How to Apply For Jobs via E-mail

Take a breath and smile, you’re done preparing your perfectly tailored cover letter and resume for that exciting position. Now all you need to do is apply. The question is, how do you apply for a position when you need to send an e-mail? Do you paste your cover letter in the body of the e-mail? Do you write another enticing ‘letter’ and attach the cover letter and resume? This quick blog gives you an idea of a successful way to approach applying for jobs via e-mail.

Firstly, I recommend never typing the person’s e-mail address in the “To” section until you’re just about ready to send. The last thing you want to do is randomly find a shortcut button and the e-mail send before you’re ready!

Starting at the subject line you want to make your subject simply and obvious. I would use one of the following:

  • Position applying for – First and Last Name
  • First and Last Name – Position applying for

You do not want the person receiving your application to wonder what you’re applying for, especially if they’re just the ‘catchall’ of e-mails and they forward your resume and cover letter to the manager of the department the position is in.

Next, you will want to write a short note in the body of the message.  I do not recommend copying and pasting your cover letter – the receiver may delete your e-mail purely because it is too long and they have many other applications to sort through. The below example should be suffice in most cases however you will want to read the job posting and make sure the posting is not looking for additional information.

Dear Sir/Madam (if you know the person’s name, change to their name or simply ‘Hiring Manager’)

I am writing to apply for the (NAME OF POSITION) position I discovered on (LOCATION YOU FOUND JOB…i.e., Please find attached my resume and cover letter.

Kind regards,

Once you have written a short note quickly discussing your intent and position you are applying for, you will want to attach your cover letter and resume. It is extremely important to have you cover letter and resume professionally titled. The person receiving your e-mail will be able to see the names of the attached files and so having a poorly named document will not be in your best favor. To keep it simple, have your name and ‘resume’ or ‘cover letter’ as the titles is easy for hiring managers to quickly reference.

I do recommend sending your resume in PDF format purely because your formatting/layout will be preserved. How your resume looks on your screen may be completely different to the recipient. If you are planning on sending your attachments as a Word file, make sure it is compatible, maybe sending a previous version (i.e., ’97 – 2003 Word Document) so the recipient won’t have any issues opening the attached file.

Before entering in the recipients e-mail address, quickly run through the below steps:

  1. Verify your subject line has your name and position
  2. Verify your cover letter and resume have been attached
  3. Check spelling in the body of your e-mail
  4. Review the job posting – have you done everything they are asking? Some companies look for salary range to be included or portfolio’s for example.

Now you’re all set to enter the recipient’s name and send!

Sending your cover letter and resume via e-mail doesn’t need to be a daunting task if you follow these simple steps.