Q: I work for a nonprofit agency. We assist individuals with job searches. Often, a cover letter is required along with a résumé. When the instructions say to e-mail the cover letter and résumé, is it acceptable to not sign the cover letter? -- R.R., Marion, Ill.
A: A cover letter sent via e-mail does not need an actual signature, which could be embedded as a picture file. Be sure the cover letter e-mail has a signature block that includes the applicant's name, address, phone number and e-mail address.
When the cover letter and résumé are sent by e-mail, they should be embedded in the e-mail as plain text and not sent as attachments, unless the employer specifically requests attachments. When copying the letter or résumé to an e-mail, remove any formatting added to make them look good.
Make sure your e-mail looks good and is formatted cleanly by first sending it to yourself or a friend. A résumé embedded in an e-mail isn't expected to have special formatting, just clean, plain text.
Consider sending a printed version of your cover letter and résumé by regular mail.
Peter Post is a director of the Emily Post
Institute and the author of "The Etiquette
Advantage in Business," published by
HarperCollins. He is one of Emily Post's