What should an email look like when emailing your CV?
Above all, it's essential to follow the employers' instructions when sending your CV via email. Employers are generally quite specific in what they want to see included in CVs and how they should be structured (e.g. format, subject line, etc.). Play by their rules if you want to avoid being eliminated in the first round.
For roles where specific instructions are not set out, we recommend the following:
Format your cover letter and CV
Name your files succinctly and clearly, e.g. 'joe-bloggs-cv' or 'joe-bloggs-cover-letter'. This is the first time an employer will encounter you, making it important that your materials are both professional and easily identifiable.
Before choosing your file format, ensure you read the job description thoroughly to see if the employer prefers a certain file type. You should always send the format the employer asks for.
Otherwise, there is no clear-cut answer for which format is best for emailing your CV. Generally, the best format in which to send your CV is a Word document. A PDF is often acceptable, but PDF files are not always compatible with applicant tracking system software. As a result, employers using this software may not be able to properly read your CV.
Therefore, the safest and surest way to go is to save and send your CV as a Word document (in .doc or .docx format) unless PDFs are specifically requested.
Include a subject line in the email message
Recruiters receive hundreds of emails every day. Be sure to write the perfect subject line when emailing your CV to ensure that it ends up in the right place and grabs the recruiter's attention.
In the subject line of your email, write your name, the description of the position and its reference number (if relevant). If you did not find the vacancy on the employer's website, it's helpful to state where you found it.
Write an email message to send with your CV
If the employer has asked you to attach your CV and cover letter, the body of the email shouldn't duplicate your CV. In this case, only write what's relevant and keep your email brief, reiterating who you are, the job you're applying for and why, what value you'd add to the company, and, importantly, that your CV and cover letter are attached for review.
If the prospective employer has only requested a CV as an attachment, then treat the body of the email as your cover letter (minus the formal business letter extras such as addresses and dates). If you have already written a cover letter, paste it into the email.
Finish with a call to action. For example, end the email by saying you're eager to meet in person to discuss how you can contribute to your prospective employer's success, suggesting your availability for a screening call or interview.
Take the time to carefully proofread the message before you send it.
Add your signature to an email message
It is important to add an email signature featuring your contact details so the recruiter knows how to get in touch with you at a glance. In your signature, include your full name, email address and phone number.
If you have any business-related social media profiles, such as a LinkedIn profile, include it in your signature as well.
Each email server has different steps you must take to set up your email signature. Usually, you can click 'Settings' on your email account and find the tab that tells you how and where to add a signature.
To add your signature to your email message, click on 'File', 'Insert', 'Signature', and type your desired information at the bottom of your message. Once you add a signature, it should automatically be copied to all of your outgoing messages.
Add your CV and cover letter to an email message
Once your email message is ready to send, you need to attach your CV and cover letter to your message.
Before you click 'Send', send a test message to yourself to be sure the email message is perfect and that all your attachments come through.
You may wish to send a copy of the message to yourself for your records by adding yourself as a Bcc (blind carbon copy).
Is there a right time to send a CV?
Timing matters when sending your CV via email ‒ research has shown that applying on Mondays boosts your interview rate by 46 per cent! Submitting your CV between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., when very few people do it, gives you an 89 per cent boost over your competition!
And remember, first come, first served. You are up to eight times more likely to get an interview if you apply in the first 96 hours that a job is posted.
Make sure the CV you send is up to par. Submit for a free, confidential CV review and we'll tell you where you stand.
This article was updated in July 2020. It was originally written by Laura Slingo.