Emailing Attachments: 4 Rules of Thumb

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Emailing your professor or a potential employer can be a lot of work. The impression you make through an email is just as important as the one you make in-person. You have to be careful about the way you phrase things, the subject title you choose, and even the content you choose to include.

You also have to be careful with any attachments that you choose to send. You don’t want to be that annoying student who always sends a file that can’t be opened. So, make sure you follow these 4 simple rules and you won’t ever have a problem with your email.

1-    Send it as an Attachment

Whether your emailing your professor an assignment or sending your resume to a potential employer the document needs to be sent as an attachment. Do not copy and paste it into the body of the email. That distorts the formatting and makes it more difficult for your professor/employer to read, print, and save the document.

2-    Save it as a .doc

Do not send your attachment saved as a pdf, txt, or docx file. Most computers are now capable of converting and opening these files, but you don’t want to take that chance. You don’t know how much the recipent knows about technology, and you don’t want to frustrate them with a document they can’t open. So save it as a .doc.  Keep life simple.

3-    Name it Clearly

The title of every attachment you send should clearly explain what it is, but it should also be unique. You want the person to be able to clearly identify the attachment as yours.  Personally I like to use my last name and the title of the assignment (i.e. Smith_Assignment3).

4-    Save a Copy

I haven’t ever had an email disappear, but I once had a professor accidentally delete it from his inbox. So, it never hurts to be too cautious. Make sure you have a record of every email you send out. Personally, I don’t CC myself, but I check my sent folder to ensure that a copy was saved there every time an email goes out.