Sending Resumes and Letters
There are several ways to submit resumes and letters to employers. You can use e-mail, conventional mail or drop them off in person. The key is to follow the directions and procedures requested by the employer. The substance of your resume and letter remains the same no matter which way you submit them; however, there are some things to keep in mind as you consider each method.
- Prepare your resume using a word processing program following the recommendations on Writing Your Resume, and copy the file, saving it as text only, or Plain Text, or type your resume into the text only format directly using the hard copy as a guide.
- Edit the text only version of your resume to resemble your original resume. The spacing will need to be redone using the space bar; tabs don't operate the same in text only formats. Make sure each line is 60 or fewer characters and insert a hard return at the end of each line. The margins may need to be adjusted as well.
- Since bullets and boldface can't be used in a text only document, you may substitute asterisks or plus signs for bullets and use capital letters, or asterisks surrounding text, in place of bold. Use capital letters and other symbols sparingly. A whole letter or resume in capital letters is difficult to read and could be interpreted as being rude. Overdone symbols also tend to clutter and confuse rather than draw-in the reader's attention.
- Most text editors have a spell-check function so use it to catch any spelling errors. Always proofread and have others proofread your documents.
- Save both formats of your resume, the text only format and the word processed format, so that they are ready to edit, print, or e-mail as you need.
- Create and store a "general" cover letter in the same way. Customize the cover letter each time you apply for a position.
- Once you have redone your resume and cover letter in the text only format, e-mail them to yourself and a friend to see how it looks before you send it to anyone else.
- Use the advertised job title as your "subject" line in the e-mail. Cite relevant job numbers or descriptors as noted in the ad.
- If you are sending a resume without knowing of an opening, put a few words stating your objective in the "subject" line.
- Read the entire posting carefully and completely before responding. It is important to respond exactly as instructed in the directions.
- If you send your resume and cover letter as an attachment, include them in the body of the message as well. Attach them as a .pdf document, not in word processed format.
- Attach your cover letter and resume as one document.
- When sending your resume and cover letter as an attachment, the name of the attached file should be your name, not simply "resume."
- Resume, cover letter and all correspondence with an employer should be on the same kind of paper.
- Your resume and cover letter should be sent in a large envelope without folding, stapling, or paper clipping them. Large envelopes are available in manila, white or matching resume paper and all are acceptable to use.
- Use mailing labels and computer print your return address and the name and address of the person to whom you are sending your resume and letter.
- Place the letter on top of the resume with any other supporting materials under the resume and slide it into the envelope.
- The name and address on the label should match exactly the name and address on the letter you are enclosing. If you are responding to an advertisement and there is no name mentioned, call the employer to request the name. In cases where a name is not available, use a title such as "Human Resources Representative" or "Employment Manager."
- When dropping off your resume in person remember that your personal appearance makes an impression. Dress as if you were going for an interview and act professionally, being courteous to everyone.
A NOTE ABOUT APPLYING ONLINE
- Many employers now require that you apply online for positions.
- Use the text only format of your resume and cover letter to easily fill-in the information requested in the online application by copying and pasting into the text boxes.