When you send an email introducing yourself with your CV and cover letter, it's a chance to promote your professional potential to employers! An email cover letter shouldn't replace your cover letter PDF, but it also shouldn't be an underwhelming "here's my documents" message.
In this guide, we’ll cover the following:
- Whether it’s best to send your cover letter as an attachment or in the body of an email
- The best cover letter examples to help you write your own email cover letter
- How to structure your cover letter to impress employers and get hired faster
- How to craft an excellence email job application
What’s an email cover letter?
An email cover letter is a brief, direct introduction that is sent within the body of the email you send to employers. This means that it’s a little different from traditional cover letters uploaded through online application portals or attached as separate files. Pretty simple, right?
Email job application sample
Here's an email job application sample that's designed based on real hiring practices and recruiter insights. While we designed it for an Executive Assistant role, you can use it as inspiration for your own cover letter. This example highlights your achievements, gives measurable examples that employers are looking for, and makes sure every part of your professional story is relevant to the position you want. If you need more cover letter examples, check out our free samples for your profession or industry on the CVapp.ie website.
Be sure to save a copy of the email you sent! You can either search through your sent items or BCC it to your own email address and create a folder to keep track of all your job search emails. Don't waste time and energy searching for an email you sent weeks ago: it’s much easier to find specific emails this way!
Should a cover letter be in the email or as an attachment?
To decide whether to paste your cover letter into the body of the email or attach it, it's best to first consider the job description. Typically, recruiters will provide instructions on how to deliver the cover letter. Some job postings may even specify the subject line to use. It's crucial to follow these instructions exactly to avoid your application being overlooked.
If you need to submit it as an attachment, simply attach your existing cover letter file to the email. However, it's recommended to write a few introductory sentences in the body of the email to draw attention to the attached cover letter and other application materials. The amount of information you include in the email body is up to you. If you need guidance on writing a great cover letter, you can refer to our cover letter guide, which includes examples. For an example of an email cover letter, you can check the chapter directly above this one.
Here’s our example of what you can write in the body paragraphs of your email cover letter:
Dear (Recruiter’s Name),
I’d like to submit my application for the position of XYZ at (Company Name). You’ll find my application documents, including my CV and cover letter attached to this email.
Thank you for your consideration,
If you want to send an email with an attachment, click on the compose email icon. Fill in the recipient's email address and the subject. Write a few sentences in the email body mentioning the application documents you've attached. Next, click on the paperclip icon to open the file browser. Find and select your cover letter file, then click 'open.' Your cover letter is now attached to the email! Remember, be sure to change the name to something memorable and descriptive, e.g., lastname_coverletter. Your email shouldn’t be a novel, either: three short paragraphs, including the signature and greeting, should suffice!
Here’s the exact steps we follow:
- Address recruiters by name whenever possible. If you don’t know the name of your recipient, you can address your email to: “Dear Recruiter”
- Briefly introduce yourself and mention the job role you are applying for
- List 1-2 relevant skills or accomplishments that highlight how you’re the perfect candidate for the job
- Close your email cover letter with a call-to-action statement that lets employers know how to get in touch with you
- How to end a cover letter with a respectful signature like “Sincerely” followed by your name
Here’s our template for a short email cover letter example for an attached CV:
Dear Mrs. Gallagher,
I loved speaking with you at last week’s event. I have attached my CV to apply for the position of social media marketing manager with DOTDOTDublin. I am confident that my eight years of experience managing ad campaigns and creating compelling content for the role.
In my previous positions, I created a successful ad campaign for an exclusive nutrition brand, and within six months I grew the company following from 2,500 followers to 300,000. As a natural-born storyteller, I love using creative marketing tools to help clients reach their goals. In my previous job role, I helped the company increase their sales by more than 65%!
I’d love to connect with you at your earliest convenience to discuss how to help DOTDOTDublin expand across Europe! Please feel free to reach me at my email [provide email] or [provide contact number]. I hope to hear from you soon!
If the job description doesn't specify how to submit your cover letter, you'll need to make an educated guess. Start by checking if you're required to send other application materials as attachments. If the cover letter is just one document among many, it's best to write a short email introduction and attach the full cover letter along with the other materials.
On the other hand, if the job posting doesn't mention a cover letter, you can include it in the body of your email to integrate it naturally into your application. Below is an excellent example of an email cover letter with an attached CV that you can customise to suit your requirements.
Ok, great. So, how do you write an email cover letter, exactly?
To write an email cover letter, there are some changes you can make to the format and tone. In an email cover letter, you don't need a header. So, it's important to include your personal information in the closing sentences. Sign off with your full name and include your phone number in your call to action or email signature. You can also provide links to your LinkedIn, relevant social media accounts, online portfolio, or links to any relevant, professional websites in your signature.
Just like a regular cover letter, your email cover letter should be easy to read. Stick to standard email fonts and sizes in black color. Remember to include a blank space or two between each paragraph.
Using an email cover letter template when attaching your email cover letter sample can help you format with ease. Our professional cover letter templates are designed for different industries: simply pick the template that matches the image and branding of the company you're applying to.
Crafting the perfect tone for an email job application
There are a few reasons why your job application email sample might be more flexible than a traditional cover letter submitted online. Firstly, if you have the recruiter's email address, you most likely also have their name. While it is standard to use "Dear" followed by the recruiter's name in many industries, some fields prefer a less formal approach. In those cases, using "Hi" or "Hello" followed by the first name can add a more personal touch.
There is, however, one exception to the tone guidelines mentioned above. When writing an email sample for an internship application, it's best to use a semi-formal tone. As a student emailing someone in a higher position, you should aim to be enthusiastic yet polite. You don't need to use excessive pleasantries, but ensure that your email conveys respect for the employer’s time.
Another reason you could be sending your job application sample via email is if you know the recruiter personally. This could be because you previously worked at the company or have some other connection that allows you to apply directly. In such cases, it's important to make sure your email job application sample doesn't sound like it's coming from someone the recruiter doesn't know. Adjust your tone based on your previous relationship so that your email cover letter sample sounds casual and friendly.
While it's important not to repeat the same information in both your email cover letter and the attached document, it's important to make them slightly different to help keep employers engaged. Here’s our key takeaways to remember:
- Ensure you follow the conventions and rules for cover letter content
- Be sure to include most of the same achievements, but be sure to present them in a slightly different way
- Remember that the tone in emails can be more casual and friendly compared to cover letter content
- To best optimise your email layout, place all contact information and social links in the footer section, rather than at the top