Friday, January 06, 2006

Covering Your Assets

You all know I've done some interesting things while trying to get the attention of a chief pilot. But when applying for an advertised position (such a luxury the current economy offers: people are actually advertising piloting jobs), I always adhere strictly to the application instructions given in the posting. I will fax my resume to the specified person's attention. I will mail it to their head office in Carp, Ontario. (Hands up if you've ever planned a cross country trip to Carp, under an invigilator's watchful eye.) If a job I wanted demanded it, I would deliver it naked on horseback at midnight. That would have to be a pretty good job, though.

Most commonly these days they ask for a resume by e-mail. I generally attach the resume to the e-mail as a Microsoft Word document, with the body of the e-mail being a brief cover letter highlighting the qualifications I believe most likely to induce them to open and print out the attachment. But sometimes they ask applicants to e-mail "a resume and cover letter". That means they are actually looking for a cover letter, and I imagine the applications all printed off in a pile on the table in the chief pilot's office. Obviously I don't want mine to be the one with an e-mail header and uucp routing at the top, competing against properly formatted letters. So I write a cover letter in Word, explaining how every facet of my personality, skills and experience matches their needs as though I was manufactured for the company. And then I attach both cover letter and resume to the e-mail.

But I'm not going to send a blank e-mail with just the attachments. I need to put something in the body of the e-mail. So yes, I have to write a cover letter for my cover letter. Silly, isn't it? I've thought of repeating the entire cover letter in the e-mail, and adding the sentence "This letter is attached as a Microsoft Word file." I usually just summarize the cover letter.

By the way, if you're writing an e-mail intending to attach something, always add all the attachments before you write the e-mail. Nothing kills your claim of meticulous attention to detail faster than a follow up e-mail saying "oops, here are the attachments I forgot."


Anonymous said...

It is Sooo annoying when you send an email without the attachments. Even worse when you recall it and it has already been read.

Anonymous said...

Resumes on email. I've often used to leave the resumes emailed to me in my email and then print out the resumes (directly from the email attachment) I was interested in. (I was a Manager for an operations center at CYYZ).

Unfortunately, I often forgot to print the matching email and had to try to match up resumes in my Outlook with cutesy email addresses like "" or "".

My mantra to those individuals: "Always complete the identity section in Outlook, please. For guys like me."

Aviatrix said...

Cringe. I wouldn't send a resume from a cutesy e-mail any more than I would send one on cloud paper or turn up at the interview in a cutesy t-shirt. It's part of the presentation.

The name at the top of my resume matches the name on my e-mail, and my e-mail address is also printed on the resume.