In many cases, a cover email for an application is more than or at least equally as important as a covering letter or CV. This is because it is the first thing the recruiter will see, meaning it sets the impression they will gain from your application. So how can you ensure the covering email is on track to get you through to the next stages of the hiring process?
In some instances a covering email can replace a covering letter. Unless they have specifically asked for it separately, it can be a good way of making sure the covering message definitely gets read. However, as we all know, people – especially recruiters – don’t always spend a great amount of time reading their emails. As a result it’s important to make your covering email concise and to the point. Stick to just the key information in a sensible order. The basics you need to cover are the role you are applying for and the location if necessary, your current situation and what sort of opportunities you are looking for, followed by a summary of why you would be suitable for the role.
Email is a tricky one as there are no set rules as to what format it should follow; unlike the letter writing conventions we have always been taught. Because of this, it’s always best to stick to a more formal tone when sending out job related emails. It’s far better to be too polite than too informal, so formality is the best policy. This includes using ‘Dear’ rather than ‘Hi’, unless perhaps you have already spoken to the recruiter previously and are familiar with them. Use formal sign offs too – depending on whether you know the name of the person you are addressing.
As with any document you send over to the recruiter, it’s important that everything is in an easy to read and accessible format. If your personal emails are set to Comic Sans, this isn’t going to leave a good impression on the recruiter. Make sure you are using a web friendly font such as Arial or Helvetica, and that your email is appropriately spaced – not too many gaps but make use of paragraphs.
It’s important to round the email off by highlighting the fact that you expect to get through to a further stage. Express your desire to come in for an interview or arrange a telephone interview to discuss your suitability sooner. Being keen for further communication shows you are confident in the application you have sent across and also have more to offer in person than what they now knowabout you on paper. Make sure you also include that you are looking forward to hearing a response. This won’t always guarantee you get one – but the fact you have included a good covering email will make you much more likely to hear back from the recruiter regardless.