Do I need a cover letter? Are cover letters really that important to include?
In 2019, it’s unclear, but some job applications still require one. If it’s any consolation, the cover letter is a great place to include any relevant information that might not be apparent on your resume.
Which brings us to another vexing question – should you copy your cover letter in the body of an email or attach it to the email? There are no hard and fast rules, but it’s always best to follow the company’s instructions on the application.
Today, we’ll focus on crafting the perfect cover letter in the body of an email as well as crafting a short message for sending an attachment.
First, let’s cover a few basic rules for putting a professional first impression over email.
Pro-tips for sending a cover letter in an email
- Follow company instructions. Email cover letters can usually be sent one of two ways: as the body of the email or as an email attachment. Check the company’s job application guidelines to see which method they prefer. Make sure to follow them to a T, as your application might be thrown out if you don’t.
- Use a professional email address. When submitting a job application, your email address matters. Use a professional email address that includes your first and last name – for example, firstname.lastname@example.org. If your full name is already taken, try using your middle initial or putting your last name first. Nicknames and a combination of numbers are best left out.
- Add a relevant subject line. If your subject line is informative and to-the-point, it makes it easier for the recruiter to keep track of your message. It’s essential to immediately identify the role you’re applying for along with your email, and will up the chances that the recruiter will actually open your email. Include your full name and the job title, like this example:
- Your Name Cover Letter: Job Title
- Save your cover letter file correctly. It’s best to save your file as a .pdf or .doc to make it easier to open and preserve the appearance of your document. Name your file to First Name-Last-Name-Cover-Letter (e.g. Stephanie-Simon-Cover-Letter.pdf) to make it easier for the hiring manager to keep track of your materials.
- Add an email signature. Close out your email with the proper email signature to make it easy for the hiring manager to reach out to you. It should look something like this:
- First Name Last Name
- Email address
- Phone number
Now let’s dive into how to send a cover letter in an email with both methods.
Send your cover letter as the body of an email
If the employer specifies to send your cover letter in the body of an email – or they don’t specify how to send your cover letter at all – it’s best to copy and paste your cover letter into the body of the email. With this method, the hiring manager will see your cover letter immediately upon opening your email, with no need to go through the download process.
Here’s a cover template to get started:
Email Subject Line: Stephanie Simon Cover Letter: Editorial Director
In the past year, I’ve managed a team of writers, in addition to managing outside freelancers, while pushing out quality content and increasing our site’s page views by 150%. These experiences have prepared me for the role of Editorial Director at Company ABC.
In my current role at XYZ Inc., I oversee a 10-person editorial team, using SEO and data to establish clear strategies and goals. I provide constructive feedback and edits to nurture a talented, high-performing team. I’ve created a comprehensive content plan to increase ROI while engaging our audience and tripling the number of unique visitors to our blog.
I am a great candidate for this role because I am both creative and data-driven. I am passionate about motivating my team and pushing them to grow, and I’m skilled at thinking outside the box to provide our customers with interesting, informative content. As the Editorial Director at your company, I would dedicate myself to evolving and empowering the editorial team to effectively create cutting-edge content.
Thank you so much for your consideration. I would love the opportunity to speak further with you about this opportunity.
Sending your cover letter as an attachment
When attaching your cover letter to an email, follow the pro-tip above and attach it as a .pdf or .doc. Write a brief message in the body of the email to inform the hiring manager you’ve attached your cover letter. Never leave the body of the email blank!
Here’s an example of a short email message to include:
Dear Ms. Smith,
Please see my attached cover letter and resume for the [Job Title] position. Please let me know if you would like any more information.
Thank you for your consideration!
No matter which method you’re using to send over your cover letter, keep it professional and to the point. Hiring managers have limited time and likely lots of candidates to sort through. Make it easy for them and make your application stand out by following these tips and using these templates!