- Be sure to include a meaningful subject line;
- Just like a written business letter, be sure to use address your audience with the proper formality.
- Begin your email with a salutation, or greeting:
- Dear Dr. Jones, or
- Ms. Smith:
- Use standard spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
- Do not use text language
- THERE'S NOTHING WORSE THAN AN EMAIL SCREAMING A MESSAGE IN ALL CAPS.
- Do not, under any circumstance, use emoticons:
- It is forbidden to use anything like J or L
- Write clear, short paragraphs and be direct and to the point.
- Employers see their email accounts as business. Don't write unnecessarily long emails or otherwise waste the employer's time
- Be friendly and cordial, but don't try to joke around
- witty remarks may be uncalled for and, more commonly, may not come off appropriately in email
- Include your cover letter and resume as instructed by the employer
- As separate attachments, or
- As pasted into the body of your email
Make sure you list the position you are applying for in the subject line of your email address, so the employer is clear as to what job you are applying for. This helps clarify what your message is about and may also help the employer prioritize reading your email.Be sure to include the job code if one was given in the job posting.
Here is an example:
Formal (Written to an unknown audience):
I am applying for the customer service associate position advertised in the Denver Post. I am an excellent candidate for the job because of my significant retail experience, my good language skills, and my sense of courtesy and respect. I have attached a cover letter and a resume as you requested in your job posting.
Hi!!!!!! J I like read that u was lookin for a associate or whatever. I think that i’m good for that job cuz i've done stuff like that b4, am good with words, and am good at not disrespectin people and stuff. Text me if u want 2 c my rez. Thx!!!! J
Emailing a cover letter
There are two main ways employers like to receive resumes and cover letters:
- pasted into the body of an email and
- as separate attachments
Sending separate attachments
Unless an employer specifically asks for you to include your cover letter and your resume in the body of your email, send them as separate email attachments.You should always write a real cover letter and attach it to the email. Your letter may be passed around from one manager to the next, and a printed or photocopied email used in that situation looks unprofessional; it looks as if you didn't bother to write a letter.
Send your cover letter and resume as separate PDFs or separate Word documents, because those two forms of electronic documents are the most common.
Pasting a cover letter and resume in the body of an email
Some employers do not accept email attachments. In these cases, paste your resume into your email message. Use a simple font and remove the fancy formatting. Don't use HTML. You don't know what email program the employer is using, so keep your message simple, because the employer may not see a formatted message the same way you do.
But how, then, should you use the email?
Your email should give enough information about you and about the goal of your communication so that you could be contacted – even without the attachments.
- Always use an informative signature when you apply for a job. Use a signature that is informative.Include your name, address, phone, and a professional looking email address.
I am a recent graduate of McLain Community High School applying for a customer service position with your store. I have attached the resume, cover letter and transcript that you requested to this email. If you have questions or need more information, you may reach me through the phone number or email below.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Send the message to yourself first to test that the formatting works. If everything looks good, resend to the employer.
Double Check Your Letter
Make sure you spell check and check your grammar and capitalization. They are just as important in an email cover letter as in paper cover letters.
What sorts of information shouldn't be sent via email?
Most people do not realize that email is not as private as it may seem. Without additional setup, email is not encrypted; meaning that your email is "open" and could possibly be read by an unintended person as it is sent to your reader. With that in mind, never send the following information over email:
- Usernames and passwords
- Credit card or other account information
Additionally, avoid sensitive information, complaints, or gossip that could be potentially damaging to someone's career and/or reputation, including your own. Beyond email's general lack of security and confidentiality, your recipient can always accidentally hit the Forward button, leave her email account open on a computer, or print and forget that she's printed a copy of your email.
Email Cover Letter Samples
When you're sending an email cover letter, it's important to follow the company's directions on how to submit your cover letter and resume, as well as to make sure that your email cover letters are written as well as any other professional correspondence you send.
Tips for Writing an Email Cover Letter
Write in paragraphs of about two to four sentences and use proper grammar and spelling, just as you would in any other letter.
Though this should be a given, avoid including emoticons or images of any sort.
Perhaps more important than formatting, though, is the content of your cover letter. You can review these email cover letter samples below, but be sure to personalize them when you apply for jobs.
You should tailor these samples not just to your own experience, but also to each job you’re applying for. Pay close attention to the detail of the job description - specifically, the responsibilities and requirements- and make sure your cover letter reflects how you are a good fit for these requirements.
Attaching the Letter to an Email
Take note of how the company requests you submit your cover letter; for example, you may be instructed to attach your cover letter along with your resume. In this case, make sure your cover letter is either in Word document form or is a PDF file.
Pasting the Letter into the Email
If you paste your cover letter into the body of your email, keep your text in the default font of your email provider.
Make sure the text is readable and formatted correctly. For example, avoid long paragraphs or, alternately, a bunch of stacked, short sentences.
Email Cover Letter Example
Subject Line of Email Message: Store Manager Position - Your Name
Dear Hiring Manager,
I read your job posting for the Store Manager position with interest, as the qualifications you are seeking match closely with my professional skills and experience.
I can offer XYZ Company:
- Over five years of retail management experience
- Ability to effectively hire, train, and manage staff
- Payroll management, scheduling, reports, and inventory control expertise
- Extensive work with visual standards and merchandising high-ticket items
In addition to my extensive retail experience, I have excellent communication skills. I always maintain a gracious and professional manner when communicating with people, including customers and store staff. My broad experience and range of skills make me a superior candidate for this position.
My resume, which is below, provides additional information on my background and qualifications. I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible to arrange a time for an interview.
Thank you for your consideration.
More Email Cover Letter Message Samples
Here is a list of more email cover letter samples you can use to get started. This list includes examples of cover letters that target specific types of jobs (full-time, part-time, summer, and volunteer) as well as email cover letters to use at different transitional stages in your career (promotions, job transfer requests).
Email Cover Letter Formatting Examples
For more information about how to format your cover letter, check out the following links:
Email Cover Letter Templates
How to Send an Email Cover Letter
When applying for employment via email, copy and paste your cover letter into the email message or write your cover letter in the body of an email message. Here's how to send an email cover letter.
More About Cover Letters:
Top 10 Cover Letter Writing Tips
What to Include in a Cover Letter