What should you include in an email to apply for a job, and how should you send it? An email cover letter is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information on your expertise. It is written to provide information on why you are qualified for the job you are applying for and to explain the reasons for your interest in the company.
When you're sending an email cover letter, it's important to follow the employer's instructions on how to submit your cover letter and resume.
The job posting may specify the type of file you need to send, and how you should send it. If not, you can follow the instructions below to easily get your documents to the hiring manager.
It's also important to make sure that your email cover letters are written as well as any other correspondence you send. Even though it's quick and easy to send an email, it doesn't mean that you should write anything less than a detailed cover letter focused on why you are a good match for the job you are applying for. Here are some tips for sending email cover letters.
Sending Email Cover Letters and Resumes as Attachments
- If the job posting says to include your cover letter and resume as an attachment, you can easily attach PDF files to your email message.
- If your cover letter and resume are Word documents, click “File, Save As, PDF (.pdf)” to save your documents as PDF files.
- For Google Docs files, click “File, Download, PDF (.pdf)” document.
- PDFs are more professional, they retain the format, and they cannot be edited by someone else after you’ve shared them.
- Save the files with your name, so they don't get mixed up with other applicants' materials, e.g., yournamecover.pdf.
Need more help? Here's a step-by-step guide to sending your resume and cover letter as an attachment.
Sending Email Cover Letters Without Attachments
- Some employers do not accept attachments. In these cases, paste your cover letter into your email message.
- Use a simple font and remove any fancy formatting.
- The best way to do this is to copy the content from your original resume and cover letter, and then “Paste Special, Unformatted Text” into the email message.
- You can “Paste Special” by left-clicking inside the body of the email and selecting "Paste Special" from the dropdown menu.
- You don’t know what email provider the employer is using, so simple is best. The employer may not see a formatted message the same way you do. So if it’s plain text, you can be sure it will render correctly.
Contact Person, Subject Line, and Signature
- How to Address an Email Cover Letter: Here's how to address a cover letter sent in an email message, including what to use when you have details of a contact person, and how to address it if you don't.
- The Subject Line of Your Message: Make sure you list the position you are applying for in the subject line of your email, so that the employer is clear as to what job you are applying for. For example, Subject: Jane Doe, Social Media Manager Position.
- Include Your Signature: Include an email signature with your contact information, comprising name, address, email address, and telephone number, so it's easy for the hiring manager to get in touch with you.
Double-Check Your Letter for Spelling and Grammar
Make sure you spellcheck and check your grammar and capitalization. They are just as important in an email cover letter as in paper cover letters.
Send a Test Message to Yourself
Send the message to yourself first to test that the formatting and attachments work. If everything looks good, resend to the employer.
Review a Sample Email Cover Letter
Here's an example of an email cover letter. Also see below for more samples.
Sample Email Cover Letter
Subject: Administrative Assistant/Receptionist Job – Roger Smith
Dear Ms. Cole,
I was excited to see your listing for the position of administrative assistant/receptionist at ABC Market Corp. I believe that my five years' experience in office administration and my passion for your products make me an ideal candidate for this role.
You specify that you’re looking for an administrative assistant with experience scheduling appointments, maintaining records, ordering supplies, and greeting customers. I’m currently employed as an administrative assistant at XYZ company, where I have spent the past five years honing these skills.
I’m adept at using all the usual administrative and collaboration software packages, from Microsoft Office and SharePoint to Google Docs and Drive. I’m a fast learner, and flexible, while always maintaining the good cheer that you’d want from the first person visitors see when they interact with the company.
I have attached my resume and will call within the next week to see if we might arrange a time to speak.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
LinkedIn Profile URL (optional)
More Sample Email Cover Letters
Review more sample email cover letters and templates for a variety of role types.
- Email Cover Letter Template: Template to use when creating an email cover letter.
- Sample Email Cover Letter Message: Sample cover letter email message to use to apply for a job.
- Sample Email Cover Letter With Attached Resume: Sample email cover letter to use when you are sending your resume as an attachment.
- Email Cover Letter - Part-Time Job: Email cover letter sample for applying for a part-time job.
- Email Cover Letter - Summer Job: Email cover letter sample for applying for a summer job.
- Professional Email Message: Sample professional email to use for job search or for asking for professional assistance.