Creating the Perfect Email Resume

By: David Green


Emailing your resume and cover letter is one of the easiest ways to contact a recruiter, but there are rules and regulations that you need to follow. Not everyone has the same software programs, so it is important that you know how to create an email resume that can be viewed no matter what the end user has.

Plain text format is perhaps the most common format for email resumes, since anyone can view your document. The main drawback is that it doesn't allow for bold, italics, or different fonts.

So how do you create an email resume in plain text? First, you need to find a text editor. Most computer users have a program called Notepad. This simple text editor allows you to create a document that is universally accepted.

Once you have the right software, you can choose to create your email resume from scratch or copy and paste it from another program. Copying and pasting is easier if you have something already in place, but you will find that it will require some polishing once the fonts and formatting are taken out.

Expect to spend some time getting used to the non-formatted version of your resume. If you are starting from scratch, be aware that most plain text editors don't have a spell check feature. So you will want to copy and paste your email resume into a program like Word, so that you can make sure you don't have any misspellings or typos.

Once you save the document it should have a .txt extension on the end. This means that it is saved in plain text and can be viewed from any computer. You can double check this by right clicking the file icon and then choosing properties.

Once you have the resume put together, it is time to send it off to the recruiters. You can either include it as an attachment or send it in the body of the e-mail. Make sure to read the job description to see if the recruiter has a preference. If the recruiter prefers to have things included in the body of the email, you want to make sure that you have your e-mail software set to send plain text. If not, then your resume may be unreadable by the recruiter. Here are some instructions on how to send a plain text message for some of the most common email carriers.

  • Yahoo! Mail: Create a new e-mail. At the bottom of the e- mail, click the "plain text" button. Then, simply copy and paste your resume into the e-mail. You may have to make some minor formatting changes.
  • Hotmail: Create a new e-mail, in the pull-down field labeled "Tools" make sure the "Rich Text Editor" is off. You'll be able to tell if you've successfully turned the Rich Text Editor off as all the formatting options will disappear from your composition screen. You may have to make some minor formatting changes.
  • Microsoft Outlook: Create a new e-mail, click on the "Format" button and choose the "Plain Text" option. Then, simply copy and paste your resume into the new e-mail. You may have to make some minor changes, but most of your formatting should remain intact.
Last but not least, send the resume to your own email first to make sure that everything is viewable. If you can't read it, neither can the recruiter!

Good luck!

© 2006 David Green

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