An email cover letter has to grab the reader's attention quickly in order to be effective. In-boxes are full of emails that need to be read so get across your main points promptly and powerfully.
Quickly convince the reader of your suitability for the job opportunity by using a powerful subject line in your email. This will make the difference between getting your resume read or relegated to the database. Avoid bland subject lines such as Joe Black's Resume.
Get the employer's attention by following these simple steps.
How to get the reader's attention
Subject Line: Sales Associate Job #1234 - 10 Years Experience
Dear Mr Green
I read with enthusiasm your opening for a Sales Associate on XYZ site. I am confident that my 10 years experience as a sales professional in ABC industry with a successful track record of meeting and exceeding sales objectives makes me an excellent match for this position.
Detailed on my attached resume you will find that over the last X years I generated more than $X in sales and achieved an average of X% sales growth. My experience in new and key account acquisition, new territory development and the planning and implementation of customer loyalty strategies will contribute to the success of DEF Corporation.
My resume demonstrates that I am well qualified to lead the entire sales cycle management process from client consultations and needs assessment through demonstrations, negotiations and final sales closings.
I believe that I will be a valuable asset to your team if given this opportunity and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Subject Line: Legal Secretary Job #S123 - 6 Years at Top Law Firm
Dear Ms Drone
I am responding with enthusiasm to your job posting on XYZ.com for a legal secretary. I believe my extensive experience and skills in this field are an excellent match for the job.
The attached resume demonstrates my competence to interact capably with clients from point of referral, efficiently draft and process legal documents and correspondence, co-ordinate multiple case loads and assist with complex case preparation.
I am a motivated and hard working professional with solid legal practice skills and knowledge and a reputation for accurately and efficiently meeting strict deadlines in a challenging environment.
I would welcome the opportunity to learn more about the position and find out how I can contribute to the success of your firm.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Find a full list of cover letter samples for different jobs. Adapt these for your own use.
Should I submit an email cover letter if the posting only asks for a resume?
You can copy and paste your cover letter into the body of the email as your message and include your resume as an attachment. Keep your cover letter short and simple as the reader will not want to invest a lot of time in going through your email. It is better to include a brief cover letter as an introduction rather than simply stating "I have attached my resume for your consideration".
How should an email cover letter be sent?
If you are responding to an advertisement make sure you follow the employer's instructions on submitting your cover letter and resume. If you are asked to include your letter and resume as an attachment use MS Word or Adobe. Avoid HTML as the email the employer uses may not be able to open this.
If they ask for the email cover letter and resume to be included in the message and not an attachment, copy and paste them into the body of your email.
A good tip is to send the email to someone you know first to check that your formatting works properly. If it looks fine then you can send it to the employer.
Should I address the cover letter to an individual?
It is always better to address correspondence to a name rather than a title. Job postings often don't list the name of the person to contact and only give an email address.
Do a bit of research to find out the name of the person receiving the emails. For example firstname.lastname@example.org indicates the name of the company is Bakers Biscuits and the clue for the contact person is "mardev".
Go to the company website and look for a careers tab or job board. See if the job you are applying for is listed with a full contact name. Or go to the staff section and try to find out who "mardev" is.
For example, you notice that there is a Mary Devon who is Head of Human Resources. This is your contact person and you can begin your email message with Dear Ms Devon. Immediately you stand out from the crowd.
When should I follow up on my submission?
It is important to find out the status of your job application. If the job posting does not have a close date you can wait about a week after sending your resume before following up.
If there is a close date then wait for about a week after that date before following up. For tips and help on resume follow up, plus a sample follow up email.
Cover Letter and Job Search Resources
Develop a powerful cover letter using these job search resources.