Email Cover Letter: Examples & How to Write (+Template)

There’s no denying that cover letters are a bit of a throwback to bygone times. Even at arm’s length, they don’t exactly look like they belong in the 21st Century. And yet here they are, and here we are. A cover letter is a must, with the only exception being if you’ve been explicitly told not to include one.

 

Trying to format an email to look like a business letter even feels like a bad idea. So how do you prepare an email cover letter? Is it best to include it as an attachment or should you write your cover letter in the email itself? Best practices can change quickly and often, leaving some guides behind the times.

 

This article is here to show you how to write an email cover letter and how to write a cover letter email. Whether attached or in-text, you’ll know how to format your cover letter and what to include in it. The email cover letter example below is better than nine out of ten out there and so can your cover letter.

 

Use the LiveCareer cover letter builder and your cover letter will write itself. Choose a professional template, answer a few easy questions and the creator will generate a professional cover letter for you with just one click.

 

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Email cover letter example

 

Anthony Lawrence

30 Sea Road

Lakeside

LA12 3JS

070 2222 2222

anthony.lawrence@lcmail.co.uk

 

23rd February 2021

 

Leah Harrison

HR Manager

Hedgerow Cobblestone

54 Shire Oak Road

Scarth Hill

L40 0XG

 

Dear Leah,

 

I could hardly believe my luck when my friend and former colleague and current Hedgerow Cobblestone Regional Manager Doug Ramsey mentioned that HC was looking for a new addition to its management team. I believe that my current work as a manager for Kidney Pie Squared has set me up nicely for a plug-and-play transition. Just recently, I designed and implemented a strategic business plan that expanded the company’s customer base by 26%.

 

Indeed, my current work with KPS has allowed me to grow as a mentor as I coached and trained 30+ members of staff, focusing on their personal development and our succession planning through talent management. I managed to improve customer experience and customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores within the Operations team by 17.5% by working to understand causal factors, failure points, trends and issues within the interactions and the provision of the service. I also attended over 70 Customer Experience meetings in order to acquire first-hand information and guidance from the build team, which allowed me to identify underlying issues in performance and manage actions through to resolution stage, exceeding KPIs by 10% on average.

 

As you can see, my time with KPS has been well-spent in acquiring a breadth of managerial experience with a strong focus on mentorship and data-driven decision making. These are strengths that I believe closely match Hedgerow Cobblestone’s ethos.

 

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to discussing further what I could do for HC during the course of an interview.

 

Yours sincerely,

Anthony Lawrence

 

Now that’s a perfect cover letter. See how to write yours:

 

1. Include a proper header

 

Treat your attached email cover letter like a real letter by aligning to the right your full name, postal address, email, and phone number. Skip a line, type the date of writing, and skip another line. Finally, align to the left the recruiter’s full name, their job title, company name, and company postal address.

 

If you’re writing a cover letter email (that is, including your cover letter in the body of an email), then simply remove this header. You can then type out your phone number and email address at the very bottom of your email, like an email signature. You could also include a link to your LinkedIn profile there.

 

Email cover letter example header

 

Anthony Lawrence

30 Sea Road

Lakeside

LA12 3JS

070 2222 2222

anthony.lawrence@lcmail.co.uk

 

23rd February 2021

 

Leah Harrison

HR Manager

Hedgerow Cobblestone

54 Shire Oak Road

Scarth Hill

L40 0XG

 

You can adjust every cover letter created in the builder to meet the job requirements. Choose the name of your profession and the company to which you’re applying, and the builder will automatically adapt the content for you. Create a cover letter faster than you ever thought possible and apply for the job in record time.

 

Create your cover letter nowcover letter builder

 

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2. Address your email cover letter to the right person and in the right way

 

It’s become customary to begin emails—including business emails—with ‘Hi’ in most English-speaking countries. You certainly wouldn’t start a formal business letter this way, though. An email cover letter, even if exclusively typed out as an email, is decidedly more formal than even a regular business email.

 

Start your email cover letter the same way, whether you attach it or not. Use ‘Dear + first name’ if you feel comfortable starting off on a first-name basis. This kind of greeting communicates professionalism, friendliness, and formality and this is all exactly what you want in an email cover letter.

 

If the recruiter is considerably more senior than you, go with ‘Dear + title + surname’. Always use ‘Ms’ for women, and be doubly sure of the recruiter’s sex before using a gendered title like ‘Mr’ or ‘Ms’. It’s not unheard of for a name to leaving you guessing, and it’s important not to make careless assumptions.

 

Use ‘Dear + first name + surname’ if you can’t, despite your best efforts, determine the recruiter’s sex but don’t feel comfortable using just their first name. All of this assumes that you have a name to go with the recruiter’s role in the first place, but what if you don’t know who to address your letter to?

 

Do everything you can to find out. It’s almost never impossible, you just have to be a little resourceful. Double-check the job advert for clues. Search through the company’s website, especially any staff or ‘our people’ pages. Do some sleuthing on LinkedIn. All else fails, call the company and ask.

 

In the extremely unlikely that you can’t find a name for the recruiter, try to at least figure out their job title and address your email cover letter that way—for example, ‘Dear Accounting Department Head’. Failing that, use their function, like ‘Dear Accounting Department Recruitment Lead’.

 

Whatever you do, don’t use ‘To Whom It May Concern’, ‘Dear Sir / Madame’ or anything similarly impersonal and outdated. Your goal should be to address your reader in as personal a way as possible. Recruiters look through many cover letters, make sure yours connects with them from the outset.

 

Email cover letter example salutation

 

Dear Ann,

 

3. Open your email cover letter strong

 

Think of all the emails that flow through recruiters’ inboxes on a daily basis. Your email cover letter has to grab the recruiter’s attention and it has to do so quickly. This means that the opening paragraph has to be short and to the point as it effectively makes a case for why you’re the best choice for the job.

 

An effective cover letter opening paragraph will get your enthusiasm for both the job and the company across loud and clear. It’ll also give recruiters a good idea of what it is exactly that you can bring to the table while describing how it is that you make a great fit for the company in terms of culture and goals.

 

Assuming you have some relevant work experience under your belt, start your opening paragraph with a relevant, on-the-job achievement from your current or previous job. An achievement in this case refers to nothing more than an action you took at work and the benefits your employer gleaned as a result.

 

You can use something like the APR (Action- Problem-Result) method to structure your achievement, but the basics are very simple. Start with a strong verb like ‘organised’, ‘implemented’ or ‘negotiated’ and quantify everything you can, the benefits your actions brought to your employer first and foremost. Estimate these benefits if need be.

 

Finally, describe how your goals line up with the company’s goals. This might sound difficult, but there’s a simple trick to it: simply take a sentence to answer the question ‘what is it that you hope to be able to achieve for the company in this role?’. Lean on your background research to know what the company needs. 

 

You can still grab recruiters’ attention with a strong email cover letter opening paragraph even if you don’t have any relevant experience from which to draw achievements. Start with your passion for the work and enthusiasm for the company. The research you’ve done on the company will be invaluable here.

 

Include a relevant achievement from your studies or any volunteer, internship or placement work you’ve done. Benefits in these contexts can include time saved, processes improved, and awards won. Put numbers to everything you can, even if it’s only the scale at which you did something, e.g. how many times.

 

Whether experienced or not, were you recommended to the job for which you’re applying? Some people shy away from mentioning the fact that they were referred to the position, but doing so has nothing but upsides – the employer will appreciate the fact that someone within their company thinks you’re a good fit.

 

The opening paragraph of your email cover letter is the perfect place to drop names and reveal why you’re applying for the job. Keep it simple and direct, short and sweet. Include the full name and job title of the person who recommended that you apply and leave it at that – there’s no need to repeat yourself.

 

There’s a lot happening in this one small paragraph and there’s no denying that a lot rides on the recruiter sitting up and paying attention. The best approach to take here is to keep it as short and simple as possible. Three short sentences will do it, no more than five. Stick to a maximum of 40–80 words.

 

Email cover letter example opening paragraph

 

I could hardly believe my luck when my friend and former colleague and current Hedgerow Cobblestone Regional Manager Doug Ramsey mentioned that HC was looking for a new addition to its management team. I believe that my current work as a manager for Kidney Pie Squared has set me up nicely for a plug-and-play transition. Just recently, I designed and implemented a strategic business plan that expanded the company’s customer base by 26%.

 

You don’t have to create any content yourself. The LiveCareer cover letter maker will automatically suggest the best content for your cover letter with ready-made examples and expert tips.

 

Create your cover lettercover letter builder

 

Create your cover letter

 

4. Use your email cover letter to show what you bring to the table

 

We all sometimes receive emails that contain huge, monolithic blocks of text. These are not emails that scream ‘read me’. Even with the best possible intentions, it’s easy to find yourself skimming through such writing, scanning for key points. Imagine being a recruiter and having dozens of such emails.

 

Keep your email cover letter lean and mean by ensuring the focus remains firmly on your achievements. String 2–3 relevant, on-the-job achievements together with minimal explanation. Each achievement should, as much as possible, stand on its own merits and be clearly linked to the job to which you’re applying.

 

Keep this part of your email cover letter short: 120–200 words, no more. You can break this section down into two paragraphs if you feel that one would make for too large a single chunk. You can even break this section down further through the use of bullet points. Remember to quantify each achievement.

 

Email cover letter example main body paragraph

 

Indeed, my current work with KPS has allowed me to grow as a mentor as I coached and trained 30+ members of staff, focusing on their personal development and our succession planning through talent management. I managed to improve customer experience and customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores within the Operations team by 17.5% by working to understand causal factors, failure points, trends and issues within the interactions and the provision of the service. I also attended over 70 Customer Experience meetings in order to acquire first-hand information and guidance from the build team, which allowed me to identify underlying issues in performance and manage actions through to resolution stage, exceeding KPIs by 10% on average.

 

5. Neatly wrap up your email cover letter and end on a CTA

 

You’ve just bombarded your the recruiter with a dazzling collection of your achievements. Bring the focus back to what you can do for their company and why you’re the best person for the job by quickly summarising your previous paragraphs. Do only as much as is necessary and don’t repeat yourself.

 

End with a confident call to action (CTA) in which you make it abundantly clear that you’re eager to continue on to the next stages of the recruitment process. Remember to thank the recruiter for their consideration of your application, too. This can have many benefits besides just being good manners.

 

Keep this wrap-up of your cover letter particularly short: 40–60 words is more than enough, don’t go over this range.

 

Email cover letter example closing paragraphs with CTA

 

As you can see, my time with KPS has been well-spent in acquiring a breadth of managerial experience with a strong focus on mentorship and data-driven decision making. These are strengths that I believe closely match Hedgerow Cobblestone’s ethos.

 

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to discussing further what I could do for HC during the course of an interview.

 

6. Sign off from your email cover letter properly

 

Signing off is easy but that’s not to say you can’t get it wrong, or that people won’t notice if you do. Use ‘Yours sincerely’ if you addressed your cover letter using the recruiter’s name (e.g. ‘Dear Jane’) and ‘Yours faithfully’ if you used their job title or function instead (e.g. ‘Dear Hiring Manager’).

 

Email cover letter example sign-off

 

Yours sincerely,

Anthony Lawrence

 

Some things to keep in mind, especially if you’re attaching your email cover letter

 

Some elements of getting your cover letter ready to send don’t change whether you’re going to be attaching it as a separate document or writing a cover letter email. First and foremost, your cover letter should speak to your attention to detail and work ethic, and this means no spelling or grammar mistakes anywhere.

 

Proofread and scan through both your CV and email cover letter, checking and double-checking for spelling and grammar mistakes and typographical errors. 

 

Make your cover letter short. Following the best practices laid out in this article, you’ll end up with a total of about 250–400 words—less if you’re sending your cove letter in an email. For a cover letter email, leave the font and justification at the default settings. Simply separate sections and paragraphs by leaving a line blank.

 

If you’re going to be attaching your email cover letter, then choose a font that doesn’t draw undue attention to itself. Noto, Garamond, Liberation, Arial, and even Calibri are all perfectly acceptable cover letter and CV fonts. Keep the size at an easily readable 11–12 points and the margins at the default 2.5 cm.

 

If you’re sending your cover letter as an attachment, use a simple cover letter template. Visual templates are not always ATS-compliant. Also make sure the overall look of your email cover letter and CV match: in terms of font, layout, and colour choices (if any). Use plenty of white space to direct your reader’s gaze and clearly break your cover letter structure down into sections. 

 

One last cover letter piece of advice: save or export your work in PDF unless asked from something else.

 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Choose a professional CV template and quickly fill in every CV section using ready-made content and expert advice.

 

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I hope this article helps you email your cover letter out in style and with a minimum of fuss. Please drop any questions, comments or job-hunting anecdotes you have to share down in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you and will be sure to reply.

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LiveCareer Editorial Team

LiveCareer Editorial Team

About the author

Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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