Application Emails: How to Get Noticed from the First Line

Nowadays, it is common to email your application documents rather than deliver them in person or by mail. This means you will be attaching files of your cover letter and resume to an email…but what should that email look like?

Writing just “see attached” is an easy way to be overlooked. Keep in mind that recruiters are busy people and you need to stake a claim on their attention from the first moment. Your application email should be an even shorter version of your cover letter: a truly brief statement of who you are and what you want, but in a voice that shows you are proactive and competent.

Likewise, what you write in the email may be the first representation of you that the recruiter sees. This is no place to be careless — make sure there are absolutely no typos in your application email. You want to create a professional, prepared image, and this is best done using full sentences and a confident voice. Need to double-check? You can always submit your text to Ediket to get a quick review and make sure your writing is up to par.

Notice that the subject line begins with the applicant’s name. Imagine the recruiter’s inbox: it may be filled with emails titled “application” or “internship”, so it’s helpful to them (and effective for you) to include your name in the subject line to make your message easy to identify. This is especially true if your email address is not your real name.

The introduction is quite similar to the cover letter, as is the conclusion. You may notice a comma has been used after the greeting here (“Dear Ms. Golightly,”) whereas a colon was used in the formal cover letter. This is because emails are more casual than your official application documents, and it has become convention to use a comma here (though a colon is still technically correct, and would also be fine).

Whatever you do — don’t forget to attach your documents! It’s such an easy mistake, and then you’ll be stuck sending an “oops” email afterwards, which appears less than prepared. Also make sure the file names of your documents are short and professional (e.g., ImaApplicant_CoverLetter.pdf and ImaApplicant_Resume.pdf). Think again about how many documents the recruiter will have to work through and label yours clearly: begin with your name, then write the type of document.

Finally, include your name and the most relevant forms of contact, such as a phone number, after the salutation. As with the cover letter, the closing salutation can be any of several options, including Sincerely, Best Regards, or Yours Respectfully.

Cast Your Net

If you’ve followed this series to this point, completing your resume, cover letter, and application email, then you are ready to go! Send it away and hope for the best! Don’t forget to follow up by calling or visiting according to the date you set in your cover letter, if you did so.

Also remember that the best way to get results in a job hunt is to cast your net wide — depending on the kind of jobs you are applying for, it may take twenty applications to get five responses. Keep your eye on the ones you most want, but don’t hesitate to apply broadly. You won’t have a chance until you apply, so get busy and make some progress happen!


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