How to email a CV & cover letter

  • Last updated 17 Jul 2017


Gone are the days when people would post their CVs with covering letters on (shock, horror) paper, in envelopes. Nowadays you’re more likely to be asked to email them both to your prospective employer, which creates a sort of secondary level cover letter: the contents of the email itself.

But what to include? Never fear, we’re here to help.

1. Save your CV and cover letters as PDF documents

This means they are fixed and can’t be edited/altered by accident at the receiver’s end.

Depending on your word processing software, you may be able to File, Print to Adobe PDF, to save your documents as a PDF. If not, there are programmes you can use to convert a file to a PDF.

Always include your name in the file name, so it’s clear they belong to you.

2. Make sure the subject line is correct

The subject line is one of the most important parts of an email messages when applying for jobs: it should explain to the reader who you are and what job you are applying for. Sometimes a specific subject line is requested in the vacancy advert – always double check as if you send your email with an incorrect line it may not be opened.

Add a Subject to the email message before you start writing the email, that way you won't forget to include it afterwards.

3. Include an email signature

It’s important to include an email signature with all your contact information, people can get in touch with you and you look super professional.

Include your full name, your email address, and your phone number. To add a signature to your email, create one by searching “email signature” in the help task bar of which ever provider you are using.

If you can’t work it out simply, type your contact information (name, email, phone) at the bottom of your message, below your sign-off.

4. Keep it short and sweet

Your attached CV and cover letter are going to do the real talking, so keep the body of the message short, but formal.

Begin with “Dear X” if you know the name of the recipient, otherwise a “Dear Sir/Madam”.

Say you are writing to express your interest in the particular position (make sure you get the job title exactly as stated in the specification) and that you attach your cover letter and CV for their consideration.

Thank them in advance for their time and say that you hope to hear from them soon.

End with the same sign-off you would a formal letter, using “Yours sincerely” if you know their name and “Yours faithfully” if not.

It may look formal for an email but it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your career!

5. Check and send

Before you click Send, send the message to yourself to be sure all the attachments come through and your email is free from spelling/grammatical errors.

Add yourself as a BCC (“blind carbon copy”) by clicking BCC and adding your email address – this way you’ll have an exact replica (at the exact same time) of the email sent to your prospective employers, which might be useful doe future reference.

Click send, and good luck!

Read more:

School leaver CV

School leaver cover letter

Image courtesy of Bench Accounting

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