Resume transmittal email guidelines

Now that the job application process has moved online, resume transmittal letters have become more informal. Unless you are applying for a job via postal mail, the note you send along with your resume or application form does not need to follow the format of an old-style cover letter. Use the guidelines and example below to craft a concise yet informative email to send along with your resume.

General guidelines

  • If you're applying to a particular job posting, specify:
    • The exact position title
    • The date the position was originally posted
    • The source of the posting (company website, newspaper ad, etc.)
    • The job number/code (if applicable)
  • Keep the e-mail short and to the point, but tell them why you are responding. You may want to mention key items in your background that are relevant to the position.
  • Make sure the subject line is complete and relevant to the overall content of the email.
  • If you also placed your resume on their company website, let them know the position you applied for and when you applied. Just include the most recent position you applied for — don’t list multiple jobs.
  • Ask for the next step in the process or come up with a pro-active way for you to help the process along, e.g., volunteer to be in their area, if you are interviewing for an out-of-town job.

Example transmittal note

To: John Smith, IE Manager - XYZ Company
From: Bill Student
Date:   12/4/20XX

Subject:  Resume for Job #A113 IE - Special Projects position

Attached is my current resume for consideration for the Industrial Engineer - Special Projects position in Denver with your company - Job #A113. I saw this position posted on your company’s website on Dec. 2nd.

As you can see from my attached resume, I have completed several process improvement projects and have some lean/six sigma training. I applied online for this position on Dec. 3rd using the company’s website.

I will be in the Denver area during the week of Dec. 14th – 18th and would be very interested in meeting with you at your convenience, to discuss this position or other similar positions with your company.