What to write when emailing a resume

Applying for jobs can be awkward, especially when companies ask for an application process that feels disjointed. We often see employers ask for applicants to email both a resume and cover letter. Since you’re emailing a cover letter, you have to wonder…what do you say in your email? Obviously, not the same thing you said in your cover letter!

If you are faced with this awkward application situation, keep your cool and follow these rules and examples:

What to Write when Emailing a Resume and Cover Letter

Use a Professional Email Address

If you are still using email addresses with fun code names, like Princess98@yahoo.com or HuggyBear@hotmail.com, it’s time to create an email address for your professional life. We get it—you want to be cute, or geeky, or whatever, and that’s great when you’re emailing your friends and family, but employers see these email addresses as immature, and that’s the last thing you want to seem to an employer.

Your email address is the very first impression employers will have of you since they will see it even before they open your email. Think of it like this: Would you show up to a job interview in your ripped jeans and Chewbacca t-shirt? We hope not. So why would you show up in an employer’s inbox as ChewyFan123?

When choosing a professional email address, use your name. You can use any combination of your first name, last name, middle name or middle initial. Examples include:

  • SamanthaCollins@gmail.com
  • CollinsSamantha@gmail.com
  • SamanthaMCollins@gmail.com
  • CollinsSamanthaM@gmail.com

Definitely do not add a number to your email address, especially not your birth year. You can use most any email service you like, but some, like Hotmail and AOL, look outdated. We prefer Gmail, just because we like it.

Your Email’s Subject Line Should be the Job Title

Keep your email’s subject line short and to the point. To make sure the employer knows exactly why you’re emailing, make sure the job title is in the subject line. Here are some example subject lines:

  • Computer Technician Position Advertised on Indeed.com
  • Computer Technician Application
  • Computer Technician Applicant
  • Replying to Your Computer Technician Job Application

Start Your Email with a Professional Greeting

Emails have become quick communications where we just jump in with what we have to say rather than greeting the person we’re emailing. When you’re emailing a potential employer, don’t skip the greeting. If the advertisement identified to whom you should address your email, use that person’s name as part of the greeting. If you can figure out his/her name from the email address, the user name of the person who posted the advertisement, or something else, go for it. Try one of these greetings:

  • Good Morning, Mr. Sanderson,
  • Greetings, Ms. Johnson,
  • Dear Human Resources,
  • To All it Concerns, (this is your last resort, and skip the “To Whom it May Concern” idea completely)

Explain Your Email’s Purpose (But Keep it Short)

Since your cover letter explains why you’re the perfect person for the job, your email should be short and to the point. Explain why you’re emailing and what you’re attaching, and that’s about it. Tell where you found the job advertisement, the position for which you are applying, and that your resume and cover letter are attached. Your email’s body paragraph should look something like:

I found your advertisement for a computer technician on VelvetJobs.com and believe my skill set fits your needs perfectly. As requested, I have attached my resume and cover letter to this email.

Close Your Email on a Positive Note

When you conclude your email, end with something besides “sincerely.” Remember, you want this person to email you to set up a job interview, so encourage them to do so. Show them that you’re open to further discussion and communication. Try one of these closings:

  • Looking Forward to Speaking with You Soon,
  • Looking Forward to Discussing Your Goals,
  • Looking Forward to Learning more About Your Needs,

Final Checks

Before you send your email, double-check that you have correctly entered the employer’s email address, and make sure you have attached both your resume and cover letter. Be sure your file names tell both your name and what the file is, like Katie_Evans_Resume or Cover_Letter_Jarell_Fox. The more you can make the employer’s life easier, the more they will see you as an asset.

Example Email

TO:  KSmith@private-eye.com 

FROM:  JonesG@gmail.com 

SUBJECT: Private Eye Position Application

Good morning, Mr. Smith,

I found your advertisement for a private investigator on LinkedIn and I believe my skills are a perfect fit for your needs. I have attached my resume and cover letter, as your advertisement requested.

Looking Forward to Learning More about Your Goals,

Gloria Jones