So you’ve got your resume and cover letter written, tailored it to the position you are applying for, done all the spelling and grammar checks, highlighted what you want to highlight, and are ready to send your application off to the hiring manager. Now, you’re faced with another challenge in the application process: emailing your application. What do you write in the subject of the email, let alone in the body of the email itself?
It’s a great question, and while each application may have its own requirements (so ensure you read the job description thoroughly!), here are some of our top tips to make your email look as professional and focused as possible:
Follow the Employer’s Instructions
So important, we are mentioning it again for good measure. Make sure you read the job description for any instructions the employer has regarding the submission of your application over email, including format, document naming standards, etc.
Use a Professional Email Address
Over the years, we have all likely created a handful of emails with various levels of professionalism. For sending in an application, you will want to use an email that includes your first name (this could also be your first initial if you prefer) and last name—but a few numbers included is okay too (I know I’m not the only Lucy Fox in the world, so the lucy.fox email is likely already taken!).
Write a Clear, Concise Subject Line
The subject line, unless otherwise stated, doesn’t need to be something overly complicated. Think what the purpose of your message is, and why you are sending the email: to apply to a specific position! That’s all you need to include here, that you are applying for a certain role (so include the job title).
- Social Media and Communications Specialist Application – Jane Smith
- Job Posting #1234 – Mechanical Engineer
- Application for Landscaping Position
Attach Your Resume in the Email
To hold the integrity of the resume you just created and the design you are confident in, attach your resume to the email. Look at the job listing to see what kind of file the hiring manager needs. If it’s not specified, a .doc or .pdf file is always a safe bet.
Make sure to name the file something simple and easy to understand. Something like your full name and the word resume would work well, or the position title, your name and the word resume. For example: Jane Smith Resume, or Social Media and Communications Specialist Resume – Jane Smith.
*Note: Some employers may ask for your resume to be typed into the body of the email, so copy the information from your document and double-check the formatting before you send it! Be sure that the information is presented logically, and that the structure of each section is maintained.
Include Your Cover Letter
If the job posting doesn’t specify how to send your cover letter, you have the option to include it either as another attachment in your email or as the body of the email itself.
If Attaching Your Cover Letter…
We would suggest following the same style and naming conventions you used for your resume, to ensure continuity across your documents. So, if you name your resume “Jane Smith Resume”, name your cover letter “Jane Smith Cover Letter”.
At this point, the body of your email will be blank. You will still need to write a little introduction to your documents. Keep it simple and professional by stating the position you are applying for and a note that your documents are attached.
Something like the following would work well:
To Whom It May Concern,
Please see the attached resume and cover letter as my application for hire for the Social Media and Communications Specialist position.
Should you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you in advance for your consideration. I look forward to discussing this position with you further.
If You Are Writing Your Cover Letter in the Email
Ensure you mention in the cover letter that your resume is an attachment in the email!
Format Your Email
Now that all of the information you need is in the email, it’s time to consider formatting.
Keep the font and style of the email simple, with a legible font. You don’t need to add colour to your font, and don’t include images/gifs/emojis in the email either, as they likely don’t reflect the professionalism you are portraying in your application otherwise!
Include an Email Signature
We highly recommend including an email signature when sending an emailed application. This should include your first and last name, your email address, and your phone number! If you have a LinkedIn profile, we also recommend hyperlinking that in your email signature.
Find me on LinkedIn (with a link to your LinkedIn profile)
Whatever email platform you use, you can set up an automatic email signature through your settings, so you only have to do it once if you are applying for several positions.
Send a Test Email
We can’t state this enough: just as you reviewed your resume and cover letter before saving those documents, review your application email before sending it! This means reading or re-reading your content, but also sending yourself a test email to ensure the formatting that you see when building the email is the same for the recipient!
~written by Lucy Fox
We hope this little bit of advice helps you in your job search and application. If you would like to receive more resume tips as they’re written, please sign up for the monthly newsletter, feel free to bounce around the site in the Resume Tips category, or click here to learn more about the service.