How should you format your cover letter when sending it by e-mail? check

An email cover letter is a short message that explains why you are submitting your resume and how your experience makes you the right candidate. adds a personal touch to your app. A cover letter email is shorter than a standard letter and is sent as an email, not as an attachment.

sounds like your good cover letter again. but it is not.

If you’re applying for a job via email instead of using job boards, you have a golden opportunity for the hiring manager to remember you. but—

For this to happen, you need the best email cover letter out there.

and you’re going to have one. read on and I’ll show you:

  • a sample email cover letter that will help you land that interview.
  • a proven email format for cover letters that showcases your most valuable strengths.
  • how to write an email cover letter to get the job you want.
  • little-known tricks to email your cover letter with a resume for maximum impact.

First, take a look at this simple, universal email cover letter template. what do you think makes it so special?

sample email cover letter template you can adjust and use

create your resume now

I’ll tell you what, Jacob can expect you to be called back any minute!

It’s a perfect email cover letter template that you can modify to suit your situation and use to apply for any job.

As you can see above, you should format your email cover letter like any other semi-formal email. use a standard, elegant font and double space between paragraphs. At the bottom, include your contact information, just as you would in the footer of any professional email you send.

Are you writing a regular cover letter to attach to your resume email? learn how to make the most of it with our complete guide to writing cover letters: how to write a cover letter for any job application

For more tips on formatting your cover letter, see: cover letter format guide

Need more detailed information on how to apply for a job by email? Don’t know how to find your hiring manager’s email address? here’s a guide that will show you tons of helpful tips and tricks: job application email: how, when, who to send your resume to

Cold call the company to find out if there is a possibility of working together? this guide will help: unsolicited cold calling/sample cover letter

& writing guide

one last thing before we continue:

email cover letter: body or attachment?

either of the two. but not both.

The truth is that this choice will not be decisive for your job search, so do not obsess over it.

my suggestion is: if you apply by email, you risk getting your message to the hiring manager quickly, so don’t have them open two attachments. write your cover letter in the body of your email and attach only your resume.

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so you’ve seen an amazing job application email cover letter. Now, let’s discuss what makes this cover letter email format so great.

It won’t matter if your achievements are staggeringly impressive or if your skills fit all the requirements of the job you’re trying to get…

If no one opens your job application email cover letter.

and guess what? that depends only on the subject line.

make the most of it. In the subject line of an email cover letter with a resume, include:

  1. who are you,
  2. that you are applying for a job,
  3. the position,
  4. the name of the company,
  5. job ID (if applicable).

like our sample candidate, jacob did:

sample email cover letter subject line

pro tip: the one case where all of the above is inconsequential? when the employer requires all applicants to use the same subject line, for example, “application for position xyz – [your name]”. if so, you have to follow their rules.

What length should the cover email subject be?

as long as necessary to include all the above information and as short as possible.

need an exact figure?

The number of email subject characters displayed varies across devices and operating systems:

  • for desktop email applications, it is in the range of 46 (yahoo mail) to 70 (gmail).
  • mobile email clients? from 30 characters (android; portrait) to 64 characters (iphone; landscape).

To be safe, start your subject line with your position name. it’s sure to stay within the narrower 30-character range, and the hiring manager will know right away what the vacancy is about.

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullets, skills and auto complete boring stuff. spelling checker? check. Start creating a professional resume template here for free.

When you’re done, zety’s resume builder will rate your resume and tell you exactly how to improve it.

The best way to start your email cover letter is with “dear” + the hiring manager’s name.

Personalization will make the hiring manager feel like they are reading something created specifically for them.

Don’t know the name of your hiring manager?

Do some research!

  • double check the job posting.
  • check linkedin. LinkedIn job postings often identify the person who posted.
  • Check the company’s website. try to find the head of the department on the company’s personnel page.
  • ask your friends. you can use linkedin to check if you have contacts in the company. a greeting from facebook can also work.
  • call. if all else fails, call the receptionist and ask who the contact person is.

pro tip: tried all of the above without success? go with “Dear [Team Name] Hiring Manager” or “Dear [Team Name] Hiring Team”, eg: “Dear Customer Service Hiring Manager” or “Dear Customer Service Hiring Team Projects”. the two greetings to avoid are “to whom it may concern” and “dear sir or madam”.

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for more details on how to send a cover letter by email, check out this handy guide: how to send a cover letter to the right person

Sending your cover letter in an email instead of using job boards is a great strategy for escaping the resume black hole.

but there is a drawback.

While hiring managers set aside specific time slots to review the resumes and cover letters they received through their online recruiting systems, your email, as I said before, could get to them quickly. for example, going to a meeting or dealing with an urgent problem.

In an email cover letter, don’t have the hiring manager read between the lines of a fancy narrative.

Be as direct as possible.

email cover letter example: first sentence

and that will do.

For more tips on how to write a short and snappy cover letter, check out this guide: Short Cover Letter Examples for a Quick Job Application

You are not applying for a job. is applying for this job.

For the hiring manager, it doesn’t matter how good your career has been so far. what matters is how you can help the company with its upcoming tasks and challenges.

show that in the body of your email cover letter:

  • read the job description carefully, identify what your responsibilities will be.
  • then research the company online, try to find out what projects they are running or plan to launch in the future.
  • describe your professional achievements that can translate into success in your potential position.
  • highlight what you have to offer.

remember jacob, the candidate from our sample?

The company you are applying to, xyz corp., is seeking a Software Development Team Leader to oversee the development of new mobile applications.

That’s what your short personalized email cover letter says:

brief email cover letter body example

Pro tip: I can’t stress this enough: an email cover letter should be shorter than one you would include as an attachment. how short exactly? your number of reference words must be 150, maximum.

Need some extra tips for your cover letter? Check out: 35+ Easy Cover Letter Tips You Can Use Today

so the hiring manager knows you’re a great candidate. job done?

not quite. go one step further. reiterate your value in the call to action:

  • Ask the hiring manager to contact you and meet with you in person.
  • Again, focus on what you have to offer.

Again, let’s take a look at our sample call to action:

Sample Email Cover Letter: Call to Action

Pro Tip: The two worst things you can do in the closing of your email cover letter are needy (I’m sure you’d make a great hire, just give it a try!) or generic (thank you for your time and consideration).

For more ideas on strong and compelling ways to end your cover letter, go here: how to end a cover letter the right way

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Once you’ve written your resume email cover letter, you just need to put a formal salutation at the end. write “sincerely” and follow with your full name.

If you’re not a fan of “sincerely”, feel free to use any of the following synonyms:

Email Cover Letter Signature Samples:

  • Thank you,
  • Best regards,
  • Best regards,
  • Sincerely,
  • Best regards.

pro tip: under your signature, enter the necessary contact information, such as your linkedin profile, email address, and phone number. To save yourself the effort of adding them every time you email a cover letter, you can automatically include them in the footer of your email. You can also include a digital copy of your handwritten signature. will add a nice, professional touch.

So you’ve just written your perfect short email cover letter. Now you’re basically guaranteed to get that interview, right?


let me quote what a recruiter wrote in his linkedin article:

I don’t think I need to explain any further, do I?

Pro Tip: If you forgot to attach a resume to your email cover letter, don’t resend the entire message, just send a quick follow-up email with your resume attached. Would you rather avoid this nightmare scenario? Please attach all necessary documents before you start writing an email cover letter.

and it’s fine to say “I’ve attached my resume” (although there are alternatives).

It makes a lot more sense to write that because gmail will see the word attachment/attachment, check if you really have attached something, and let you know if you haven’t.

One last thing to keep in mind:

choose a professional resume filename:

“[your first and last name]-resume-[your company name]”, for example: john-smith-resume-intel not my-resume-124.

Also, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an edge over other candidates. you can type it into our cover letter generator here. Here’s what it might look like:

matching set of resume and cover letter

see more cover letter templates and start writing.

To write the perfect cover letter for a job application, follow these steps:

  • Use a clear and firm subject line.
  • Start with a proper greeting: address the HR manager by name.
  • In the first sentence, explain why you are writing and the position you are applying for.
  • write a short lead paragraph describing your most relevant experience and accomplishments.
  • close with a call to action: ask to schedule a meeting and reiterate your offer.
  • close with a synonym “sincerely” and your full name.
  • put your contact information in the footer.
  • don’t forget to attach a resume to your cover letter email!

and, as a final tip:

keep it short.

Have more questions about writing and sending an email cover letter? Do you want to share your experience with the application by a direct email message? give me a shout out in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Let’s chat!

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