Writing a cover letter can be the most intimidating part of the employment application process. Cover letters are meant to sell you to a prospective employer…but, what if it’s too much? How do you know that you’re not bragging? What if you’re selling yourself too short?
While many people think that their resume should speak for them, most employers have already made their decision on whether or not to interview you before your resume is even touched…and it’s all reliant on a smoothly written cover letter. Now that many companies are going to work from home or digital, the application process is no longer about paper applications but e-mails, making knowledge of e-mail cover letters essential to the new employment market.
What Is an Email Cover Letter?
An e-mail cover letter is a letter that is attached to an e-mail – and usually written as the body of an e-mail – by a prospective employee applying for a job. These letters are meant to sell the sender as a candidate and help them to make the best impression on their prospective employers. While many people get concerned while writing them that they may see as if they are “bragging”, it is important that you are selling yourself. Just like a salesman sells a product or service, you are selling yourself as the best candidate for a job.
What to Include
There are a few things that you should always include in an e-mail cover letter:
- Your work experience: Including a basic summary of your work experience helps your prospective employers see how your abilities align with the position they are filling. It also allows them to get a sense of your resume without opening the document.
- Your contact information: Even though you are probably sending your cover letter from an address you regularly check, it is best to give all of your contact information within your e-mail cover letter. Often, employers reach out via phone call so that they can get a better sense of who you are as a person. Including all ways in which they can reach you is a best practice to ensure they can set up an interview easily.
- Your “Elevator Pitch”: Your elevator pitch is your basic rundown on who you are, as if you were stuck in an elevator with a prospective employer. You have roughly thirty seconds to sell yourself and cover the basics. Those key pieces of information are what you should include in your cover letter.
How to Email a Cover Letter
Emailing a cover letter has a certain amount of etiquette that goes along with it. First and foremost, your subject line should state your first and last name as well as that it is your resume and cover letter. The next important step you want to take involves how you show your prospective employers your cover letter. You should send your cover letter as the body of the e-mail. This makes it the first thing that your prospective employer will see when they open your e-mail. Even as the body of your e-mail, however, it should also be attached as a PDF to your email. This allows HR to print it and put it in your file with a little more professionalism.
Sample Email Cover Letter
Subject: Human Resources Associate Position – Charles Alan
To Whom It May Concern:
I recently saw your posting for the Human Resource Associate position. I am extremely interested in the position, as the prerequisites, you have outlined match very well with my extensive skills and experience.
I can offer Title Holdings Company:
- Over five years of experience in HR
- Ability to effectively hire, train, and manage staff
- Extensive work with Human Resource file management
In addition to my extensive experience in human resources, I have excellent communication skills. I always maintain a gracious and calm manner when communicating with employees, which allows me to deescalate issues between staff members. My broad experience and range of expertise make me an excellent candidate for this position.
My resume, which is attached to this e-mail, provides additional information on my background and qualifications. I look forward to hearing from you soon to discuss this opportunity further.
Thank you for your consideration.
Email Cover Letter (Word Template)
Tips for Sending Email Cover Letter
- Keep it simple: This should be the first thing that your prospective employer will see. It should set you apart from the pack, and a short letter is the best way to do that.
- Sell your best qualities: You only want to sell your best qualities to a prospective employer. Use only positive language and never talk about negative experiences you may have had.
- Make your cover letter the body of your email: Making your cover letter the body of your e-mail ensures that it is the first thing that a prospective employer sees when they open the email. While you should also attach a PDF copy of your cover letter, making it the body of the email ensures they see your best foot forward first.
This is a tricky discussion. It is usually a best practice to write your cover letter in the body of your email. This means that it is the first thing that any prospective employer has in front of them and will be your first impression. You should also attach the cover letter in PDF format to your email. This allows prospective employers to print your cover letter and attach it to any HR file they may have for you.
When you are attaching the cover letter to an email, you need to make sure that you mention that you have attached your resume to the email. Let them know what you are attaching to the email so that they are not surprised. It also helps them to make sure they aren’t opening any attachments that might be detrimental to their system.
Writing a cover letter might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have the be intimidating. As long as you keep your language professional, your wording concise, and you follow the guidelines set forth by a company, you will find yourself having success. With a little writing practice, you will be a pro at writing them in no time.