What You Need to Know Before You Send a Cover Email

FAQ

While handing your resume to the store manager in person or applying through job boards are still the most common ways to apply for a position, cover emails are becoming more popular.

A cover email is when you send your job application via email, and include your cover letter in one of two ways: by writing it in the email itself and then attaching your resume, or attaching your cover letter and resume and writing a short and polite message to accompany them. 

Either way, you need to ensure your cover email gets noticed – and we’ve put together these tips for how you can make that happen.

Send the email to the correct place

It’s always best to email the person in charge of recruiting directly, but sometimes a business will ask you to send your application to a more generic email address, such as [email protected] If this is what they tell you to do, don’t ignore their instructions. Double and triple-check that you’ve typed the address incorrectly, and make sure you use formal language to start the email, i.e. Dear Mr Smith.

Use the subject field to make an impact

This is the first thing prospective employers see, apart from your email address, so you need to make sure you use the subject line wisely. Never leave it blank – it’s a wasted opportunity, and you’ll find that some recruiters will simply delete emails with blank subject fields. You could put the position and reference number (if applicable) in the subject line, but that won’t set you apart. 

Writing something about yourself and the position you’re applying for, and make it interesting so that you catch their attention. Don’t go overboard, of course, but you can’t go wrong with something professional and to the point, such as “Accomplished manager applying for Upper Management position.” 

Make sure the opening paragraph is attention-grabbing

There’s nothing wrong with writing a short and formal message, along the lines of “Please find attached my cover letter and resume for your consideration”, but it won’t make you stand out from the other applicants. 

Your opening paragraph should entice the person reading it to want to find out more about you so that they look at your resume and cover letter. Writing one or two lines about your experience and achievements, and how they relate to the position, will set you apart help you make a big impact on recruiters.

This should continue into the rest of the email, outlining why hiring you would benefit the company and what you can do for them if you were to get the position. It’s all about selling the value you can add to their business.

Your resume and cover letter should include relevant industry keywords

More and more companies are using automated ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) to help them with the recruitment process. These tracking systems look for certain keywords in cover letters and resumes, much like a recruiter would. Without these keywords, your application could be discarded. It’s a good idea to research relevant keywords for the industry you’re applying for, and put them into your cover letter and resume so that anyone glancing at your application can see that you are a suitable candidate.

Name your documents correctly

Naming your resume and cover letter as “resume.doc” and “cover letter.doc” respectively is something that is surprisingly common for applicants to do – and it’s a big mistake. If you were a recruiter, and there were lots of applicants emailing, would you want to waste time renaming their documents? Probably not! 

Use your name when saving your document names, so that it’s easier for hiring managers to file and organise.

Need help with sending a cover email or another part of your application? We’re here to help.

Another important thing to remember when sending an email cover letter is to always use your manners! Just because you are using email doesn’t mean you can forgo politeness, so be sure to thank the reader for taking the time to consider your application. 

If you think your cover email, resume or other career documents need a boost, the team at Resumes To You will take your application to the next level. Our experienced staff want you to get that interview – and nail it! Chat to us today to find out more about what we do and how we can help you in your career.

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