I'm currently gathering everything I need for an application for a job in Germany. I'm applying via email, so I'll be sending a couple of attachments. Here's what I'm planning to include:

  • Cover / motivational letter in the email itself
  • Resume as a PDF
  • Work samples as a PDF
  • Certificates, references, et c. as one combined PDF file

However, I'm not sure about the last point. This includes my school/academic certificates, letters of recommendations from my previous employments and similar references. I don't want to send all of those in seperate files, because then I would have like 10+ attachments to my email and I would hate to be on the receiving end of such an application, as it is a pain to look through them all (and realistically, I don't expect anyone to do so). So I'm wondering if it is acceptable to combine all of those into one PDF file. This way, I'll only have three attachments in total, which seems more concise and accessible to me.

Is that a reasonable approach to the email application? Or is there a reason why I shouldn't combine those certificates into one file? If so, is there a better way of handling this problem (i.e. not wanting to send too many attachments)?

I also have all those certificates stored on my server, and my resume contains direct links to them in the appropriate places. I have thought about just leaving it like this and not attach any of those certificates to the email at all, but that doesn't seem like a good idea either. Is it?

  • Have they requested all of those things?
    – Ant P
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 14:40
  • @AntP No, but the job offer is very short, they didn't mention what they expect. However, for me it's common sense I can't just claim, for example, I have a bachelor's degree and not include an official certificate. I also have two very positive letters of reference from previous jobs that I would like to include as I think it increases my chances.
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 14:42
  • 1
    Claim it in your CV and provide evidence if and when it's requested. I can maybe understand providing the letters of recommendation but I really wouldn't supply all your certificates up front.
    – Ant P
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 14:44
  • @AntP So I should only attach my resume and my work samples? In that case, is it advisable to mention the links to the respective certificates in my resume in the cover letter?
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 14:48
  • 4
    I would at least mention the country/ region we're discussing and tag for that country/ region. It is entirely possible that your "common sense" is common in your country/ region and alien to folks elsewhere. As an American applicant, I'd only bother to attach a resume to the email cover letter-- anything else would be rather non-standard. Someone looking to hire candidates elsewhere might have very different expectations. Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


It's totally reasonable to combine your assisting documentation into one pdf file – I would even go further and put all files , i.e. also your resume and work samples into that one file.

However, if you have some 10+ documents to attach, I would try and rule some of them out. So unless you are right from university and this would be your first full-time employment, I would only take the certificate of the highest degree you got. If you are right from university, maybe take the last two degrees.

For other things like letters of recommendation, ask yourself whether they are all relevant to the respective job. If not, take the last one or two and see if you can restrict the others to those that compare best to the job you apply for. Concerning the left out ones: you can add some short notes to your resume where you could present additional documentation or just don't say anything about it and see if they ask for more.

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