Include A Cover Letter With Your Email


Face it – this is the electronic age and the job market is fierce. Job hunting can be very difficult for people who do not know how to ensure that their email applications and resumes make it through the gatekeepers. Gatekeepers can be computers that scan documents for key words or real people with certain expectations of qualified candidates.

  • If you are sending a resume by email please be sure to read and follow all of the employer’s instructions.
  • Never send an email without a subject or use a generic term like “open position” or “vacancy announcement”. Be sure to list the position you are applying for in the subject line so the employer is clear which position you are applying for.
  • Although emails in general may be less formal than traditional business letters, it is a mistake to treat this introduction as anything but formal. An email cover letter should be a true cover letter. It should contain all the pieces of your regular cover letter with a focus on why you are the ideal candidate to fill the open position.
  • Begin each correspondence with a salutation. Dear Mr/Ms. “last name” if you know the contact person. Dear Hiring Manager if you do not know who will receive the correspondence.
  • Copy and paste (or write) your entire cover letter into the body of the email so that those screening your email are aware of your skills, experiences, and writing ability right up front.
  • Ensure that all necessary documents are included in your first email. Mention any attachments in the body of your email cover letter so that employers know you followed all instructions. All attachments should be sent as a PDF to avoid formatting or font change mishaps.
  • It is best to send all required documents in one PDF attachment instead of assuming that an employer will take the time to open several attachments.
  • If an employer does not allow attachments you should paste your resume into your email message. Use a simple font. Do not use fancy formatting.
  • Always include a signature with your contact information, so it’s easy for the hiring manager to get in touch with you.
  • Do not apply for a job from the email address of your current employer.  Always use your personal email address with a professional name.
  • Double check your letter paying special attention to grammar and spelling then send a test message to yourself before sending it to your potential employer.  This first impression is a lasting impression and can disqualify from the position you seek.

Let’s Recap:

  1. Salutation
  2. Body of Email Cover Letter
  3. Closing
  4. Signature and Contact Information

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Nicki Sanders, Chief Visionary Officer of Packaged For Success, helps both youth and adults discover their personal power, dream big, and achieve success on their own terms. Ms. Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager who holds a Master’s degree in Social Work. Ms. Sanders has over fifteen years of direct experience with diverse populations in residential, school-based, and community based agencies.

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