11 Steps on How to Email a Cover Letter (With Example)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated November 10, 2022
Published October 18, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
As more organizations adopt technology into more of their processes, job recruitment has also become mostly digital. Nowadays, it's common for organizations to request that candidates send their resumes and cover letter via email. Understanding how to email a cover letter can aid your job application efforts and ensure you adhere to the hiring manager's instructions. In this article, we discuss the steps involved in emailing a cover letter and provide an example of an email cover letter.
How to email a cover letter
If you're in the process of a job application, here's an overview of how to email a cover letter:
1. Review the job listing
The job posting outlines the duties of the successful candidate, the qualifications of the ideal candidate, and other relevant information about the hiring process. When applying for a role, it's essential you review the job listing to tailor your cover letter appropriately. For example, by reviewing the job posting, you can identify the qualifications relevant to the hiring manager and prioritize them in your cover letter. Additionally, the job posting contains how the hiring manager expects you to forward your cover letter.
2. Follow the hiring manager's instructions
Each organization usually has rules regarding the submission of application documents. For example, some companies require candidates to send their cover letters as attachments, while others expect it to be in the body of the email. When applying for a job, you can check the job posting for any instructions on submitting your cover letter. If there are no instructions and you have the hiring manager's contact details, you may reach out. In the absence of any instructions or contact details, you can pick any method, as long as you're not violating any direct instructions.
Related: Who To Address a Cover Letter To
3. Use a professional email address
Your email address matters when sending professional correspondence. Using a professional email address demonstrates maturity and makes it easy for your email recipients to identify you. The best approach is to use an email address that comprises your full name. If someone else already owns that address, you can consider switching the position of the names or using a mix of your name and your initials. Lastly, avoid using nicknames or numbers as they can make you appear unprofessional.
4. Choose a subject line
The subject line of your email is the first thing the hiring manager sees, so it's essential you pay attention to it. The purpose of a subject line is to ensure the recipient of the email opens it. A good subject line is informative and straightforward. Additionally, ensure it contains relevant details to help the recipient know the purpose of the email. These relevant details include your full name, the role you're applying for, and the words "cover letter." Lastly, ensure the subject line is short, so it fits into the screen.
5. Pick the right salutation
Choosing the right salutation when emailing a cover letter is crucial as it sets the tone of the email. In addition, using the appropriate salutation can demonstrate respect for the recipient. If you're aware of the recipient's last name and preferred gender pronoun, you may address them that way. For example, "Dear Ms. Brown" or "Dear Mr. Grey." In cases where you're not aware of the recipient's name or gender, you may address the email to their office. For example, "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear Manager." Lastly, avoid using Dear "Sir/Ma" or "To whom it may concern," as they're no longer popular.
6. Attach your cover letter
Some organizations may instruct you to send your cover letter as an attachment. In such cases, check the job description to confirm the format the hiring manager requested. Next, ensure you save the cover letter in the correct format and confirm that the content is secure. You can then click on the paperclip icon, search through the files on your computer to find your cover letter, and attach it to the email. Lastly, you can save the cover letter using your full name to make it easier for the hiring manager to identify it as yours.
7. Include a brief email
Adding a short message to inform the hiring manager that you've included an attachment is ideal when attaching a cover letter. Avoid sending a blank email, so you don't confuse your recipient. This is an example of what your brief email can look like:
Dear Ms. Burrow,
Kindly find attached to this email my resume and cover letter for the role of marketing associate at HDEF Marketing Agency.
Do let me know if you need any additional information. Thank you for your time.
8. Send your cover letter as the body of the email
If the hiring manager prohibits attachments or gives no instructions on how to send your cover letter, it's best to send it as the body of the email. To do that, copy your cover letter and paste it into the email box. This can make it easier for the hiring manager, as they can review the cover letter immediately. Furthermore, when sending a cover letter as an email, there's no need to include addresses. Lastly, proofread the email to ensure there are no spelling or formatting errors before sending it.
9. Add your email signature
Your email signature is the last part of your cover letter, and it's quite important. A good email signature shows professionalism and can help the hiring manager identify you. It also serves to end the email on a positive note. For formal correspondence like this email, the best closing remarks are "Yours sincerely" or "Sincerely." After that, you may include your full name, phone number, and email address in this format:
Related: How To End an Email
10. Send yourself a test email
Sometimes, emails deliver incorrectly or fail to deliver at all. To confirm that your email delivers properly, you can send yourself a test email. Additionally, sending a test email helps you confirm if your attachments are displaying correctly. It can also help you spot some errors you may have missed in your earlier proofreading.
11. Ask for confirmation of receipt
After sending your cover letter, you may send a follow-up email after some days to confirm if the organization received it. Nonetheless, if the company you're applying to expressly prohibits such emails, then don't send any. Similarly, refrain from sending the email multiple times if you get no response.
Example of a cover letter email
You can follow this example cover letter when sending it via email:
Email subject: Bruce Jenkins-cover letter-customer service manager
Dear Ms. Burrow,
I am writing this letter to formally apply for the role of customer service manager at HighRev Corporation. As a seasoned customer service manager with over seven years of experience coordinating diverse customer response teams, I believe I'm a good fit for your company.
I currently work as the customer service manager at HGT Inc, where I direct and supervise the activities of a 20-person customer service team. We use carefully sorted and organized data on our clients to provide the best user experience for them. As the customer service manager, I designed a comprehensive training manual for new employees, leading to a 65% reduction in onboarding time. Additionally, I used a managerial style that prioritized employee interests alongside the client's, leading to a 30% reduction in employee attrition and a 20% increase in customer satisfaction ratings.
Additionally, I am adept at using relevant customer service software, including CRM, data analysis, and spreadsheet software. Owing to my vast experience as a customer service representative, I possess excellent communication, interpersonal, and conflict management skills. On average, I productively resolve 65+ customer disputes in a month, mostly in a fast-paced retail setting. Furthermore, I'm adept at analyzing customer service delivery systems and optimizing them. For example, at JKL Company, I implemented an automated customer response system that improved customer satisfaction ratings by 60%. This later translated to a 20% increase in patronage and a 3.8% increase in revenue.
I developed an interest in HighRev Corporation after attending a career fair where some of your representatives addressed us. I enjoyed their description of the work environment and flexible work options available at your company. Similarly, your company's values of honesty, transparency, and service to the community align with my values. Additionally, I noted that HighRev is a large multinational with branches across Europe and Asia. I believe this makes HighRev the best option to expose me to the diverse professional experience I require to grow as a professional.
To conclude, I'm willing to commit myself to all responsibilities, rules, and regulations that this role may entail. I invite you to look through my resume for more details on my professional qualifications. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to discussing my application further with you.
Now that we have reviewed all of the steps, you will be better prepared to email a cover letter during your job search.
The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
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