Seven tips for creating an effective email cover letter

Creating a good cover letter email

The email cover letter is a relatve newcomer on the job search scene. Yet, because of the increase in electronic applications, recruiters are welcoming brief emails that preview your application instead of a hard copy letter. If you can get the reader's attention with your email, then he/she is likely to look at your resume attachment immediately. Here are some tips for creating your email cover letter.

Tip #1 - Keep your email cover letter brief, no more than a screenful.

Tip #2 -Keep the paragraphs short, use bullets (an * or a --), and white space.You may want to avoid any kind of formatting, though, since some email programs can mangle text formatted elsewhere.

Tip #3-Make sure your subject line is appropriate, clear and specific. Avoid such general tags as "applying for a job", or long tags that start describing your qualifications. Instead, get the reader's attention with your purpose ("Applying for job #213, teacher, at ABC Public School").

Tip #4 - Say the same sorts of things you would in a regular cover letter except more briefly:

a) why you are writing (usually to reply to a posting).If you found the e-mail address on the company website say so. If you received a referral from a contact, then say that too.

b) why are you qualified to do the job (because you have the right skills and experience-use a bulleted list in parallel structure).

c) why you wish to work for that organization ( let your enthusiasm shine)

d) that you will follow up with a phone call in the next week ( and please, do follow up if you say you will). Include your phone number so the reader can call you too!

Tip #5 -Ensure your text is clean and grammatically correct. Avoid any kind of SMS or acronyms such as "u" or "r" or slangy, language.

Tip #6 - Keep the tone of the email friendly and professional, yet be succinct and direct.

Tip #7 - Indicate that your resume is attached.




Email cover letter example

Email cover letters
Email cover letters

From: Jean Smith
Sent: Mon 12/14/2009 11:39 AM
To: Sharon Conrad
Subject: Experienced English and Communications Instructor available

Dear Ms. Conrad:

Further to our conversation today, I am forwarding you my resume (attached to this e-mail) with my latest teaching experience. To summarize my qualifications, I have

  • 9 years at Seneca College teaching English and Communications for various departments
  • Taught 21 different communications courses
  • A previous career in Journalism
  • A Master of Distance Education (Athabasca) specializing in Educating Adults and Instructional Design.
  • Bachelor degrees in Journalism (Ryerson), Economics & History (U of T)
  • Certificates in Teaching/Training Adults and Instructional Design


I will touch base with you on Friday to see if your needs have changed. Meanwhile, please feel free to call me on short notice if you need a skilled, experienced English and communications instructor.

Regards and Happy Holidays


Jean Smith, B.A., B.A.A (Journalism), M.D.E.






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Do use email cover letters more than regular cover letters when you apply for a job?

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