A resume and cover letter are the two vital parts of a job application. Being a job seeker, you must already know the importance of a Resume or Curriculum Vitae. You may also read through our article on the significance of a cover letter in a job application. Usually the cover letter is included in the body of the email message itself. But sometimes, the recruiter might prefer you to send the cover letter as an attachment along with the resume. We will see about what rules to follow when attaching a cover letter and resume in an email job application.
Choosing an appropriate file type
The first thing to consider is the file type of your documents. The usual practice among job seekers is to save their resume and CV as .doc or .docx files because that is the default file type most word processing software like Microsoft Word use. However, it is a good practice to save styled and formatted documents as .pdf files as it will preserve the formatting of the files in any version of the document viewer. Your cover letter can be just a .txt file if it contains only text and no style or format.
Naming your files
Naming your documents when you save them is also significant. Remember that they are going to go through many hands that are skilled in scrutinizing even the minute aspects of job applications. Therefore, it is obvious that the first thing they will notice is the name of your resume and cover letter. It should include your name as well so that it is easy for recruiters to identify later from their repository of many resumes. E.g.: Resume-JamesDoe.pdf, CoverLetter-JamesDoe.docx
Adding a hooking Subject line
Recruiters get a lot of business and other purpose emails, even spams. So an email with no subject at all or a vague Subject line will lead them to believe it as irrelevant or spam message. Hence, be clear of your intent and who you are in the subject line. It is possible that the employers are hiring for more than one position. Hence, mention clearly the job position you are applying for along with your name and, optionally, your work experience. If you were referred by someone, mention ‘Referred by <NAME>’ in the Subject line.
If you are enclosing your cover letter as an attachment, then the matter of the email message can be brief. A simple statement like “Please find attached my resume and cover letter for your kind perusal. I’m at your disposal for any further information you might need.” is sufficient.
Signing off professionally
Most email clients have an option to set up a default email signature that is automatically appended to every email you send through it. This is most helpful when you need to send out many applications, follow-up emails and correspondences every day. Include your official name, contact number(s) and email address in the signature. You may also provide links to any social profiles you have like LinkedIn, for increased credibility.
Reviewing your message
This is the rule-of-thumb for any official email you send. Proof-read the matter of your application and documents carefully before hitting the Send button. Imagine realizing that you forgot to attach your documents or write a subject line, after you sent the email. One mistake is enough to make you look silly and careless to the employer and deprive you of a second chance.
Again, it is better to be cautious than sorry later. So send the email first to yourself and check for any mistakes or missing details. If all is well, go ahead and send the email to the recruiter. You may include yourself in the BCC list just to keep a track of all emails you have sent.