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Should I Send My Cover Letter as an Attachment?

Ask Savvy: Should I Send My Cover Letter as an Attachment?

Dear Savvy,

I'm applying for a receptionist job and they are taking resumes through email; there is no mention of a cover letter but I prepared one anyhow. Now, I'm not sure what to do. I've converted both documents into PDF files (they requested that for the resume), but I was wondering what do I say in the body of the email?

I did some Googling on this and it seems that some people suggest you put the cover letter in the actual body of the email. Is this right? Or should I compose a note simply stating that both the resume and cover letter are attached? Wouldn't it be redundant to attach my cover letter and paste the content into the body of an email?

Savvy says: Great call on drafting a proactive letter. To see my answer regarding cover letter placement,

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In your particular situation, I recommend simply pasting your cover letter in the body of the email. If you choose to attach it, you're stuck writing a brief note in the body of the email directing the hiring manager to the attachments, and you run the risk of the hiring manager overlooking your cover letter — especially since she might not be expecting one.

The strongest argument against attaching your cover letter is that hiring managers often mistake your pre-cover letter for your actual cover letter. They'll think your politely straightforward note isn't anything special, and your first impression won't leave them impressed. Good luck with your job search!

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