When sending your cover letter and resume electronically, try to find out if the employer would prefer them as attachments or in the body of your email. If you can't determine a preference, send them both ways in a single message.
Although not usually required, you may want to follow up the email with hard copies of your cover letter and resume, (unless specifically asked not to). When submitting copies by mail, it's preferable not to fold them. It's also a good idea to bring copies of your cover letter and resume to any interview.
Sending as Email Attachments
- Create your resume and cover letter in a common word processing program such as Microsoft Word, or in RTF (RichText Format), or as a PDF. (Increasingly, employers are specifying format.)
- Make the resume and cover letter separate attachments. Give them names the employer will associate with you once they are downloaded, for example: AustinJaneCvrLtr.doc, not CoverLetter.doc and AustinJaneResume.doc, not Resume.doc
- Be absolutely certain that your documents are free of viruses. Send them electronically to yourself and to a friend to make sure they're easy to open, the formatting stays correct, and they're virus-free.
- In the Subject line, put the name of the position for which you are applying. In your email message, briefly say why you are writing. Ask the employer to contact you about any trouble opening attachments. For example:
Dear Mr. Rogers:
I am applying for the position of Grant Writer at Friends of the Earth, which I saw posted recently on Idealist.org. I'm extremely enthusiastic about this opportunity and believe I am well qualified. My cover letter and resume appear below, and are also attached; please let me know if you have any trouble opening the attachments. Thank you for your consideration.
Sending in the Body of the Email
- Paste your cover letter a couple of spaces below your brief introduction. Set it up in Business (Block) Style, with everything justified to the left.
- A couple of spaces below the cover letter, paste in your resume.
- Your resume needs to be reformatted to send it in the body of an email message. Justify everything to the left; do not try to center text. Do not use bold, italics, underlining, bullets, fancy fonts, colored text, multiple columns. To highlight text, use such means as spacing, all capital letters (for headings), asterisks (*), plus signs (+), dashes.
- Send the email to yourself and to a friend, to check for problems before sending to an employer.