Cover Letter Email Title For Question

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For a long time, I dreaded seeing those five words at the end of an amazing job listing: “Please include a cover letter.”

I absolutely hated cover letters. I found them unnecessary, boring, and anxiety-inducing. After all, if I didn’t write them perfectly, wouldn’t that completely stop me from getting a job, even if everything else checked out?

As I began to write more and more cover letters, I realized something crucial: there’s an incredibly obvious pattern to writing these in a way that doesn’t come across as robotic or awkward. In fact, after I figured out the formula, cover letter writing became the easiest part of putting together a job application—yes, really!

At this point, I’ve written hundreds of cover letters and have helped dozens of people with their own, and I’ve got crafting them down to a science. Whether you’re writing a more casual cover email to a small tech startup or writing a formal cover letter to a huge tech corporation, here’s the step-by-step guide to writing a rockstar message that gets you hired.

Header: Keep in Line With the Industry

When starting your cover letter, the big question is, should you provide any information in your header? In a cover email, it’s not necessary (after all, it’d look awkward to have random personal contact information at the top of a post), but with formal cover letters, it becomes trickier.

A general rule of thumb: Usually larger companies or those in more formal industries require a header for your cover letter; smaller companies or startups usually don’t.

What should go into your header if you need one? First, put the date you’re writing the letter, followed by your name, address, phone number, and email address. Then, skip a line on the page and include the name of the person your cover letter is addressing, that person’s title within the company, and the company’s address.

If you’ve tried to find the name of the person who will be reviewing your application and have had no luck, or if you know that a non-descript group will be looking at it (for example the “Tech Fellowship Selection Committee”), feel free to put that in the header instead of the name of the person.

“To” Line: Establish a Rapport

As noted above, figuring out to whom you should address your cover email or letter is tricky business, especially if the company you’re applying to gives zero indication of who that could be.

If you really want to dazzle a company by personally addressing someone, feel free to shoot a quick email to the company’s support line, or if you know someone who’s definitely involved in the hiring person, reach out to a specific employee within the company. Didn’t get a clear response or just got radio silence? There are other approaches you can take.

If you’re sending a cover email, you have the ability to be a little more informal. Drop the “To Whom It May Concern” entirely, and opt for a simple “Hi there…” or “Hi [Company] team…”

If you’re writing a more formal cover letter, you can still avoid the dreaded “To Whom It May Concern.” If you want to keep it broad, feel free to address it “To [Company’s] Tech Fellowship Panel” or “Dear [Company] team.”

Sentence 1: Introduce Yourself in an Interesting Way

Regardless of if you’re using a cover email or cover letter, the first sentence of your email should have more oomph than using the tired “I’m applying for X role…” or “My name is…”

Why should you avoid these situations? First, chances are the hiring manager already knows what you’re applying for from all of your other application materials. Additionally, you name is elsewhere in your message (for instance, your header or in the sender line of the email), so including that information is redundant.

So how can you open with something that’ll grab someone’s attention and take your message seriously? Here are some of my favorites (that have helped me get hired!):

  • Use a quote that best describes you. There’s a reason why so many great speeches and messages start off with quotes from others: They’re effective.
  • Include your personal tagline. Some professionals have created a tagline or personal motto for themselves. If you’ve thought of one and it shows why you would be great at the job you’re applying for, use it.
  • Write a (very) short anecdote. If there’s a striking way to show your most important professional attribute in a sentence or two, use it!

 

Paragraph 1: Explain Why You’re Excited About This Role

Once you’ve caught a hiring manager’s attention, it’s time to finish up your first paragraph by explaining why you’re excited about the role.

This “paragraph” should be short (only two or three sentences) to briefly explain who you are (what’s your education background and current role?) and why you love the company and want to work there.

Regardless of if you’re writing a cover email or formal cover letter, be sure that your reasons relate back to the job listing in some way. Steer clear of vague language that isn’t descriptive or thought-provoking (“I’m excited to work with a cool team!”).

Think of it this way: If you could swap out the name of the company for another organization and your reasons for loving the company still make sense, you need to get more specific.

Paragraph 2: Hone in on the Company’s Pain Point

Once you’ve briefly but effectively established why you love that specific company and your potential role, it’s time to turn your attention to the second paragraph.

The biggest question you need to ask yourself: What is this company’s pain point? In other words, what is the main objective for the company to be hiring this role? Obviously, they wouldn’t create a listing and find money in the budget unless they needed someone, so focus on the main problem they would solve by hiring you.

Once you’ve established that you understand a company’s pain point, it’s time for you to shine by answering this crucial question: Why are you uniquely qualified to take on that position and fix that pain point over other people?

To do that, give one or two short and specific examples based on your past experience. Want to keep your anecdotes from dragging on? Here’s my favorite formula for keeping it short, sweet, and effective:

  • Sentence 1: Briefly introduce the skill or ability.
  • Sentence 2: Explain a scenario where you showcased this skill.
  • Sentence 3: Give the result. If you can do so with numbers or other tangible data, that’s ideal.

This section is also a good time to quickly mention (in one or two sentences) anything that a hiring manager may have questions about after reading your resume and other materials (for instance, an obvious two-year employment gap). Feel free to explain you’re willing to further elaborate in an interview or through any follow-up.

Paragraph 3: Wrap It Up

Your wrap-up should be short (only two or three sentences) to reiterate the following:

  • Your excitement about this role.
  • Your appreciation for the company taking the time to read your materials.
  • Where the company can contact you with any further questions.
  • Call-outs to any attachments (if you include them in a cover email) or relevant links (if you include them in a cover letter).

That’s it! Don’t drag on the end of your email or letter.

The Sign-Off

Your sign-off may differ based on if you’re writing a cover email or cover letter, so here’s how to tackle each of those.

For your cover email, feel free to sign off with “Best” or “Thank you” and then your name. You can add your email address, phone number, personal website, or portfolio below if you want, but definitely steer clear of having too many links after your name.

For your cover letter, it’s fine to sign off with just your name, especially since all of your contact information is at the beginning of your message. If you really want to add something, feel free to include the easiest mode of contact (like an email address).

Armed with this formula, you’ll never spend hours tearing your hair out over cover letters again. Trust me!

Get Our FREE Guide to the Perfect Email Cover Letter

Learn how to write a cover letter that gets you interviews with our FREE 30+ page ebook.

You can unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. We won't use your email address for anything else, promise!

Email Subject Lines for Resumes and Job Applications

These days, a lot of your job search, networking, and other business communication is conducted via email. Employers receive tons of emails a day, and many times, whether or not an email gets opened depends entirely on its subject line. To make sure your emails are read, you need a clear, professional subject line. It's especially important when you're emailing a resume to apply for a job.  

Why the Subject Line Is Important

The subject line (along with the name or email address of the sender) is the first thing people see while scanning their inboxes.

Because emails can contain viruses, as well as irrelevant information, busy people rarely open all their email. The decision to open — or delete — an email is made based mainly on the subject line and the sender. When you leave the subject line blank, your email may likely end up marked as spam or deleted.

Recipients may not be familiar with your name when you send a job search, networking, or other business emails. Therefore, the subject line is your opportunity to introduce yourself. This is the first step to making a strong first impression so that your resume is opened and read.

Tips for Writing an Effective Email Subject Line

Keep it professional. This goes for both your subject line and your email address. The subject line shouldn’t include any informal words or phrases like “Hey” or “What’s Up.” Use only professional, polite language.

Also make sure that your email address is appropriately professional – cutiepie123@000.com could make the hiring manager wonder how serious a contribution you would make to their company.

Note why you are writing. You need to make sure that your subject line will be of interest and considered relevant in order to get your email read. Make it relevant by including keywords related to your reason for writing.

When you are networking, state what you are interested in, or why you are contacting the person, in your subject line.

You might be asking for information, or requesting a meeting, advice, or referral.

If someone recommended the contact, definitely include their name in the subject line. Networking emails can be the most difficult to get noticed, because the person emailing isn’t seeking to solve a specific problem or fill a position. Your subject line is your opportunity to grab their attention and make them want to know more about you.

Mention the job title. In an email applying for a job, use the job title as the subject line, so the employer knows what position you are interested in. That helps busy hiring managers who are recruiting for multiple positions see at a glance which job you are applying for. 

Mentioning the job title is also helpful in case there is an automated filter that categorizes the hiring manager’s email. With the right subject line, you’ll be sure that your application is placed in the appropriate folder to be seen in a timely manner. You can include your name as well, or “referred by” if someone recommended that you apply.

In your follow-up correspondence (particularly a thank you email after an interview), “Thank You” can precede the title of the job.

Keep it short and specific. The more specific you can make your subject line, the easier it will be for the recipient to categorize your email quickly, and respond appropriately.

Be as succinct as possible though, as lengthy subject lines may be cut off, and could lose the most important information.

Many people check their email on mobile devices that display only 25-30 characters of the subject line. You’ll have much more space if they are reading on a computer, and when they open the email they will see the whole subject. Use the first few words to get to the point, and leave the extra information like your credentials and experience for the end.

Edit, edit, edit. When editing your email before sending it, also be sure to proofread your subject line. Since the subject line is your first impression, you want to be sure that your writing is clear and free of errors.

Email Subject Line Examples

For inspiration, here are several examples of clear, to-the-point subject lines: 

  • Administrative Assistant Job - Your Name
  • Job Inquiry - Your Name
  • Managing Director Position
  • Job Posting #321: District Sales Manager
  • Communications Director Position - Your Name
  • Application for Sales Associate
  • Inquiry - Your Name
  • Social Media Expert Seeking New Opportunity
  • Marketing Director Looking for Next Role - 10 years experience
  • Research Assistant Resume
  • Referral - Your Name
  • Referred by FirstName LastName
  • Informational Interview Request - XYZ College Student
  • Thank You - Job Title Interview
  • Meeting Follow Up - Subject of Meeting
  • Meeting Request - Your Name

What Else to Include in Your Email

The subject line is just one aspect of an email cover letter. In order to make the best impression, your email message needs to be professionally written and carefully proofread. You'll also need to consider how to address the letter's recipient, use an appropriate sign-off, and which font and font size to opt for. Here is more advice on job search email etiquette, and some sample email cover letters to review before sending your own. 

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