Writing a hard copy cover letter is becoming less of the norm these days. It is because, more than ever, people are sending job application materials through job websites or via email. It includes submitting resumes and cover letters online.
When asked to submit your job materials (such as your resume and any other related documents) as an email attachment, the email itself acts as your cover letter.
Here are some tips on how to write and send a quality email cover letter.
Use a Professional Email Address
First, before you start drafting your letter, make sure your email address is professional.
Along with the subject line, your email address is the first thing the employer will see – it is your first impression.
If you are using an informal address that you created years ago like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, it may be a good idea to open a new account specifically for communication between you and hiring companies. Get a new professional address that includes your first and last name, if possible.
State Your Name and the Job in the Subject
In the subject line of the email, clearly, state the position you are applying for and also include your name. This way, the hiring manager will know, at a glance, that you are writing to apply for a job. With a clear subject line, the employer is more likely to read the email. Also be sure to proofread your subject line before sending the email – a typo in the subject line is not a good first impression, and might lead to your email being deleted!
Start With a Greeting
If possible, greet a particular person in your letter. Figuring out the recipient may be as easy as reading the name on the email address in which you are sending your resume. If it isn’t that obvious, double check the job listing to see if a name is mentioned. You can also check the company website (see if there is a directory or list of staff members), or call the company and ask the administrative assistant for help. If none of this works, you can use a greeting like “Dear Hiring Manager.”
What to Include
An email cover letter includes pretty much the same content as a hard copy cover letter, with a few optional additions. Start your letter by expressing your interest in the job opening, and mention the job title by name. Follow this with some of your previous experience that will show the reader that you are qualified for the position.
Focus on specific examples when explaining that you have certain qualities or skills. Make sure all of the information you include is directly related to the job for which you are applying.
Do not be afraid to brag a little bit about your accomplishments; this is the time to “sell” yourself to them.
A benefit to sending your cover letter by email is the ability to attach URLs within the body of your message. For example, if you are applying for a technology-driven position like a web designer, freelance writer, or software developer, you can insert links to work you have done in the past. Nothing shows what a good fit you will be for the job like real-life examples of what you can do.
Close With a Thank You and Signature
Finally, close your email cover letter with a thank you and express your readiness to meet the hiring manager in person for an interview. You might also want to add that your resume is attached to the email (if this is the case).
Then, include a closing (such as “Best” or “Sincerely”) and your full name. Underneath your name, include an email signature. It is something you can set up on your email account. It appears at the bottom of every email you send and includes important contact details, such as your email address and phone number. It might also include your full address, employment information, or a link to your LinkedIn profile.
Attach Your Resume (Unless Told Otherwise)
Attach your resume to your email message in the format requested by the employer. If a specific format isn't required, send it as a PDF or Word document. Of course, do not do this if the employer specifically tells you to submit your resume in some other way (such as through a website or via mail).
Sample Email Cover Letter With Resume Attached
Subject: Communications Director Position - Your Name
Dear Hiring Manager,
I read your job posting for a Communications Director with interest. I am confident that my ten years of experience in communications in both the private and public sector make me an ideal fit for the position.
In my position as Communications Director for XYZ Company, I wrote articles for the company website, managed guest author submissions, and wrote and sent a weekly email newsletter to subscribers. I received consistent praise from the director for my attention to detail and clear, straightforward writing style.
While Assistant Communications Director for Assemblyperson Susan Smith, I researched, drafted and amended legislation, wrote press releases, and was responsible for office communications and correspondence.
I also have extensive experience writing on a freelance basis on labor issues, which, I believe, would be an ideal match for this position. Articles are available for your review at:
Additional writing samples and my resume are attached. If I can provide you with any further information on my background and qualifications, please let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.
LinkedIn URL (Optional)