Learn how to format a cover letter properly: from your cover letter layout and presentation to its contents. Get examples and cover letter formatting tips.
An email cover letter is the body of the email you send with your resume. It should introduce you to the hiring manager and show your reasons behind applying for the position. Make your email cover letter shorter than a traditional cover letter you would send as an attachment.
The question is:
Should you attach a cover letter to your email?
Should you write a cover letter in the body of your email?
It’s a real dilemma.
Email covering letters are the new norm.
But they’re different from old-school attachments in a few key ways.
In this guide:
- How to write a cover letter email that gets noticed.
- Why cover letters in emails should be short and snappy.
- Five great email cover letter templates for different jobs.
- Tips and examples to help you write the best letter in the stack.
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This guide focuses on actionable examples. Need more detailed step-by-step instructions for sending a job application email? See our guide: Emailing a Resume to Get a Job: Resume Email Samples
Want to attach a PDF cover letter to your email? See this guide: How To Write a Cover Letter in 10 Minutes
How to Write an Email Cover Letter
This is life-changing:
You’re 40x more likely to get hired, if—
You apply directly to the hiring manager.
But only 0.14% do it! The rest go through job boards and career sites.
That’s from a study of 55 million applications!
The thing is—
Applying for a job via email will only work if you get your message across fast.
Don’t make the manager open two attachments, one with a resume and another with a traditional cover letter
Write your cover letter in the email body so she can see your value right away.
Email cover letter format:
- Put your name in the subject line. Otherwise how will they find you later?
- Add the job title to the subject line and first line of your email.
- Use the 3-paragraph cover letter format, but keep it short and snappy.
- Find resume keywords in the job ad.
- Include one big achievement relevant to the job.
Expert Hint: Don’t forget to attach your resume to the cover letter in your email! Forgetting to attach your resume is a massive rookie mistake!
This email cover letter sample is for a job that wants skills in raising revenue and cutting costs:
Sample Email Cover Letter for Professionals
Subject line: Project Manager PMP Stacy Anne Fetter Seeks position with Upwird IT (Job ID #77781)
Dear Mr. Holt,
I’ve attached my resume for the Project Manager position at Upwird.
I’m a Project Manager and PMP with 6+ years of experience. I cut costs 27% and raised revenue $450,000 in 7 months at Doherty-Welman Inc. I’m excited about the great Project Manager opening you’re offering. I know you’re looking for a candidate who can handle Lean training, project scheduling, and standardized work.
I’d love to share my achievements in those areas, including cutting costs $1.2 million with work standardization. Can we schedule a call to discuss?
Stacy Anne Fetter
Project Manager PMP
Why does that work?
Because it’s quick and easy to read. Plus, it teases the exact qualities Mr. Holt wants.
This next cover letter email sample is for a job that wants a software engineer. He or she must have a track record of excellent video game design:
Sample Cover Letter Email for Computer Science
Subject line: Software Engineer Carl Espinar Seeks position with BlockBinners (Job ID #72234)
Dear Ms. Gallardo,
I’ve attached my resume for the software engineer position at BlockBinners.
I’ve been a huge fan of your podcast for 5 years. I’ve studied your approach to game development religiously. I credit your ideas with my success at GameSezzl, where I was an integral part of the team that made 2nd runner up for a Game Developers Choice Award.
With 5+ years of experience in game design, C++, and Java, I think I’d make a great addition to your team. Could we set aside some time to talk next week?
See the value?
You proved your skills so fast the manager got vertigo.
Even if she skims.
Our next email cover letter example targets a job that wants a graphic designer. The perfect candidate has done great work for high-end clients.
Sample Email Cover Letter for Creatives
Subject line: Graphic Designer Sheryl Hood Seeks position with Ash-Litski (Job ID #72643)
Dear Mr. Cho,
I’ve attached my resume for the graphic designer position at Ash-Litski.
I’m an energetic graphic designer with 6+ years of experience. I’ve delivered logos and designs for web, print, and TV spots for clients like Arby’s, HP, Microsoft, Apple, and Walmart. In the past 5 years I’ve created 1,000+ high-impact designs—one of which received an AIDA award.
I’m so enthusiastic about working for Ash-Litski. Your client list and philosophy of hiring smart people and following their lead is refreshing. Can we set up a call?
They want skill and high end clients. You just demonstrated both.
This cover letter email sample aims for a job that needs a sales executive. (Must have a background of improving ROI.)
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Sample Cover Letter Email for Executives
Subject line: Sales executive Tim Lukacs Seeks position with Dalton-Oort Global (Job ID #87723)
Dear Ms. Smith,
I’ve attached my resume for the sales executive position at Dalton-Oort Global.
Selling a great product is the first rule of sales. Dalton-Oort’s medical solutions solve massive, real problems. I believe your KardioSpy wearable ECG will revolutionize the medical industry. Even though I raised ROI 30% at Karma Microsystems through a program of training and outreach, I believe I could do so much more if motivated by products like yours.
I’ll be in New York next week. Could we set aside some time to meet and discuss your sales goals for the next ten years?
That letter sells exactly what they need. And does it quick.
This next email cover letter example is for a marketing intern. She must know how to run podcasts and assist with digital marketing campaigns.
Sample Email Cover Letter for Internships
Subject line: Marketing BS Heidi Parker seeks internship with Maunterz Inc. (Job ID #09912)
Dear Mr. Zimmer,
I’ve attached my resume for the marketing internship at Maunterz Inc.
I’m a marketing specialist and recent graduate of New Mexico State University, with a BS in Marketing. At school, I built and managed the student business podcast and created a digital marketing campaign that raised $14,000 for cancer research.
I’ve been following Maunterz Inc’s work for the past few months and I think your internship has a great mix of responsibility and training. Could we set up a call?
Quick, zappy, and personal. Plus, that “$14,000” grabs the eye.
Expert Tip: You don’t need copious address info at the top and bottom of an email cover letter. Just add your phone and email. Add LinkedIn and a portfolio site if you have them.
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For an email cover letter that makes your phone ring:
- Make your cover letter email much shorter than a traditional letter.
- Get to the point right away: why you love the job and your best selling point.
- Use one big achievement in your letter to make them want to read your resume.
- Don’t attach a PDF cover letter when you send a cover letter in an email.
- Sending a cover letter as an email can boost your hiring chances 40x.
Need more cover letter resources? See:
- Free MS Word Cover Letter Templates
- Cover Letter Header Templates and Examples
- General Cover Letter That’s Not Generic
- Free Google Docs Cover Letter Templates
- What to Include in a Cover Letter
Got questions on how to write a great email cover letter? Want more great email cover letter samples? Leave a comment. We’re happy to reply.