You put hours of time and effort into your resume, honing the content to impress and making sure all the grammar, spelling, and formatting is perfect. But have you given much thought to how you come across when you send your resume via email?
In today’s crowded legal job market, it’s more important than ever to differentiate yourself from the pack. Here are some quick tips to make your email resume a standout:
Step 1: Use a professional email name
If possible, include some combination of your first and last name in your email address. This is an opportunity to make yourself stand out as a legal professional, so don’t use a cutesy email name like “goddessoflaw,” “surferparalegal,” or “crazycatlady.” You would think this would be a no-brainer in the conservative field of law, but I’ve seen some shocking (and telling) email names on emailed resumes! And of course, never send a resume from your work email account.
Step 2: Check your “From” field display settings
Send yourself a test email to see how your name appears in the “From” field of your email messages. Depending on which email application you’ve selected, your email address may be the default setting for what shows in the “From” field. It’s best to show your first and last name in this field to help brand it into the receiving hiring manager’s mind.
Step 3: Include an appropriate, descriptive subject line
Your subject line should always include the job title for the position to which you’re applying. If you leave the subject line blank, you may very well get lost in the hiring manager’s inbox. Put yourself in the recipient’s place: if you’ve got an influx of email to sort through in your inbox, which emails do you look at first?
Step 4: Include an email cover letter
Too many applicants fail to include a personal message with their email resume and miss a prime opportunity to grab the hiring manager’s attention. Don’t make the hiring manager work for it by attaching your cover letter – paste it into the body of your email. Keep it short and informative, and include your contact information and links to your LinkedIn and other professional social media profiles.
Step 5: Send it to a friend or colleague first
Do a trial run before sending your resume email and cover letter to a hiring manager – first, send it to a trusted friend or professional mentor to proofread and provide feedback on areas for improvement.
Your resume email is the hiring manager’s first impression of you, so make it memorable for all the right reasons, and not for its errors and omissions!
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