One way to apply for a job is to send an email cover letter, with your attached resume, to a hiring manager. But what should you include in your message? An email cover letter should include the same basic information as a written cover letter. The only differences are in how you format your cover letter and how you include your contact information.
Review the guidelines here for what to include in the email cover letter message you plan to send to the hiring manager. You’ll also find a sample message you can use as an inspiration for your own letters and emails.
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What to Include in an Email to a Hiring Manager
Subject: The subject line of your message should include your name and the job title. For example, “Michael Jameson - Marketing Director Position.”
Greeting: The message should include a professional greeting. If you have a contact person, use his or her name. Otherwise, use “Dear Hiring Manager.”
It’s a smart strategy to learn the name of your contact person when at all possible. You can do this, perhaps most simply, by calling the organization and asking the receptionist to direct you to their Human Resources department. Someone in this department should be able to tell you the name of the person coordinating their search.
Alternatively, you can check out the organization’s website to learn the name of their Hiring Manager or search LinkedIn for this information.
The Body of the Message: Your message doesn’t need to be long, but it does need to capture the reader’s attention and convince them of why you’re a strong applicant for the job. The goal of the letter is to “sell” yourself as a desirable candidate and get a job interview, not just to say that your resume is attached.
Write two or three paragraphs, carefully matching your qualifications to the job requirements. The closer you reflect these stated qualifications in your cover letter, the higher your chances are of being chosen for an interview.
Closing: Close your message with a professional closing like “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” or “Yours truly.”
Signature: Your signature is where you will include all of your contact information: full name, address, phone, email, and your LinkedIn URL if you opt to include it. Make sure that your email address sounds professional: best case scenario, it will be comprised simply of your name: “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Never use a “cutesy” email (“KatyCatWoman” or “Roger_ShadowMage”). You may want to create an email account dedicated solely to your job search in order to keep close track of your applications and employer responses.
Sample Email Cover Letter Message
Subject: Editorial Assistant Position - Jane Jones
Dear [Name of Hiring Manager or “Hiring Manager”]:
I would like to express my deep interest in entering a position as an editorial assistant for your publishing company.
As a recent graduate with writing, editing, and administrative experience, I believe I am a strong candidate for a position at the 123 Publishing Company.
You specify that you are looking for someone with strong writing skills. As an English major at XYZ University, a writing tutor, and an editorial intern for both a government magazine and a college marketing office, I have become a skilled writer with a variety of publication experience.
My maturity, practical experience, attention to detail, and eagerness to enter the publishing business will make me an excellent editorial assistant. I would love to begin my career with your company and am confident that I would be a beneficial addition to the 123 Publishing Company.
I have attached my resume to this email and will call within the next week to see if we might arrange a time to speak together.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Cell: (555) 555-5555
How to Send Your Resume With Your Cover Letter
Attach your resume to your email message in the format requested by the employer. If a specific format isn't required, send the resume as an attached PDF or Word document.
More Sample Cover Letters
Review cover letter samples for a variety of career fields and employment levels, including an internship cover letter sample, entry-level, targeted, and email cover letters.
FOLLOW STANDARD EMAIL FORMAT: Your cover letter should include a subject line, greeting, two- or three-paragraph body, professional closing, signature, and contact information.
RESEARCH YOUR TARGETED EMPLOYER: Learn the name of the hiring manager by calling the company or researching its website. Learning about the company and its corporate mission will also help you to match the qualifications you mention in your cover letter to the employer’s specific needs.
USE A PROFESSIONAL EMAIL ADDRESS: Don’t use a “cutesy” personal email address for career search-related correspondence. Instead, consider setting up an email account dedicated solely to your job search so that you can easily keep track of new correspondence. Simply use your name as your address (Jane_Jones@email.com).