Monday, July 14, 2008

Resume Attachment to Email

What version of MS Word should you use for your resume when attaching it to an email addressed to a recruiter or hiring manager? According to my survey in January 2008 here in The Job Lounge, approximately 46% of Job Loungers used Word 2007, 56% used Word pre-2007 (probably Word 97-2003). Most likely the percentage of Word 2007 users has increased since the survey concluded, but it's safe to say that not everyone is using the latest version (Word 2007). Likewise, not all recruiters and hiring managers use Word 2007.

Why is this important to know? Because a Word document generated by the 2007 version has a different extension (.docx) than a document created by earlier Word versions, which has the .doc extension. Word 2007 folks can read .doc and .docx files, while Word 2003 and earlier users cannot read .docx files. Translation: If you send a resume created as a Word 2007 document (.docx) to a Word 2003 (or earlier) employer, the employer will not be able to read your resume. Oops!

What to do:
- If you're a Word 2007 user, save your resume document to an earlier version. Here's how:
1. Click the Office Button (the colorful logo in a circle found in the upper left corner of your MS Word window).
2. Select Save As.
3. Select Word 97-2003 document.
That will convert the document to a .doc file, which can be opened and read by any employer, no matter which version of Word he uses.

- If you use a version of Word that's earlier than 2007, you don't have to do any conversion. Just attach the .doc file of your email.

In my E-Resume Guide, I advise job seekers not to attach resume documents to emails, but rather to insert the resume text into the body of the email, unless the job seeker knows the employer wants the resume sent as an attachment. I'm currently updating my E-Resume Guide and as part of that updating process, I'm interviewing lots of recruiters and hiriing managers who receive resumes via email. In future posts, I'll give you the scoop from those interviews. In the meantime, if you decide to send your resume as an email attachment, be sure you send it as a .doc file.

If you're a manager who receives emailed resumes, may I interview you as part of my research on this subject? Please email me at Thank you!

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