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Emailing CVs and Application Forms

Today, it is perfectly acceptable to email across your CV to a potential employer or recruitment agency and you will likely find that in today’s world of modern technology, you will use this method to submit your CV and job applications more and more.

In the main, there really shouldn’t be much difference in the way you send off your application, it will still need to have a perfectly worded cover letter and a faultless CV, just as it would if you were using traditional snail mail.  Don’t think that because you are sending your CV application in via email that you can be lazy, your application still needs to make a huge impact, you are still competing against hundreds of other applicants.  To be honest, it is likely to attract even more applicants than a standard postal application would because, let’s face it, email is so much easier and far more convenient and will therefore, attract more interest.

You will need to work that little bit harder to encourage the reader to actually click that little paperclip and physically open the CV because unlike a traditional application, your CV is not instantly presented to them.  They actually have the option to decide whether to open it, or not.

How to encourage the reader to open your CV application

So, how can you encourage a recruiter to actually open your CV? Here are a few ideas to help you:

Use a Professional Sounding Email Address

  • Do not use an awful and inappropriate email address
  • Set up a specific email address solely for job applications
  • Use a name that is professional and preferably a connotation of your name
  • Never use silly names or nick names, you need to create a good first impression

Send your CV Application to the Correct Addressee

  • Always ensure you type the recipients email address correctly, check and double-check it’s right
  • Telephone the company and ask for details, don’t waste your time sending it to the wrong person

CC and BCC

  • Never send one email enclosing your CV and cover letter to multiple people – this makes you look lazy
  • Always send one CV to one person, unless the advert asks you to send it to more than one person

Subject Line

  • Never, never, ever leave this blank! Not only is it very unprofessional, it could easily be mistaken for spam
  • Keep the title short, simple and to the point, use the job title and/or the vacancy reference
  • With a speculative application, compose a compelling subject line that won’t be sent to the spam folder

Main Body of the Email

  • Keep this professional by using appropriate business-like content
  • This is the place to paste your cover letter, rather than attach it
  • Compose your cover letter well, write it to outline your suitability and encourage them to open the CV
  • Do not copy and paste your CV in to the body of the email, unless the advert expressly says no attachments

Email Font

  • Use a suitable business-like font, such as arial or verdana 10-12 point
  • Sans-serif fonts are more easily readable on a PC screens


  • Ensure you use a suitable signature at the end of your email and include your email address and telephone number

Name your Attachment Wisely

  • Please don’t title your CV with just the word ‘CV’, what if everyone called their file this?
  • ALWAYS include your name, eg: Joe Bloggs CV

Attachment Format

  • Use Microsoft Word whenever possible, this is universally used throughout the industry
  • Only use PDF if essential, recruitment agencies like to remove your contact details when forwarding applications to the their client
  • Avoid using lesser known file formats, not everyone will have that programme

Read Receipts

  • You can use a ‘read receipt’ but it is likely the reader won’t agree to send one

Setting Priority

  • I am not convinced this will make your application more attractive to be honest, it can strike as being desperate