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Email Cover Letter Examples and Formats
Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.
What to Include in Your Email
How to format an email cover letter, email cover letter examples, cover letter articles and advice.
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An email cover letter includes all the essential elements of a hard copy cover letter and serves the same purpose: to impress the hiring manager and convince them to bring you in for an interview.
It’s essential to follow the employer's instructions so that you don’t wind up bounced from contention because of a technicality. You might be asked to send your cover letter in the body of the email or as an attachment, or to add a specific subject line, or to send it as a specific file type, e.g., a Word document or PDF.
Cover Letter Salutation
It’s best to address your letter to a specific person, instead of using a generic salutation like "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam." These can look unprofessional and like you didn't make an effort.
Cover Letter Body
The body of your cover letter lets the employer know what position you are applying for, why the employer should select you for an interview, and how you will follow up. This section of your cover letter includes:
- First paragraph: Why you are writing. It is "the grab," your chance to grasp your reader by the collar and get his attention. Offer some specific, focused information regarding the job you're seeking and a few core strengths that demonstrate suitability for the position.
- Second paragraph: What you have to offer the employer. It is your hook where you highlight examples of the work you’ve performed and the results you’ve achieved. Draw on your key competencies from your resume, though don't copy it word for word. Bullet points in this paragraph are effective in drawing your reader's eye to your successes.
- Third paragraph: Your knowledge of the company. Show that you did your research and know something about the business and how you can contribute to its mission.
- Fourth paragraph: Your closing. Summarize what you would bring to the position and suggest next steps by requesting a meeting or suggesting a call.
- Address an Email Cover Letter : Make sure your cover letter and other materials get to the right place – and make a good impression when they get there.
- Email Cover Letter Subject Line Examples : The subject line is the first thing a hiring manager will see when they look at your email. Make yours count.
- Email Cover Letter Salutation Examples : Confused about how formal or informal to be in your salutation? These tips will help.
- Email Cover Letter Closing Examples : Keep it professional all the way through, with these cover-letter ready closers.
Most cover letters follow the same basic format, but the contents will be very different, depending on your goals and circumstances. These templates cover a wide range of situations, from a cold email inquiring about job openings to an internal job promotion cover letter to a job transfer request.
- Email Cover Letter Sample
- Sample Email Cover Letter Inquiring About Job Openings
- Sample Email Cover Letter - Part-Time Job
- Sample Cover Letter - Referred by a Contact
- Sample Email Cover Letter - Summer Job
- Sample Email Message - Volunteer Position
- Sample Formatted Email Cover Letter Message
- Job Promotion Cover Letter
- Job Transfer Request Email Message
- Job Transfer Request Email Message - Relocation
Whether you’re looking for your very first job or making a career change to something new and different, there are certain guidelines that can help you create a cover letter that sells your experience. For example:
- Write a customized cover letter for every job opening . You may develop your own cover letter template to help you get started, but be sure to tweak it every time so that it’s a perfect fit for the role’s requirements.
- Include keywords in your cover letter . Analyze the job listing, looking for keywords that describe the job duties and the experience and skills required to fulfill them. Then, use those words in your cover letter and resume. It will help you get past the applicant tracking system and to a real human being who can call you for an interview.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread. Pay special attention to the name of the hiring manager and the company and its products. Then, ask an eagle-eyed friend to give your cover letter one last review before hitting “send.”
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Email Cover Letter Samples
Including an email cover letter is imperative, so we thought it would be helpful to our job-seeking readers to have sample letters to use as a starting point.
The examples below come from real-life job seeker emails, although we’ve altered the details and contact information. Whether you prefer a “salesy” approach or you’re more of a “direct and to the point” kind of person, choose the template that suits your style. Just be sure to include these key elements in your email cover letter.
Etiquette for Any Email Cover Letter
- Mention the title of the position you’re applying for in the subject line and body of your email.
- Explain where you found the job posting or how you heard about the position.
- Conclude with a subtle call to action to remind the hiring manager of the action you’d like them to take, such as, “I look forward to hearing from you.”
- List your full name and contact information in your email signature block (not just on your resume attachment).
- If applicable, quickly explain any questions that your resume may raise. For example, if you’re from out of town but planning to move close to the job location, or you’ve been at your current position for only a short time.
- Don’t start your cover letter with your name. Instead, introduce yourself in the letter with a relevant qualification and connect it to the position.
- Keep your cover letter concise. Just like your resume, keep your document to just one page to entice hiring managers instead of overwhelming them.
- Avoid any spelling or grammar errors in your document. The smallest typo can ruin your chances at the job.
- Don’t address the wrong company name or the wrong company contact’s name. This could be seen as awful cover letter etiquette and indicate you’re not attentive to details.
- Don’t ever include your salary requirements unless otherwise directed by the potential employer.
Signature on Email Cover Letter
Without a signature at the end of your email cover letter, you could be missing out on incredible potential job opportunities. This quick snippet of your contact information makes it easy for recruiters and hiring managers alike to contact you.
When it comes to deciding between a physical signature and a name sign-off, there are benefits to either option. With a name sign-off, you can use a digital signature service like Eversign and RightSignature to give your cover letter that personal touch.
If you’d prefer to include just a regular email signature, make sure to include your full name, email and phone number. You can also consider adding a LinkedIn button so the hiring manager can have more insight on your experience and skill set.
How to Format an Email Cover Letter
Wondering how to format your email cover letter? You’re not alone. Once you’ve written your incredible cover letter providing more information on your expertise and how it relates to the job you’re applying for, it’s vital to format it correctly before sending it to any recruiters. If it isn’t formatted correctly, you could be missing out on the job opportunity.
Regardless of the cover letter template you’ve chosen, make sure to include these key components when formatting your email cover letter:
- Write a subject line that includes the position you’re applying for
- Address the company contact’s name in the salutation
- Clearly state what you’re hoping to accomplish in the first few sentences
- Summarize your strengths, skills and experience by connecting them to the job opportunity
- Use a font that’s easy to read
- Avoid typos in your message by proofreading
- Include a signature with your contact information
- Always send a .pdf file rather than a word doc or other format
Email Cover Letter Examples for Legal Professionals
Example #1: if you prefer to keep it brief..
Subject Line: Interest in Litigation Associate Position
To Whom It May Concern:
I am interested in the Litigation Associate position advertised on LinkedIn. I have attached my resume and cover letter for your review.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
First Last Name
Example #2: If you’re relocating to the city where the job opportunity is located.
Subject Line: Expressing Interest and Relocating Near Litigation Secretary Position
Dear Hiring Manager,
I’m writing to express my interest in the Litigation Secretary position listed on Monster.com. My resume is attached for your review and consideration.
I am a fast learner, very dependable, organized, and computer savvy. I have extensive experience assisting firm attorneys and multiple paralegals, as well as supervising and managing an office. While I currently reside in Los Angeles, I will be moving to San Francisco at the end of the month.
I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you to learn more about your firm, its plans and goals, and how I might contribute to its continued success. I can be your ideal candidate if given this opportunity. Thank you.
Example #3: If a colleague referred you.
Subject Line: John Mentioned Your Firm is Seeking a Litigation Secretary
I was referred to you by a mutual acquaintance, John Smith, who said you have an opening for a litigation secretary.
I have many years of experience as a litigation secretary, most of them working with managing partners. I am a professional looking for a career, not just a job. I am organized, reliable and self-motivated. I like being part of a team, but can also work independently.
Included with this e-mail is a copy of my resume for your review and consideration. Once you have had an opportunity to review my resume, please contact me if you have any questions or to arrange an interview. I look forward to speaking with you in the near future.
Thank you for your time,
Example # 4: If you’ve been at your current position for less than one year.
Subject Line: Experienced Legal Secretary Seeking Long-term Opportunity with Stable Litigation Firm
Please allow this introduction. My name is Jane Smith, and I have 12 years of legal secretarial experience working with managing partners of small, mid- and large-sized law firms. My current typing speed is 105 wpm from written form and 120 wpm from live dictation with the utmost accuracy. I am interested in the Litigation Secretary position advertised on your firm’s website.
I am currently working for a small civil litigation firm. However, after only 11 months in this position, the financial stability of the firm has significantly changed. Therefore I am seeking long-term tenure with a stable civil litigation firm.
Attached please find my resume and list of references. If you are interested in the professional skills and positive attributes I can contribute to your firm, please contact me at [phone number] at your convenience to schedule an interview.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Example #5: If you want to dazzle the hiring manager with your qualifications.
Subject Line: Do you need a conscientious paralegal at your firm?
Dear Recruiting Administrator:
Do you need a hardworking, creative and conscientious paralegal to meet your firm’s needs? If so, I can help you. The following is a summary of my qualifications:
- More than ten years of progressively responsible legal experience;
- Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Business Administration;
- Exceptional verbal, written and analytical skills;
- Advanced computer skills;
- Outgoing personality and “can-do” attitude.
I would like to meet with you to discuss how I might assist your firm in fulfilling its present needs.
My resume is enclosed for your review. If you need someone who is highly motivated, eager to learn, and willing to work hard to succeed, please contact me at [phone] or via email: [email].
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Now, start writing your cover letter!
They say the first impression is a lasting one — so make sure your digital introduction represents you well. Use your best judgment with each position you apply to; for an entry level position keep your cover letter more concise while going into further depth and providing more information with upper level positions.
These examples are meant to be a starting point only — add your own voice, style and experience to make your own standout (or at least solid) email cover letter.
Start building out cover letters that will help you stand out and land the job!