Shoot the hiring manager a well-crafted email, and secure that interview fast!

A job application email, perhaps the first thing that a recruiter or hiring manager will receive from you, should be set to wow in a matter of seconds. But how do you get it right? Creating a short yet engaging email doesn't happen by accident. You need to approach it logically and strategically. In the following guide, we take a look at how to write a job application email, plus an example for inspiration.

When should you send a job application email?

Before we look at how to write a job application email, let's talk about why you might find yourself needing to send one in the first place. There are a few instances when it's appropriate to attach an application to your email. Let's break down the most common scenarios:

Speculative emails

Let's say there's a company you want to work for, but they aren't advertising any vacancies. What do you do? There's nothing wrong with sending a quick speculative email

Before a job is formally listed or advertised, you could luck out by sending the right email at the right time. Sharing your availability, your interest in working for the company, and your expertise won't do you any harm. 

Worst case scenario: there are no openings available. All the same, the hiring manager can keep your CV on file to get in touch with you if something comes up soon. Be sure to address your e-letter appropriately by looking up the manager's name and contact details.

Replies to adverts 

The next type of job application email is more common. You see an opening advertised online, and the listing says to apply via email. You should know the drill by now. 

Often enough, the listing will include specific requirements. For example, it may say that you need to apply with your CV file attached to your email. It might also ask you to write and attach a separate cover letter. Be sure to pay close attention to the original job posting and follow the email application instructions carefully.  

Keep in mind that the HR manager or recruiter will likely get a flurry of replies to the advert. For that reason, you're going to have to work hard at making your application stand out from the crowd. Hooking their attention, and keeping it, is the key to success – our guide below should cover that for you!

Application forms

Are you filling out an application form? If so, make sure that you read the instructions thoroughly. Some job advert will suggest sending a job application email in place of a cover letter. If that's the case, be sure to follow that advice to a tee, covering all the points, if any, specified by the recruiter or hiring manager.

Remember, if you're sending a job application email instead of a cover letter, that e-letter should be more extensive. You want to make sure that this email hits the same points that you would in a formal cover letter. 

How to write a job application email 

Okay, so you're ready to write your job application email. Follow these five steps to keep your message professionally crafted and spot-on:

1. Write an eye-catching subject line

The first thing you need to consider is your email subject line. You don't have much space here. Ideally, your subject line should be no more than 30 characters, allowing it to be read quickly and easily on a mobile phone.

When crafting your job application email subject line, remember to: 

Get straight to the point 

If time is of the essence, don't waste it. For example, for a speculative email, you should include your name, your profession, and/or your area of expertise in the email subject. So, you might write “Donald Grange, SEO Specialist.” In less than 30 characters, you've told the recipient who you are and what your specialism is. If they're looking for an SEO specialist, you just made it to their list. 

Follow the advert guidance 

If you're replying to a job posting, follow the guidance there. Usually, that means indicating your name, the word “application,” the job advert title, and the reference number in the email subject as you apply for the job. Your email subject line may read “Maria Potts application, Content Manager 092212”. While that goes over the 30-character limit, it's important to get the reference number in there. 

Include some keywords 

It may be wise to include some choice keywords in the email subject too. As you're writing it, review the advert – are there any specific words you can pick out there? For example, if the posting says “experienced” in it, you might want to include this in front of the job title. You could write “Sam Jones application, Experienced Plumber 2385,” for instance. 

2. Kick things off with a positive introduction

Next up, you need to work on your introduction. These first few lines help set the tone for the rest of your email. You don't have long to grab the hiring manager's attention. That's why writing a catchy and engaging email introduction is so important. Consider including the following: 

Hook. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or biggest talent. You want to grab the reader's attention with something special quickly. 

Pitch. Why are you the perfect fit for this job? What is it that makes you the right candidate, and how can you prove it? Briefly provide evidence that will get the reader wanting more.

You may also want to note where you saw the job advert. For example, if you saw the advert on a specific job board, you can indicate that information here.

Email introduction dos:

  • Begin your email with a formal greeting, e.g. “Dear Mr. Smith”

  • State the reason for your email immediately, e.g. “ I am writing to apply for the role of…”

  • State whether you have been referred by a colleague

  • Show some enthusiasm for the role

Email introduction don'ts:

  • Be too casual or chatty, e.g. “Hey, Happy Friday!”

  • Simply start with listing your qualifications and experience

  • Presume that the hiring manager has already read your CV

  • Ask the hiring manager any questions in the introduction

3. Briefly explain why you're right for the job

The body of your email for a job application needs to be concise. It should include the specific skills, education, and expertise that make you the right person for the job. Where possible, add examples of how you've previously used your skills. You should also include any experience you've had that can help you within this new role. 

Additionally, don't make the mistake of regurgitating the very contents of your attached CV. Instead, relate your education and experience back to the requirements of the opening. 

You can also strengthen your email by quantifying any successesyou list. For example, “I helped to increase company sales by 33% last quarter” is stronger than “I helped increase company sales.” The more specific you are about your accolades, the better. 

4. Include a call to action 

When concluding your job application email, write a call-to-action (CTA) message that will encourage the reader to do something, whether that's giving you a call or requesting additional information. Keep in mind that your email is, essentially, a marketing material. You're trying to sell yourself professionally to the reader while also engaging them in the process.

At the end of your job application email, include a line such as: 

  • “Should you have further questions, please reach out to me.”

  • “If you would like me to clarify anything, don't hesitate to send me an email.”

Make sure that the reader knows that you're open to further questions. You want to spark an ongoing conversation with the hiring manager. The more intrigued they are, the better. 

5. Sign off with a formal goodbye 

Once you're happy with your job application email, it's time to sign off. Avoid using anything casual, such as “Thanks,” “Cheers,” or even “Best.”

When signing off, you can use the standard “Yours sincerely,” approach. If you have an email signature, let it do the work and don't duplicate your full name. Your signature may include your name, phone number, other contact details, portfolio, or LinkedIn profile link.

Email example for a job application 

Now that you know how to write a job application email, time to start crafting yours! If you're still unsure how to do it, don't worry. Below is a job application email example that you can use for inspiration. It should give you an idea of how to structure and write your job application email. 

Subject line: Mary Small application, Sales Manager 98212

Dear Mr. Thompson, 

I am interested in applying for the position of Sales Manager, as advertised on your company website. As an experienced sales professional with a business degree and a proven track record, I believe that I am a strong match for this opening. 

In my current position as Sales Executive at Pinky's Printers, I oversee a small sales team, gain new leads, manage the CRM, and close sales. Since starting this job three years ago, I have increased departmental sales by at least 15% each financial year. In addition, I have undertaken professional training in using Salesforce software.

I would welcome the opportunity to bring my experience and skill set to the position at IT Solutions. I am certain that my expertise makes me an excellent fit for this role and am also excited about the chance of growing within the company. 

I have attached my CV for you to review. Should you have any further questions, please send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about the role.

Yours sincerely, 

Mary Small

Sales Executive

0123 222 2468

Your checklist before hitting “send”

Here are some final tips to bear in mind to keep your email looking polished and error-free: 

  • Proofread. Make sure that your job application email, CV, and other attachments, are free of typos and common grammatical mistakes. You can also have someone you trust sense-check and review your email for you.

  • Get the basics right. It's important to get the hiring manager's name, the recipient's email address, and the name of the company right. Check all of these things as a small mistake could end up costing you big time.

  • Check the attachments. If you need to attach your CV and cover letter to the email, don't forget to do so. You should also mention these attachments in the body of the email. 

  • Keep things uniform. Make sure you've used the same font style and size throughout the body of your email. This is particularly important if you're copying parts of your CV or other references and pasting them onto your email. 

  • Double-check your signature. Consider if you want to use your email signature or not. If you're using one, keep it professional. Ensure that you have a look at the bottom of your email to see what appears there.

Get off on the right foot

Spending time and energy on your job application, from your CV down to your email message – the very first correspondence that you'll have with the hiring manager – is important. Make the right first impression by learning how to write a job application email that gets your point across while adopting a professional yet approachable tone. 

Before you send that job application email, get your CV spick and span with our free CV review and let TopCV's experts help you create a keyword-optimised application that gets you noticed.

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