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Job Application Email for the Winner Candidate!

Updated: February 9, 2024 | Published: April 16, 2020

Updated: February 9, 2024

Published: April 16, 2020


There are a variety of ways that you can apply for a job. While every employer has a different application process, most will want to see an updated resume, or curriculum vitae (CV), along with a job application. As the world moves towards a digital-first approach, it is a common practice to write a job application email, as opposed to filling one out by hand.

To help you prepare for this important email, we will share what you should and should not include, as well as provide helpful tips about the structure of the email. Additionally, you will learn the best practices for how to include your resume in your email.

Let’s jump right in!

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Things to Include

When writing to a prospective employer, you want to be sure to include the following items in your job application email:

  • Your intention: Clearly state your reason for reaching out
  • Job position: Include the title of the job you want. This is especially important if the employer has multiple job listings posted.
  • Your qualifications: Define what sets you apart from the competition, or what makes you most fit for the job.
  • Contact information: Tell them exactly where and how they can contact you.

The Structure: How to Write the Email

More often than not, employers are overwhelmed by the amount of job applications they receive. This means that they will have to sift through many potential candidates. That’s why you’ll want to stand out and get straight to the point.

As such, these emails don’t have to be too long. Rather, they should be clearly defined, succinct, and well-written.

Consider structuring your email wit the following 7 steps:

1. Subject Line

This is the first thing they will see before even opening your email. For their own search purposes and filing, be sure to include the name of the position in the subject line. Also, if they have provided a job posting number with the position, include that in the subject line.

2. Formal Opening

Your salutation should be written to a specific person, whenever possible. It may be the case that you don’t know who the hiring manager is for a job. When that happens, it’s best to keep the salutation formal with something like “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Hiring Manager”.

3. First Paragraph

Your initial paragraph introduces the intention for writing the email. It is here that you state what job you’re applying for and how you found out about the position. If you’ve attached your resume (which you should), be sure to allude to it in the opening paragraph. You can write something as simple as: “Please see my resume attached for the (insert job title here) position.”

4. Middle Paragraph

Now you get into the good stuff! In the middle paragraph, share some details about yourself and the qualifications that make you a good fit for the job. Since your resume also provides these details, you’ll want to share more of the story rather than highlights that are already attached. It’s here where you can really help yourself stand out.

5. Closing Paragraph

In your closing paragraph, thank your reader for taking the time to consider your application. Let them know how to reach you and when you will follow up.

6. Signoff

Keep this formal, just like the greeting. You can use sign offs like “Best,” or “Sincerely,” followed by your full name and some contact details.

7. Attachments

Be sure to attach your resume or CV, depending on what was requested in the job listing. Make sure to attach it in a format that the reader requested. If they didn’t specify, it is always safest to attach as a PDF. Make sure the file size is less than the maximum file size that your email provider allows.

Job Application Email Tips

When drafting your job application email, be sure to do the following:

  • Use a professional email address
  • Stay focused and be brief
  • Use a digital signature (include your name, address and/or email address, and phone number)
  • Add relevant attachments (i.e,. if they ask for a portfolio or writing sample, be sure to include it along with a resume)
  • Always write a job application email (unless you submit an application through a software)
  • Use keywords (pull these from the job posting)
  • Get feedback from others before sending and read the email aloud to yourself to catch any typos

Job Application Email Templates

Depending on your level of experience, the format and content of your email application will differ. Here are some templates to follow based on your current level of experience and goals:

Recent Graduates

As a recent or soon-to-be graduate, you likely won’t have much professional experience. It helps to state this from the get go in your email. For example, you can try something like: “Recently, I have graduated from (insert university name) with a degree in (insert degree), and I’d like to hone my academic experience by working for (insert company name).”

Experienced Professionals

In the first sentence you can immediately state your years of relevant experience. This will jump out at the hiring manager.

Know an Internal Contact

If you know someone personally who works at the company you are applying to, mention that in the opening. This way, the hiring manager can contact your friend or acquaintance to ask about you. You can start with something like, “My friend (insert friend’s name) who is a (insert friend’s title) at your company shared (insert position) with me and recommended that I apply.”

Changing Careers

It may be possible that you want to try something totally different than what your professional experience has been. In that case, make it clear as to why you’re changing paths and what you can still bring to the table from your previous experience.

An Email Follow-Up after a Personal Conversation

If you’ve spoken to the hiring manager in person, remind them of this by starting with something like, “It was so nice to speak with you about (insert position) at (mention where or when the conversation took place). To follow up, I’d like to share more… “

Formal Application Post Social Media Introduction

In the same way that you reference an in-person conversation above, you can allude to an introduction that was made on social media.

Internship Position

When applying for an internship, it helps to share that you are still in school, what you are studying, and your expected graduation date. Then you can share why this internship is appealing to you and what you will bring to the table.

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Best Ways to Send Your Resume

When you apply for a job online, you may be able to upload your resume and/or cover letter directly onto the website’s platform. However, if the job posting requests that you email your resume and cover letter instead, then the email serves as your cover letter. There is no need to attach a separate cover letter. Rather, simply attach your resume and refer to the fact it’s attached within the email’s body.

What Not to Do

Now you know what to do to create the best job application email to land the job. Here are a few things to avoid doing:

  • Don’t write informally (i.e., using a salutation like “Hey”)
  • Don’t go on and on about why you love their company. Instead, write about how you will help the company benefit and what you have to offer
  • Don’t be vague in describing the job position you’re applying for
  • Don’t forget to follow up in due time if you haven’t heard anything back
  • Don’t lie about your experiences

The Bottom Line

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average worker will hold 12-15 different jobs in a lifetime. So the chances are that you will have to write a job application email sooner or later. Often this will be your first step to landing an interview.

As such, keep in mind the dos and don’ts of job application emails so that you can position yourself to land the job!