Writing an email cover letter is an essential part of the modern job application process.
A strong email cover letter grabs the attention of hiring managers, convinces them to give your application attention, and helps you land more interviews.
What is an Email Cover Letter?
An email cover letter is like a standard cover letter. The only difference is that it’s either:
- Pasted into the body of your email
- Attached to the email you send to an employer that introduces yourself (alongside your attached resume PDF)
The purpose of an email cover letter is to explain to the hiring manager how you found the job and why you’re applying, as well as to briefly introduce you and your qualifications.
Email Cover Letter Sample
Here’s a compelling email cover letter sample from a candidate applying to a marketing position:
Email Cover Letter (Text Format)
Dear Mr. Richards,
I was excited to see your listing for the Marketing Specialist position at Harcot Products on Indeed.com last Friday.
As a dynamic marketing professional with over three years of experience at a Fortune 500 company, I’m confident that my expertise in data analysis, email marketing, and search engine optimization makes me an ideal candidate for this role.
I’m currently employed at [Company Name], where I’ve spent the last three years honing my online marketing skills. While working here, I helped execute a campaign that increased monthly average sales from $5,000 to $12,000. I’ve also onboarded three marketing trainees, which has further solidified my marketing fundamentals.
I’m certain that the knowledge and expertise I’ve developed at [Company Name] will be highly valuable to Harcot’s marketing team.
I’ve attached my resume and cover letter to this email. I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you further if there’s interest on your side.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Email Cover Letter Format & Writing Tips
Here are our top tips for formatting and writing an effective email cover letter:
1. Get to the point
When writing an email cover letter, make it informative but short.
Introduce yourself, and convince the hiring manager to consider your application. If you add too much content, you risk losing the hiring manager’s interest.
Of course, it can be tempting to talk at length about your accomplishments, or why you’re interested in the job you’re applying for. But you should cut your email cover letter down to only the most relevant information.
For instance, it doesn’t need to include more than a couple of sentences about your personal background or passions.
To make sure you’re hitting all the right points without adding too much fluff, follow these three rules:
- Include only the most relevant information concerning the position
- Choose one (or two, maximum) of your professional achievements to highlight
- Provide a brief, confident call-to-action with your contact information and your availability to meet or talk
2. Make it easy to read
The average recruiter spends between five and seven seconds looking at a job application. So if you want your resume to stand a chance, your cover letter format needs to be clear and easy to read, even on a smartphone.
Despite what your high-school English teacher told you, each paragraph should be one to three sentences long. This makes it easy for hiring managers to skim for the information they’re looking for.
Check out how concise and easy-to-read our applicant’s email cover letter is:
Notice how each paragraph is short, to the point, and no longer than three sentences. Follow this format, and recruiters will easily get the information they need from your email.
3. Write a strong subject line
Using an eye-catching email subject line is crucial for a successful job application.
You could have the most impressive resume and cover letter in the world, but if your subject line is unclear, hiring managers won’t open your email.
Your subject line is the first thing potential employers see. To guarantee you win the hiring manager’s attention (for the right reasons), ensure your subject line includes:
- Your name
- The position you’re applying to
Ultimately, your email subject line should be professional, brief, and relevant.
The only exception is when the job you’re applying for has a specified format the employer wants your subject line to use. Double check the listing to see if this is the case.
The worst thing you can do when writing a subject line is to leave your intent unclear. Many recruiters hire for multiple positions at a time, so specify which one you’re applying for.
4. Personalize your email to the reader
Studies have shown that people are much more attentive when they hear their name. Use this information to your advantage by addressing your email cover letter directly to the hiring manager.
If you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, do some research.
- searching on LinkedIn
- checking the company’s website
- calling the office manager or receptionist and asking for their name
If all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with starting your email with “Dear Hiring Manager,”.
5. Finish with something memorable
The final paragraph of your email cover letter should set the next step of the hiring process in motion and encourage the hiring manager to reach out to you.
Specifically, re-state your interest in the position and propose a time to meet for an interview or phone call.
The closing of your email should come across as confident but not pushy and desperate. Make it clear that you’re available and ready to work, but don’t pressure the hiring manager to call you.
Here’s how our sample candidate finished their email cover letter:
Finally, end your email with a professional, courteous sign-off such as “Sincerely,” “Regards,” or “Best regards,”. Knowing how to end a cover letter is just as important as understanding how to start one.
Emailing a Resume and Cover Letter
Once you’ve finished writing the perfect email cover letter, you’re ready to attach your remaining application materials.
Before emailing your resume and cover letter though, there are three simple rules you should keep in mind:
- Follow the job ad’s instructions — some jobs have specific instructions regarding how they would like your application materials attached. Double check the listing to make sure you’re following their guidelines. Spelling resume as the job posting does is also important. If it uses accents — résumé — use accents too.
- Save your files in PDF or .docx format — PDF and .docx are the most accessible file formats and are considered standard for most jobs. Don’t risk losing an opportunity just because the hiring manager couldn’t open your resume.
- Use a professional file name — your file name should follow a format like “First-Name-Last Name-Cover-Letter,” not “myresume”.
Follow these three rules, and your application will be good to send out.