Emailing Your Cover Letter and Resume

When applying to a specific job, always follow the directions from the employer about how to apply.  Many will ask that your resume and cover letter be uploaded into their application management system.  However, there may be times when you'll want to send your resume and cover letter via email.  This could be when you're applying to a smaller organization, or sending info to a networking contact. When sending your cover letter and resume electronically, again, check to see if there are any instructions and if yes, carefully follow the instructions.

Sending as Email Attachments

  • Make the resume and cover letter separate attachments. Save your resume and cover letter into Word or a PDF document.  A PDF will retain your formatting, and is most common.
  • Use your own name in the title you give your document, so the employer will be able to identify it when looking through documents for your resume or cover letter.  Give them names the employer will associate with you once they are downloaded, for example: NancyAustinCoverLetter.pdf, not CoverLetter.pdf!
  • Send your documents electronically to yourself and to a friend to make sure they're easy to open, the formatting is good, and they're virus-free.
  • In the Subject line, use your own name, and put the name of the position for which you are applying. In your email message, briefly say why you are writing. 
  • Be sure to include your contact information as part of your email signature. 

For example:

Subject Line: Nancy Austin - Grant Writer

Dear Mr. Rogers:

I am applying for the position of Grant Writer at Friends of the Earth, which I saw posted on Handshake at Hampshire College. I'm extremely enthusiastic about this opportunity and believe I am well qualified.

I've worked in the Advancement Office of my alma mater as a student, and as a Grants Assistant at another nonprofit, the Humane Letters Association of Connecticut, since graduation. At both organizations I was involved in researching potential grants, tracking contacts and gifts, and at times writing for grants. I enjoy writing, and at the Humane Letters Association of Connecticut, started drafting emails to both volunteers and potential donors, and drafting more of the grant applications. I very much enjoy research and writing for specific grants and look forward to being focusing on grant writing.

My cover letter and resume are attached for your review. I'd welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the position and how I might contribute at Friends of the Earth.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Nancy Austin
YourEmail@email.com
(444) 444.4444

Sending Your Cover Letter in the Body of the Email

  • This is another option for your cover letter.  You can enter your cover letter into the body of the email, instead of attaching it. Set it up in Business (Block) Style, with everything justified to the left.
  • Send the email to yourself and a friend, to check for problems before sending the letter to an employer.