How to write a formal email for a job application? – Tips and sample pdf templates

We have all been there – seen a job ad on a job-board website, on LinkedIn or via an email newsletter. Clicked the link to read more about the ad, scrolled through the job description and thought, “That’s the very thing I’m looking for!” and have become excited about applying for the role. But then pause, because at the end of the ad there’s that little bit which makes you waiver …….. Please provide a covering email.

Then you start to think

  • What to write on the job application email
  • What subject heading should I use for a job application email
  • Should I write a formal email to a company, or just email them my CV or
  • Do I need to write to apply for the position, can’t I just send them my CV

Then you reach the stage of do I really want to apply for this job? Is the covering email really necessary, isn’t my CV just enough?

If you really think you are suited to the role, it fits your experience or where you want to be heading with your career, yes it’s worth applying and a covering email, set out following our suggestions and tips, will help you easily construct the email and get that application sent off!

We have put together these suggestions to make your life easier when constructing a covering email.

What is a job application email?

A job application email is the online equivalent of a covering letter, it needs to include all the same information as a physical letter. It highlights you have relevant experience or skills which are transferrable to this role

Job application should be about a page long – if it were in Word and needs to include the following:

  • Start with a formal salutation
    • Dear Mr Smith/Ms Smith
  • Include your contact information
    • Full name
    • Contact details
    • Email
    • Phone number
    • LinkedIn Profile
    • Link to portfolio if relevant
  • Be addressed to the person it is to be sent to (see formal salutation above) – this information is generally included in the ad, if not look at the company website to try to find out the correct name or contact the HR department.

Tips on how to write a formal email for a job application

  • Formal salutation
    • Dear Mr Smith
  • Clear subject line
    • Vacancy for Marketing Executive via LinkedIn 1st December
  • Prove you are a good fit for the role, why you are interested in applying and what value you can add to the company
    • I have 3 years post graduate experience, working at XXXX company as a Marketing Assistant, I have worked on 3 product launches for xxxx product, I am responsible for xxxx, etc etc
  • Give an overview of your skills/experience
    • Accomplishments/achievements – we launched x product and sold xx in the first 6 months
    • Current/recent jobs and how it’s relevant to this role
  • Include relevant information
    • Courses you have recently undertaken
    • CV
    • Certification (if requested)
    • Visa if relevant
    • Details of references
    • Dates you are available for interviews
    • Notice period in current role
    • Details of pre-existing commitments – holidays booked
  • Thank them for their time
    • Thank you for your time in reading this email and I look forward to hearing from you
  • Polite Close
    • Kind regards/Yours sincerely

A few more tips

  • Tailor each covering email to each application – don’t just use generic email wording.
  • Tailor your CV to each application, highlight achievements and experience, this can take a bit of time, but it will help your CV stand out.
  • Read and reread the directions given in the job ad – some companies are quite particular and use this as part of the interview process – if you don’t follow the instructions first off, this could mean your application ends up in the delete pile before your CV is even read, so be aware of
  • Closing dates
  • Who to address the application to
  • Ensure you use a professional email address – the mail address using your nickname from when you were 14, isn’t generally seen as professional. Consider setting up a separate email account to use just for job applications. Then any replies aren’t overlooked or end up in ‘junk’.
  • Use a direct subject line – HR Managers receive hundreds of applications for roles, ensure you are clear which role you are applying for.
  • Be brief but focussed – the recipient, will read your CV to find out more about you if their interest is piqued.
  • Be honest – HR Departments will check out when you’ve said on your CV!
  • Share relevant information
  • Include a professional electronic signature
  • Review and proof read, get someone else to proof read if you have the time.
  • BCC yourself, so you know all the attachments have been received.

Finally – follow up in 2 weeks, it can often put you front of mind with the person hiring and prompts them to look out your CV.

Don’t expect to receive a reply to the first role you apply for, but don’t be disheartened, the more roles you apply for the more adept you’ll become at tailoring your CV and crafting a great covering email. The right role is out there for you, it just may take a few attempts to find it.

Good luck!

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