Resume Tip: Don’t Attach


Today’s Junk Mailbox contained more than 30 emails that weren’t delivered due to questionable attachments.  As I scanned through the offers of cheap prescription drugs and watches, I found two legitimate messages–both containing resumes.  I don’t know what triggered their quarantine status, but I have now moved them along to our HR director.

To avoid the risk of ending up in junk mail or raising concerns by individuals reluctant to open documents from unknown senders, I have a a suggestion:  Cut and paste your resume into the body of your email rather than making it an attachment.  

Many of us are reluctant to open documents from people we don’t know, which underscores the importance of cover notes.  Since many HR functions prefer the stand alone resume, you might attach a resume along with pasting it into the cover email.  This requires keeping the cover note short and to the point.   Since most e-mail programs are based on a 72-character format, be sure to limit each line of your email resume to 72 characters.  This will prevent dropped and jumbled lines.   

3 thoughts on “Resume Tip: Don’t Attach

  1. Interesting post and valid argument. I do pose a question to you however.

    Especially today in the field of public relations, I find that branding and appearance are almost equally as important as legitimate experience. I personally believe, and have been told, that my resume stands out not only for the work I have done, but because of the layout and look of it. I can demonstrate through an attachment that I not only am creative, but also competent with a computer. If I copy and paste my resume, I lose the ability to demonstrate that.

    My question to you is this, if attachments are a hassle, how do you feel about a resume being available online through a URL? Or in this case, seen as appearance really is important for me personally, should I just stick to the attachment route?

  2. The separate URL approach is excellent, especially if you have a creative resume. However, most HR departments simply scan resumes into their data bases, so they prefer straight typewritten information. Hiring managers are more likely to open a resume, either attachment or via URL, if the individual is known to them or was referred to someone they know — still the best way to get noticed.

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