How to write an email cover letter

Most applications today are sent via email, so the question most people seem to have is – do I include a cover letter, and what do I put into the body of my email?

Well first of all, unless otherwise specified by the employer, use the body of your email as your cover letter.  In terms of the content, use our tips below and you will have a well structured and effective email cover letter:

1.    Research the company 

Make sure you have a good read through the business’ website and track down their aims, objectives, mission statement, how the company is structured and what news they have posted. This gives you a better understanding of the type of business it is and how they communicate i.e. is it very corporate or conversational so you can adapt your application to fit.

2.    Create a distinctive subject line

Make your application stand out from your competition by constructing a subject line that differentiates you from the crowd. Whether it’s ‘Bob Taylor, a great candidate for your XYZ job’ or ‘Application for XYZ position from Bob Taylor, dedicated IT professional

3.    Your opening statement

This is your first real chance to engage with your reader. Make sure you take full advantage, for example:

  • ‘When I saw your job advert for XYZ, I immediately went to your website to learn more.’
  • ‘As an experienced (whatever professional), …’
  • ‘I recently read about (something relevant to the company).’
  • ‘For the last x years, I’ve been refining my skills in (such-and-such related to the job).’

4.    Selling yourself

This is where you go through the most important element of the cover letter – You. You need to convince your reader you are the right person for the job. To help you write this section, think of your answers to these questions:

  • What skills and experience is the employer looking for in the ideal candidate?
  • How can you demonstrate that you have the skills and experience
  • How else can you highlight that you are the right candidate for the job ie hobbies, personality traits, volunteer work etc

5.    Closing statement

Be confident but not smug.

And the final step in your email cover letter is to:

6.    Proof 

Make sure you have spelt names properly, that you have the right job title and then check and double check that your spelling and grammar are correct. Nothing turns off a prospective employer or recruiter more than a cover letter littered with spelling mistakes.

If you would like some help to revitalise your CV click here