HR Dopers, help please. E-mailing resumes; Attachment or in body?

I’ve been unemployed for a month. Thanks to the wonderful interweb thingie, I’m able to do the job search thing mainly on-line. The problem is, I haven’t been having much luck. A lightbulb suddenly appeared above my head; maybe it’s because I’m sending the resumes as attachments, specifically as OpenOffice .odt files.
So, what would the best way to send my resume; as a .odt, .doc, or just as part of the e-mail body (with my cover e-mail above the resume?)

Thanks in advance, DESK

Send as a .doc or .txt file – some extremely common format that anyone will be able to open. I’ll admit to being a cyber-ignoramus, but I’ve never heard of .odt.

.doc and txt are the only ones that you should ever use. Do you have your resume posted to boards like Monster and Hotjobs? That is where you can get activity.

Sometimes it takes many resumes and a long time to get a response. I am a consultant do that makes me job hunt often. I estimate that I send out at least 50 resumes for every response. However, most of the promising leads actually locate me from a job board. It is important to have your info out there.

I’d include it as text below the body of your email. Attachments can get stripped out by email filters, can be in the wrong format, or the person receiving them may not know to look for them or how to open them.

Plain text, on the other hand, always gets through, is easily read, and if the person knows how to open the email he/she can read the resume.

I sometimes include it as a .doc file as well, just in case it gets through and the person knows how to look at .doc files.

I would include it as an enclosure because if they can open and use it, it’s prettier.

Then write your note and add the text beneath that, since chances are they won’t bother to ask you for it if they can’t read an enclosure.

Do the job sites or company’s website say? I’ve seen it both ways, and now more and more companies are going the completly automated online application, where you can either upload a resume (usually in .doc or .txt format) or even make one right there on the spot.

I do mine in Microsoft Windows and then convert it to PDF for sending. Everyone has Adobe Reader installed.

I’m partial to attachments in Rich Text Format (RTF). RTF allowed very detailed formatting, but the files can be opened in any word processor I’ve ever seen. Also, there is no danger of sending viruses or hidden information. (Did you know that most .doc files contain the entire editing history of the document? I’ve learned many useful and interesting things from viewing this.)

Just consulted my wife (HR recruitment manager) and she says .doc usually.

A lot of companies now have software that can crunch .doc files (they don’t do a very good job of it, mind). I’ve been job-hunting recently and was sending mine out as a PDF, and had several people get back to me and ask if I could resend as a Word document. This is the UK, though.

But if you do make sure you strip out meta information, including corrections and so on. Rather embarrassing if someone can find a hidden note from your proofreading friend that says “you liar, you never did this”.

How do you see/get rid of previous drafts, etc.?

As someone currently hiring, I’d prefer the email itself as a cover letter and the resume as a .doc attachment. However, attaching the cover letter as a .doc is fine. Just realize that the email you send is a cover letter of sorts, since it is the first impression they will get. PDFs are OK but Word is definitely preferred.
Including the resume at the bottom of the email text is also fine, but not as good.
And beware of “funny” addresses. A resume from pothead @ might cause some laughter for your potential employer, but not much interest in actually hiring you.

There’s a single option to do it, but I can’t remember it, and it being a MicroSnot application it’s no doubt buried under ten layers of bullshit. Maybe someone else can advise?

A workaround is to save it as an RTF, reopen it, and then save as a DOC again.


How’s your compost pile, BTW?

I moved out of the house in December 2004, so it’s probably rotted into oblivion, or the new owners are rolling naked in it. My current (rented) house has a compost bin, which is a tidy way of doing it, and seems to be very efficient, but the landlady will be the one to appreciate its composty goodness after we move out. But when we finally buy, I shall create the mother of all compost heaps.

When I’m hiring I like to see the information in the body of the email. If it is nicely formatted and easy to read, that email will stand out. I consider this a bonus point for the applicant. Make me WANT to bother opening your .doc file.

When sending my resume: The only time I will send an attachment is if they request it. I format my email resume differently than how I format my pretty document resume.

  1. Opening statement (like a cover letter). At the end of this statement I inform them I have copied my resume below.
  2. My personal info (name, address, etc)
  3. Technical qualifications. I make it easy for them to learn what I know and what I can do. I spent a bit of time sorting this one out so everything reads as easy as bullet points in plain text.
  4. Related work experience

This format seems to work as I just started shopping around and out of ten email sent I got two calls backs, one interview and one job offer (which I turned down).

I’ve thought about putting various document types (doc, pdf, rtf, txt, html) of my resume on my website. At the bottom of the email including something that says something like “if you need a formatted copy of this resume go here”.

You do not have absolute control (or anything like it) over the way an email body looks; it’s also likely to get mangled if the message is forwarded. Definitely send it as an attachment, in some common format; ideally one that doesn’t make people fret about malicious scripts etc; so pdf or rtf, but maybe not doc.

rtf (rich text format) is surely the best way to go, no formating for programs to be misinterpreted plus universal recognition in all text editors/wordprocessors. It means its not pretty, but then pretty cv’s can end up just annoying the person who has to plow through hundreds of the things.

It never hurts to stick a covering letter as the main email content, but keep it short. you will find some places have strange policies on what makes a good cv. the uk city council I sort of work for and have done interviews for have some crazy ones, like a cv should be no more than two pages long, covering letters need to be an atachment not the main content of an email and so forth. in this system you actually get scored based on how well your cv matches the job requirments, therefore if you write the skills section of the cv in the same order as the job requirements you inevitably score high and get an interview. crazy but true around here :stuck_out_tongue:

I knew you’d been off doing relief work, but wasn’t sure if you returned to the same house or not. (Sorry about the hijack, D.E.S.K.!)

I’d rather have a mangled, unformatted resume that someone reads because it’s right there in the email than a lovely nicely formatted email in a .doc file that never gets looked at because the receiver doesn’t have the right software/didn’t notice the attachment/was too busy and forgot to come back and look at it.

If someone doesn’t have the right software to read an rtf file, I don’t want to work for them.