It's most common to send cover letters by email or as an attachment with your resume instead of snail mail. Much of the format of the cover letter remains precisely the same, regardless of how the letter is being delivered. In all cases, you need to include a salutation and a polite close, observe all the standard formalities, and proofread carefully. With an email, you'll also need to include a clear subject line.
How to Format an Email Cover Letter
The following email cover letter format shows how to put together a document containing the information necessary to get the hiring manager’s attention. Use the email cover letter format as a guideline to create personalized email cover letters to send to employers. Here are some formatting tips.
Be sure to list the job you are applying for in the subject line of your email message, so the employer is clear as to what job you are interested in. For example, your subject line might be "Marketing Coordinator - Bob Martins." This also helps to keep all your information handy for the hiring manager, and easily identified.
Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname or Dear Hiring Manager (only if you don't have a contact person). Follow the person's name with a comma or colon. Then, skip a line.
The body of your cover letter lets the employer know what position you are applying for, why the employer should select you for an interview, and how you will follow-up. The body consists of the first paragraph, middle paragraph, and the conclusion. Here are some ideas for what is included in each of these sections.
The first paragraph of your letter should include information on why you are writing. Mention the position you are applying for and how you found the job posting. If you were referred by a contact, mention the person in this part of your cover letter.
The next section of your cover letter should describe what you have to offer the employer. Don’t just copy the information on your resume. Instead, make a connection between your abilities and the qualifications listed in the job posting. Mention specifically how your skills and experience match the job you are applying for.
Provide action examples where you can. Instead of saying, "I'm very organized" explain, "During my first six months at ABC Company, I instituted quick Monday morning check-in meetings and transformed the project management calendar. These two changes helped everyone to stay on top of deadlines—and cut our costs on last-minute temp help due to scheduling errors."
If you have attached your resume, mention it in this paragraph. You can also mention how you plan to follow up. Then conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position.
Include your name, full address, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn Profile URL, if you have one, so it is easy for hiring managers, recruiters, and contacts to get in touch:
City, State, Zip
Email Cover Letter Example
Subject: Marketing Manager Position - Mary Cody
Dear Ms. Lee,
I am writing in regard to the position of marketing manager at XYZ Enterprises advertised on Monster.com. Susan Smith recommended that I write directly to you, as we worked together at ABC Inc. for several years, and she thought that this position would be a good fit for me.
With ABC, I was a direct report to Susan, and I was able to increase my department’s sales by 15% over the three years we worked together. This exceeded the industry standard by 10% during a nearly stagnant period of time. Given XYZ’s position in the market, and my experience with increasing market share, I feel that I can help to bring even more success to your company.
I have attached my resume and list of references for your consideration. I will follow up next week to provide any additional information you may be interested in. Thank you very much for taking the time to review my resume.
123 Green Street
Anytown, USA 11111
Completing Your Application
When you're sending an email cover letter, it's important to follow the employer's instructions on how to submit your application and to make sure that your documents are written as well as any other business correspondence. Sending an application package that looks professional is the first step to getting an interview.