There are many ways to apply for a job. You may need to submit your application through an online system the company has in place. For some jobs, particularly retail and hospitality positions, you may still be able to apply in person and fill out an application by hand.
But, one of the most common ways to apply for jobs today is by sending an application letter via email. This is especially the case with smaller employers who don’t have automated application systems.
How to Apply for Jobs via Email
What’s the best way to use email to apply for jobs? Follow the application instructions in the job posting, and only send a resume and cover letter by email if the employer requests it. Beyond that, keep these tips in mind:
Include a cover letter. When you send your resume, it’s important to include a concise cover letter. This can be your email message. Doing this will help get your application noticed by the hiring manager.
Be professional. Just because you’re sending your message via email doesn’t mean you can be casual or sloppy. Review guidelines for writing and formatting job application letters before you compose your own.
Review sample email cover letters. Use examples of email cover letters to help you get started—just remember to customize your message for every job opening. A generic email won’t help you stand out from the competition.
Proofread and test your message. It’s also important to write your correspondence as carefully and accurately as you would a printed letter. Proofread your email and send yourself a test so that you can be sure that the formatting holds up.
What to Include in Your Job Application Email
Your email job application letter is a cover letter. This means that the intent of the email is to let the recipient know:
- Why you are writing
- Which job you are applying for
- What your qualifications are for the job
- What you have to offer the company
- How you will follow up or how the recipient can get in touch with you
Tips for Writing a Successful Application Email
Your email does not have to be lengthy. Here are a few tips for how to assemble your application letter:
Subject line: Since hiring managers receive a lot of emails, make it easy for them to filter application emails. Include your name and the job title you are applying for in the message's subject line. If a job has been assigned a posting number, provide this as well. For example:
Subject Line: Margaret Hannon – Social Media Marketing Assistant Position
Salutation: If possible, address your email to a specific person. Sometimes you can determine this by reviewing the company's website or by calling their front office to ask who manages their job searches. If a name isn't available, you can open with "Dear Hiring Manager," as in the sample letter below, or with the more formal but dated, “To Whom It May Concern.”
First paragraph: In the first paragraph of your letter, it’s important to explain why you're writing. Mention where you saw the job application, the date when it was posted, and how you found the posting (e.g., presented on the company's website, posted on a job search board, etc.).
If you were referred by a friend or colleague, mention it at the beginning of your email.
Middle paragraphs: This section of the letter is where you can make a pitch for your candidacy. Why would you be a good fit for the job? What can you offer the company? Highlight your most relevant jobs and responsibilities as well as your accomplishments. Make sure not to copy your resume directly.
Final paragraph: Use this space to thank the recipient for reading your email, and mention that your resume is attached. It is also the space to thank recipients for considering your application. State when and how you will follow up as well.
Closing: Use a polite close, such as "Best" or "Sincerely," to sign off your letter, then type your full name.
Email signature: You can also include your email signature, which is an easy way to provide contact information to recipients. List your name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile URL, if you have one. For example:
Attach your resume: Don't forget about your resume. Attach it to the email message in the format requested by the employer. If a specific format isn't required, send it as a PDF or Word document.
Job Application Email Examples
Sample Email Job Application Message #1
Subject: Assistant Communications Director – Joseph Green
Dear Hiring Manager:
Your job posting on Craigslist for an Assistant Communications Director piqued my interest. Your description of the work responsibilities for the Assistant Director role closely matches my experience, and so I am excited to submit my resume to you for your consideration.
In my position as an Assistant Communications Director for ABC Company, I wrote articles for the company website, edited and posted contributed articles, managed their social media presence, and wrote and sent out a weekly email newsletter to subscribers. I also implemented an automated email tool that grew the company's subscriber base by 40% within six months.
While Assistant Communications Director for Assemblyperson Janet Brown, I researched, drafted, and amended legislation, wrote press releases, and was responsible for office communications and correspondence.
My resume is 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.
Sample Email Job Application Message #2
Subject: Adjunct Instructor Position - Jane Lee
Dear Ms. Smith:
I was keenly interested in reading the job posting for the position of Anatomy and Physiology Professor at Middleburg University. I believe my experience is a strong match for the responsibilities pertaining to this role, and I’m pleased to submit my application for the position.
My most recent teaching position was at Amery University, where I taught both anatomy and physiology as an adjunct professor. In addition, I served on two faculty committees and participated in a research project.
I have attached my resume to this letter. Through it, I hope you will learn more about my background, education, achievements, and awards.
If I can provide you with any further information, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you about this opportunity.
Thank you for your consideration.
How to Get Your Email Noticed
INCLUDE THE DETAILS: Be sure to include your name and the job for which you're applying in the subject line of the message.
SHOW WHY YOU SHOULD GET AN INTERVIEW: Take the time to show the hiring manager how and why you're a well-qualified candidate for the job.
ADD A SIGNATURE: Add a signature to your email, including your phone number, email address, and LinkedIn URL, so it's easy for the employer to get in touch.