by Peter Harris, Monster.ca
Monster member Brandi writes:
Hi. In my 'travels' on job search sites, I have never found an answer to my (and likely many others') nagging question -- when sending cover letters and resumes electronically, as attachments (when attachments are permitted), what information should be included in the body of the email? Just a note about the attachments, a paragraph explaining the position one is applying for? Or should the email body include a full cover letter?
This may make for a very helpful article on your site.
You're right; people do often write in and ask that question. When sending in your resume as an email attachment, you should put the text of your cover letter in the body of your email. The first impression that your application makes on a potential employer is when they open the email. You want them to encounter a professional text introducing yourself and your candidacy that gives them a reason to want to read your resume.
If in response to a job posting, a hiring manager opens their inbox to 100 emails, you have to wonder what their incentive would be to open attachments from blank emails or ones merely reading "please see attached." (I've seen this happen often.) A paragraph is better, but really, the email is your cover letter.
If you feel that your formatted Word cover letter is an important document to send, you could always attach it along with your resume, and mention in the email that you are doing so in case the employer wants to print it out for their records.
I hope this helps!