Email cover letter
Do I send a cover letter with the resume attachment, or do I send a cover letter email?
These days, email cover letters are an acceptable way to submit a resume for a job
application. Here are eight tips to ensure your success.
1. Keep your email brief
Your online cover letter shouldn't fill more than one screen. Most people reading a
screen have a short attention span.
2. Keep your subject line focused and specific
Avoid being vague with such tags as "looking for job". Be specific. For example, state
the posting number and the job title. Also, include something that reveals that you're
extremely qualified. You can do that in just a few words, but think carefully. Here's
one example: RE: Posting #222 Instructor. Experienced, creative communication
3. Get to the point in the first paragraph
Avoid wasting words. State your name and that your email is to apply for a posting or
to follow up from a conversation, or even to apply for a relevant but unadvertised
vacancy. For a cold application be sure to say where you got the reader's email
4. Use Key Words specific to your profession
Write in the jargon of your profession or industry to demonstrate expertise. The body
of your letter should also promote your candidacy with a bit of detail (include skills,
experience and credentials) to entice the reader to call you in for an interview, the
same as you would in a hardcopy cover letters.
5. Avoid formatting
Formatting is great for a printed document, but a formatted document in one email
program could get mangled in another. So, use plain text for your email cover letter.
Use short lines, short paragraphs, white space, and asterisks instead of bullets for
some visual impact.
6. Use business letter format
Include your complete contact information, as well as the recipient's full name,
position and address. You'll also need the date, a formal salutation (use North
American style here --Dear Mr. Smith, Dear John Smith, but not Dear Mr. John) and a
complimentary closing (yours truly, yours sincerely).
7. Check with the company about sending email attachments
Some companies frown on attachments for security reasons. If that's the case, you will
also have to embed your resume further down in the email.
8. Edit your work
Check and double check your work for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
Also, avoid using acronyms commonly used in the chat room or in an IM situation (
e.g. "u" "r" "b4") or a casual, sloppy, slangy style. Some people forget that a business
email needs to be formal and professional, especially, an email cover letter.