How to Write an Email Cover Letter

Written by ehow careers & work editor
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With so many companies accepting resumés and applications sent by email, do not be fooled into thinking you can get away with not sending a cover letter. It is just as important to write an effective cover letter when applying online as it is when mailing your resumé. Brush up on writing a compelling cover letter, and then convert your work into a compelling email version. Read on to learn more.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Email account
  • Resumé

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    Write a Cover Letter to Send Through Email

  1. 1

    Include an engaging subject line for your email. You should also include the job title and number, plus anything specific required for the application, along with a few quick words introducing you or your unique experiences.

  2. 2

    Write a complete cover letter. A couple lines about what you are applying for and an attached resume will not get your foot in the door. You need to prove to the reader that you are truly interested and serious about applying.

  3. 3

    Catch the reader's eye in the first sentence. Be bold, engaging and assertive. This is your one chance to have the reader move on to your resumé instead of hitting the delete key.

  4. 4

    Keep it short. Use the "above the fold" theory. Just like the most important information is always above the fold of the newspaper, all important information in your email should also be seen at first glance. Try to fit your entire letter to the height of your screen.

  5. 5

    Use industry-specific keywords. Hiring managers will often scan received emails for keywords, either manually or with software. Including several buzz words in your cover letter is a great way of increasing the chances your resumé will be read.

  6. 6

    Avoid using HTML or fancy typography in your email. You can never be positive the person reading your email will see it the way you meant it to be seen, unless you limit yourself to simple fonts and style.

  7. 7

    Include your cover letter and resume both in the body of the email and as attachments. Some companies do not want you to send attachments, so double check the description before sending files. It is always safer to leave the attachments off if you are in doubt.

  8. 8

    Proof your cover letter carefully before you send it. Even if you copied and pasted your cover letter from a word processing program, there may be typos or errors.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a professional email address. While it's fine to use a free account, send your resume and cover letter from an address that is comprised of your name or something simple. Leave the goofy and inappropriate email accounts for personal email.

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