Email resumes follow a different set of writing and production rules from ordinary resumes. Sometimes referred to as "Internet resumes" or "plain text resumes," this type of resume is usually produced in a word processing document, saved as an ASCII or text-only file, and then transmitted by email. Depending on how the recipient handles such a resume, an emailed resume also may be entered into a resume database.

If you follow these 13 basic rules for preparing an email resume, your chances of getting a response to it will be enhanced.
  1. Create an email version of your resume in your standard word processing program.

  2. Set the left margin at 0 and the right margin at 65; each line must not exceed 65 characters.

  3. Turn off your word wrap or automatic hyphen; always use a hard right return (hit your "Enter" key) at the end of each line.

  4. Select a fixed-width rather than proportional typeface. Your safest typeface choice is Courier.

  5. Include a keyword summary, in case this resume gets scanned into a resume database that retrieves resumes by keywords.

  6. Limit emphasizing techniques to these four: all caps, asterisks (*), dashes (-), and plus signs (+). Put your name and headings in ALL CAPS.

  7. Use the Space bar and Enter key to create white space. Do not use the Tab key or other formatting commands to indent or center items.

  8. Spell-check the document.

  9. Save your resume as a text-only document, which converts it to a plain-text resume (ASCII document).

  10. Check for formatting problems by reopening the document; fix any formatting problems using your Space bar and Enter key.

  11. Drop the plain-text resume into the body of your email message - avoid sending it as an attachment unless asked to do so.

  12. Before you email your resume to an employer, email it to yourself or a friend to do a final check for any formatting problems.

  13. When preparing to transmit your email resume to an employer, be sure to include an attention-getting, yet professional, subject header, such as "Information You Requested" or "Resume For Accounting Position."
While emailed resumes are relatively unadorned, this does not mean they have to be ugly ducklings. If you observe these basic rules, your emailed resume will look much better than most such resumes received by employers.

SOURCE: Adapted from Ron and Caryl Krannich, The Savvy Resume Writer: The Behavioral Advantage (Manassas Park, VA: Impact Publications, 2000), pp. 108-109. All rights reserved.