How to Write an Email Response to a Job Posting

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So you've found a fantastic job listing for which you're perfectly qualified, but you're struggling to write an effective email response to send with your resume. Your email response acts as your cover letter to the potential employer, confirming your interest and presenting your qualifications for the job.

In your email cover letter, you'll face the challenge of effectively selling yourself and telling the prospective employer why you're the right person for the job in as few paragraphs as possible.

Template Cover Letters

When applying for various positions you can use a template cover letter, such as the example below, but make sure to customize each letter to fit the job description for which you're applying.

For example, if you're applying for a senior software engineer position, include your work history and illustrate how you've climbed the corporate ladder to achieve a senior level position. But if you're applying for a mid-level software engineer position, you may want to prevent looking overqualified for the job, so you might instead put more focus on your skill set than on your hierarchy of job positions.

Use the template below as an example of how to write a cover letter, including details about your own skill set, work experience, and salary history.

Cover Letter Example 

Date

Dear (Employer),

With a background that includes seven years of C++ programming in a high-volume transaction environment, I'm very interested in the Senior Software Engineer position opening at [Insert prospective company name here.]

I have a passion for coding and produce high-quality code, of which I am very proud.

Most recently, my experience has been in the financial services industry, producing systems to assist [put your previous employer] clients in maneuvering the tricky world of retirement planning and portfolio allocation.

I am confident that my experience would be an asset to your organization.

I would like to schedule a time to discuss my qualifications and see how they fit your needs for a Senior Software Engineer. Please do not hesitate to contact me to arrange a time. I am available by phone at (111) 222-3333 or via email at bob.smith@smithhome.com.

I have attached my resume for your review, and I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Bob Smith

As requested, my salary history is as follows:

Financial Services Corp: starting salary $80,000 current salary: $97,000+ bonuses

XYZ Software: starting salary $60,000 ending salary: $72,000

Follow-Up Email

When companies put the word out about open positions, they likely have a good number of resumes to work through. After a week passes, it's wise to follow up with a prospective employer regarding your cover letter and resume and to reaffirm your interest in the position. You can forward a copy of your original email and send a short and simple letter. Here's an example:

Date

Dear (Employer),

I would like to follow up with you about a resume and cover letter sent to you last week for the Senior Software Engineer position. I'm very interested in the position and available for an interview at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Bob Smith

(Put contact information here)

Show enthusiasm (but not desperation) when following up. You can also search LinkedIn to see if you know anyone employed by the company and ask for advice, a referral or even an interview, depending on the circumstances. Following up in the right way may just help you land the job of your dreams. 

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