receive resumes that can not be opened or read. This is unfortunate. Sometimes I will email the job seeker and request that the resume be re-sent. But sometimes I don’t, especially if I have received many resumes from candidates that are of interest.
2. Send it to the correct email address. Ensure that you are using an accurate email address.
3. Name your resume appropriately. Avoid names like resume2010.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.
4. 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 advertisement.
5. 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).
6. 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. I have called candidates only to find out that they have provided the wrong phone number on their resume and/or within their email.
7. 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.
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Meet the Jobs Docs
Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is a partner and the general manager of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.