Sure, you’ve read page after page about how to write good cover letters to enhance your job hunt…but in this day and age, it often happens that mail-order job applications are a thing of the past for many companies. Filling jobs through the internet makes the entire process faster and easier and can be a boon to both employers and potential employees, but when the opportunity comes to apply through e-mail, how should you proceed?
People often don’t know how to handle e-mail job enquiries. As a result, they often overlook what can be one of the best job-hunting tools in their possession. Job hunting through e-mail is quick and effective, and it can allow you to increase your chances of finding a job sooner as it’s not at all difficult to send 10 or more application e-mails a day!
It’s easy enough to attach a CV as a .doc file when one is requested, but should you send a page-long, traditional cover letter as well? Should you send it as an attachment? If so, what do you write in the body of the letter?
Generally, it’s not advisable to attach or copy-and-paste a full, professional, cover letter, unless it is specifically requested (though it often is). E-mails are expected to be short and to the point, and cover e-mails are no exception. It’s expected that the message accompanying your attached resume will be a miniature version of a cover, one that gets the job done and nothing extra.
So what should this short message include? Well, one thing it doesn’t necessarily have to include is the usual salutation. As with most e-mails, you can start by getting right to the point. (Needless to say, you don’t have to include a header, either). Your first sentence should be a brief statement about why you’re writing the e-mail (you’re applying for the job) and how you found out about the position.
Next, you write the body of your message. So what gets left out? Usually, it’s the self-promoting paragraphs about previous job experience. Not that you won’t be doing self promoting, but you have to do it a bit more succinctly in an e-mail. And you have to summarise your previous job experience in just a paragraph.
Here’s a good format to use:
Quick introduction: just one sentence where you tell them how you found out about the position in question and say you’d like to be considered for it.
Paragraph 1: Tell them you’ve attached your resume and summarise the qualifications that your work experience has given you. This can largely be a list of the skills and experience you have, followed by a sentence about what you enjoy and are seeking in a professional experience.
Paragraph 2: Talk about your current (or most recent) job experience and why you are leaving/have left to seek new employment.
Closing: Ask to be contacted for an interview and include your phone number and contact details.
End salutation: Thank them for considering you and “sign” with your full name.
Dear (Name Withheld),
I saw your posting on Monster and am interested in applying for the temporary admin assistant position.
Attached is my CV. As you can see, I am a recent university graduate with experience in office administration. I have a wide range of experience in administrative assistance and am skilled in the use of Word, Excel, QuickBooks, and Outlook. I thrive in busy environments where I am expected to learn new skills quickly and take direction while taking initiative. I type with high accuracy at 85 WPM, am proficient in 10-key typing, and enjoy customer contact both via phone and in person. Though I’d be new to work in the medical profession, I would work diligently to make sure that I learned what I needed to as efficiently as possible.
Recently, I worked as a receptionist and bookkeeping assistant for (a Company) here in London, but was unfortunately let go due to the business experiencing financial hardship. Since then I have been working to make the move to supporting myself as a freelance writer, but I miss having a regular daily occupation and am seeking supplementary work.
I hope you will consider me for an interview. Please feel free to contact me at (e-mail address) or my mobile phone number: (number).
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Piece of cake. So what do you do if you’ve been asked to include a cover letter as an attachment? Then your e-mail will simply look something like this:
I saw your posting on Monster and am interested in applying for the temporary admin assistant position. As per instructions, attached is my CV and cover letter for your consideration.
So there you have it. Now you can job search through e-mail to your heart’s content. You won’t find many faster ways to find work!