How to Write and Send an Email Cover Letter
An email cover letter is a short message that's included in the email being used to submit your job application. The email is intended to support your cover letter and resume. It's a supportive reason for why the hiring manager is going to open your job application assets.
What is an email cover letter?
An email cover letter is used when submitting a job application by email. While most job applications suggest that you use a company hiring portal to submit a job application, some would prefer you send an email to a corporate email address.
You'll know that you'll be sending a job application email when there's a small note at the bottom of the job description and job posting that says something like the following:
Please submit your resume and cover letter to the following email address: [email protected]
When to use an email cover letter?
Use an email cover letter when you're sending a job application email. There are two options to include your cover letter in the application. You can either copy and paste your cover letter into the body of the email. Then send it.
Or you can write a specific cover letter email that suggests why the hiring manager should read your job application assets.
Writing a new cover letter email is strongly suggested.
If attaching a cover letter to the email
When sending this type of email, don't do the following.
Do not copy and paste your cover letter into the body of the email and include the exact cover letter in an attachment.
Write a cover letter specifically for the hiring manager for when they're reviewing your job application.
And write a cover letter email for when the hiring manager opens your initial email.
How to Write an Email Cover Letter
Here's how to write an email cover letter.
Choose a strong email subject line
A professional subject line is going to assist the hiring manager. Avoid trying to make a unique subject line that you think is going to stand out.
For example, a flashy subject line is:
Increase your sales by 4X when you hire me
Do not do that.
Instead, pick a professional subject line like the following:
John Smith for Software Engineer
An alternative could be the following:
Applying for Software Engineer (John Smith)
Start with a professional greeting
A professional greeting is very important when addressing the hiring manager. It's best to address hiring managers by name. Though, only some job descriptions/job openings list the hiring manager's name for job seekers.
If the job description contains the hiring manager's name, then use the following greeting:
Dear John Smith,
Dear Mr. Smith,
Or if the job ad does not list the hiring manager's name, use this greeting:
Dear Hiring Manager,
All cover letters should address the hiring manager by name.
Learn how to address your cover letter properly.
Open with a strong paragraph
A strong opening paragraph is something that should leave a strong first impression. And show relevant work experience for the job.
A great way to do this is to mention relevant technical skills, competencies, soft skills, or career achievements that fit the job.
Here are some things you could mention:
- Why the company is attractive to you.
- Skills that you have which make you a perfect fit for the job.
- Career accomplishments that support the job description.
If submitting an internship cover letter email
When submitting an internship cover letter, it's more than likely that you won't have any previous career accomplishments to share.
It's okay to mention what skills you have that fit the requirements in the job description. And mention what skills that you might be able to gain from the experience.
Learn more about internship cover letters.
Suggest why you're a fit for the job
In the body of your email message, suggest why you're a great fit for the job. Consider this a "sales pitch" for why the hiring manager should open the cover letter and resume.
Mention strong career achievements or a firm understanding of the business/industry you're trying to get hired in.
Close the email
End the email with a call to action. Suggest available times to interview in the future. And ask pertinent questions related to the job. A great question could be, "What types of initiatives will I be working on?"
It's best to include your contact information one more time.
Include your phone number, LinkedIn profile, and other contact details. Make sure your resume is attached.
End with a professional sign-off
Sign-off the email with a professional signature. Use the following salutations to make sure the reader see's professional communication skills from you:
- Best regards,
- Look forward to hearing from you,
- Thank you so much,
- Appreciate your time and consideration,
Avoid sign-off's like the following:
Sign the email
Sign the email by ending with your full name. Your first and last name. This can happen immediately after your professional sign off.
It's not necessary to have a digital signature.
Ensure that your email signature is professional. A professional email signature should contain your phone number, website, LinkedIn URL, and other contact information.
Proofread the email
Make sure there isn't any grammar issues, spelling issues, or other. Double check that all attachments are in the email before sending.
A spelling issue can make you look unprofessional.
Ensure the email is short, three paragraphs in total with the first two paragraphs being significantly shorter than the others.
The email should be easy to read with a format that's similar to an email you'd send to a client, customer, or other business person.
Avoid using unique font styles, font sizes, or other colorful details in the email you send.
How to Send an Email Cover Letter
Here's how to send an email cover letter.
Choose to attach the cover letter or not
First, choose to attach the cover letter or not. If you're going to put the cover letter into the body of the email, then insure that you do not include the cover letter in the email attachments.
Double check the email address you're sending to
Make sure you're sending the email to proper job application email included in the job advertisement or job ad.
Write your email cover letter
Follow the steps included to write a professional and effective cover letter email that accompanies your job application via email.
It's very important to read your email, resume, and cover letter more than once.
Pro tip: Your cover letter should always be one-page. Never make your cover letter longer than one page.
Email Cover Letter Sample
Below is an email cover letter example.
Dear Ms. Smith,
I'm applying for the position of Software Engineer at Apple. I noticed the job description was looking for engineers who have a strong capacity to work closely with the marketing team.
In the past, I've been part of more than six initiatives that all focused on product marketing automation. We built tools that helped automate marketing efforts through Facebook ads. I'd love to show you this work and see if it fits what you're looking for.
I've attached my resume and a short cover letter for your review.
I look forward to hearing from you soon. I'm available all next week.
Second example of an email cover letter
Here's another sample email cover letter.
Dear Ms. Kindle,
I noticed the job advertisement the other day at Kendal Books. I am submitting my application via email here. I'd love to speak with you regarding this position as soon as possible.
Throughout my career, I've been part of publishing more than five children's books. All of which have made it to Amazon's top published books. And one became a best seller.
I'd love to speak with you regarding this job and learn more about what you're looking for.
Thanks so much,
Email Cover Letter Template
Here is a simple email cover letter template to follow.
Dear [Ms/Mr] [Last Name],
I'm applying for the position of [Job Title] at [Company]. I noticed the job advertisement the other day. And noticed that you are looking for someone with [Skills], [Skills], and [Skills].
In my prior position, I was working closely with leadership to achieve the following:
- [Career achievement]
- [Career achievement]
- [Career achievement]
I'd love to speak with you about this position and learn if there might be a great fit.
I'm available all of this week for interviews.
Tips for Writing an Email Cover Letter
Here are the best tips for writing an email cover letter.
Write a unique cover letter email
Instead of copying and pasting your cover letter, write a new message to the hiring manager.
Use PDF file formats
Make sure that your job application includes a resume and cover letter in PDF format. An employer has an easier time reading resumes that are in PDF format or DOCX format.
Speak to the position
Ensure your email is customized to the position you're applying for and the company you're trying to get hired at. Think about what's going to make the hiring manager want to open your job application.
Customize your email to the employer
Don't send the same email cover letter multiple times. Write a new one for every employer you're sending a job application to.
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
Job search resources
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- How to Start an Email: 25+ Professional Greetings to Use
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