Emailing your CV to recruiters: The Do’s and Don’ts
So you’ve researched how to craft the perfect CV and you’re ready to start firing it out to the world of recruiters and employers. But one thing that’s equally as important as a well-written CV is the email that accompanies it.
Emails are used on a daily basis and while you may often slip into more informal, relaxed language and tone when writing emails to colleagues and contacts you’re familiar with, it’s important to remember that the email containing your CV is not just any other email. Treat the CV email as if it were the cover letter for your CV. Here’s some top tips for making your ‘cover email’ count:
Do’s and don’ts of writing a cover email for your CV
- DO keep it formal. Address the person you’re sending the email to by name if it’s known (e.g. ‘Dear Natalie’ or ‘Dear Natalie Smith’). If it isn’t known, revert to the standard formal greeting of ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘Dear Recruitment Manager’.
- DON’T use informal greetings. Saying ‘Hi’ or ‘Hiya’ is not acceptable in a formal covering email and avoid shortening names (e.g. ‘Hi Nat’ instead of ‘Dear Natalie’)
- DO use full sentences. Write as if this were a formal letter to be sent out, using correct grammar and spelling.
- DON’T abbreviate or shorten. It’s all too common that recruiters see abbreviations or shortenings in cover emails, and it’s a massive turn off. If you’re unsure, for example if you wanted to use a well-known phrase such as ‘ASAP’, always use the longer version where possible.
- DO use bullet points to summarise. This is still only meant to be a cover letter and not your full CV, so you’ll want to get across some key points from your CV in relation to the job you are applying for. Bullet points are an acceptable way to do this and help the recruiter get a taste for what you can do, enticing them to delve more rather than discarding you on the NO pile.
- DON’T use your current work email. Sending your CV from a work email address is a big no-no. Use a private email, specifically set up for your job hunting. No ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’…
- DO appropriately name your CV document. Use your full name in the document title and the date to keep track of when it was sent. This helps the recruiter to retrace your file at a later date and avoids it getting lost in the pile. It’s also important to consider the format; is it a Microsoft Word document or PDF? These are the most widely accepted formats; others could pose issues for recruiters without the right software.
- DON’T send without proof reading. You might feel so relieved that you’d finished the cover email that you just want to fire it off straight away. Don’t be tempted to rush sending it. Take half an hour away from your computer, then come back and re-read the email to ensure there are no spelling/grammar errors and be sure it reads well before sending.
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