Tips For Sending Email Cover Letters

By Sky Ariella
Oct. 4, 2022

Find a Job You Really Want In

A candidate’s application materials need to be alluring enough for a hiring manager to want more. A resume lists out an applicant’s education and former experiences in a bullet-point, digestible form. Many people think this is enough to land the job, but sending a cover letter in an email enhances your chances even more.

In this article we will go over what a cover letter is, provide some tips to help you write an email cover letter, and some benefits to including an email cover letter.

Key Takeaways:

  • Including an email cover letter helps add personality to your application while highlight your professional qualities.

  • Before writing a cover letter, check the job posting for any application requirements and save it in the correct format.

  • The subject line is the first thing the hiring manager sees, so it’s important to make it eye catching and professional.

Tips For Sending Email Cover Letters

What Is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter pulls back the curtains on the applicant’s personality, shows their motivations to work with the company, and adds more depth to the skills, accomplishments, and professional history listed in their resume. It provides a more complete scope of a job candidate, and if they’re suitable to be considered further for the position.

The cover letter is a way of virtually reaching out to shake an employer’s hand and say, “this is why I applied for this job”. That’s why many applicants choose to include an emailed cover letter with their application materials, whether or not it’s been required by the potential employer.

How to write a cover letter

Tips for Sending Cover Letter in an Email

Sending a cover letter in an email, which is the standard today, comes with a few challenges. Once the bulk of the cover letter is written, though, there’s not much that’ll be thrown at you during submission that the following tips can’t help with.

  1. Consult with the job posting for application requirements. One of the best ways to optimize your application package is by thoroughly studying the job posting. Paying attention to the application requirements is an easy solution for impressing the hiring manager. It demonstrates the attention to detail that it takes to succeed.

    There are often small submission preferences that an employer has. Following them can make the difference between hearing back for an interview, or being left to wonder. These can include things like:

    • File type

    • Cover letter formatting

    • File attachment or email body

    • Particular questions to be answered by the cover letter

  2. Save it properly. Many of the tiny details that make a cover letter look pristine can be fudged by saving the document improperly. This includes the file type, such as a Microsoft Word Document or PDF, and the title of the saved document.

    If there are no requests in the job posting about which type of file the employer prefers, it’s a safe bet to save it as a PDF. A PDF maintains its formatting on tablets, computers, and phones to ensure that a hiring manager is seeing your cover letter the way you intended.

    The name that the document is saved under also has an impact on the way it’s received by a potential employer in an email. Everything should be tidy in a job application package and this is true of the file name also. Keep it simple and professional by making the title your full name followed by a cover letter.

    Examples of proper file titles include:

  3. Add a professional subject line. The first thing that a hiring manager sees when they see an email filled with application materials from a hopeful job candidate is the subject line.

    • An email cover letter without a professional subject line runs the risk of being clicked in the trash because it’s off-putting to the hiring manager. They want to know why they’re being contacted.

    • The subject line for an email containing your cover letter and additional application materials should be blatantly informative.

    • By reading that in a sentence alone, the hiring manager should understand who they’re communicating with and what to expect when they open the email. Ambiguous subject lines often go unread, even if they’re creative or confident.

    • Since you’re writing the subject line for a cover letter email, this needs to be mentioned after your full name. It’s also helpful to include the job title that you’re applying for because the recruiter could be hiring for multiple positions at the same time.

    Examples of good email cover letter subject lines include:

    • Data Entry Specialist Position – Mark Jones – Cover Letter

    • Application for Elementary School Teacher – Alison Stone Cover Letter

    • Kimberly Loveland Cover Letter for Open Sales Manager Role

  4. Be direct in the cover letter. While a cover letter is much different than a resume, the two documents both need to be concise. The standard for the length of a cover letter is one page but can be extended for candidates with more experience to discuss. Since it’s a short letter, try to be as direct as possible when writing a professional cover letter.

    Hiring managers don’t have the time to be reading through every minute of your career and are looking for crucial qualifying details to be conveyed straightforwardly. There’s always more time to cover the details of your accomplishments and work history in an interview.

  5. Include an email message. Most employers request that applicants include their cover letter as an attachment in their email, rather than simply pasting it in the message. Even if this is the case with your scenario, don’t neglect this section of the email. Use the email message space to make an early introduction to the hiring manager.

    There’s no need to repeat any details that have already been brought up in the cover letter, but simply say hello and state the purpose of the email. Let the recruiter know that you’ve attached your application materials to the email, the company you’re hoping to work with, and which job title you’re submitting for.

    Use the email message as an opportunity to share your enthusiasm for the position and field. Try not to go overboard, but make it clear that you’re excited to begin the job application process with their company.

  6. Mention professional networking profiles. Social networking profiles are one of the ways that companies get to know potential employees better. When emailing a cover letter, include the details of your profile on websites like LinkedIn. This can be put with your contact information at the end of the cover letter or email message.

    Adding a LinkedIn profile, or another professional social networking account, to an email cover letter provides an extra layer for the hiring manager to explore. The more information that a recruiter can find about an applicant, the more likely it is that they’ll stumble across something impressive.

    If you don’t have a professional social networking profile yet, there’s still time to create one before sending off an email cover letter. To get started, review some articles about tips for making a LinkedIn profile and bio below:

  7. Review examples of cover letter format. To ensure that your cover letter is up to snuff in every possible aspect, consider formatting. Even if everything you say in an email cover letter is perfect, sloppy formatting can ruin your chances. One of the best methods for getting formatting correct on a cover letter is to look at examples.

    Finding example cover letters can be as simple as a well-worded Google search. Look through the images of example cover letters for the ideal spacing, fonts, and headers. Reading through articles with handy tips about creating a cover letter, like this one, can also help construct your own.

    Some examples of articles to help you more in writing a cover letter include:

  8. Proofread. Before sending your cover letter, it’s important to read over it a couple of times to check for any spelling or grammar errors. You don’t want to rely on the computer to look for mistakes because they miss them sometimes. You can even have someone else look over your cover letter to catch anything you might have missed.

  9. Send a test message to yourself. Before sending your cover letter to the hiring manager, send one to yourself and maybe even a friend who has a different email platform than you. This will help you determine if you attachments work and if the formatting of your cover letter is correct.

    Once everything looks good, send it to the hiring manager. You can even Bcc yourself again on this email to make sure it was delivered and no mistakes happened.

Benefits of Including an Email Cover Letter

Many employers will request a cover letter as a requirement to apply for their open position. However, even if a job posting doesn’t specifically require a cover letter, it’s still a good idea to include one. There are many potential benefits to writing up an email cover letter with your job application. Below are just a few.

  1. Adds personality to an application. While a resume is informative and shows a recruiter if a person has the qualifications necessary for the job, a cover letter makes the exchange more personal. Hiring managers are looking for technical abilities, but they’re also looking for applicants who stand out with a compelling cover letter.

  2. Highlights former professional contributions. A resume must clearly state what you’ve done in your career thus far. That’s great for a quick intake of important details, but not as good for outlining former accomplishments in an attention-grabbing way. A cover letter gives a candidate the chance to highlight these achievements in more detail.

  3. Demonstrates your commitment to getting the position. Writing a cover letter is the first commitment you’ll make to a potential job. It takes a fair amount of effort to write a well-crafted cover letter, and a hiring manager recognizes this. By simply including a good cover letter in your application, it improves the likelihood of being received well.

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Sky Ariella

Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

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