How to Write an Eye-Catching Job Application Email

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Learn how to apply for a job via email and get attention for your unique professional story.

[Featured image] A woman wearing an orange turtleneck sits at home in front of her laptop working on a job application email.

There are a variety of ways to apply for a job. While many companies now rely on an applicant tracking system or ATS, others may require that you apply via email. In this article, we’ll go over what you need to apply for a job via email, how to write a standout email, and other tips you can use when applying for jobs in this manner.  

What is a job application email? 

There may be times when a company requires that you submit your job application via email, rather than through a job portal like an ATS. When that happens, they will typically outline how to do so in the job description, noting what materials you should send, the email address you should use, and even potentially what you should note in the subject line. 

What you need to apply to a job via email 

When you apply using email, you will have three major requirements: a clear subject line; the email body in which you explain who you are, your qualifications, and your interest in the role; and attachments

There are two options when it comes to the body of your email: 

  • Abbreviated cover letter: If you choose to attach your cover letter, consider abbreviating it in the body of your email so that the recruiter or hiring manager gets a sense of your experience and skills. 

  • Full cover letter: Rather than attach your cover letter, you can copy and paste it into the body of your email. With this option, your email body will function as your full cover letter. 

What attachments should you include in a job application email? 

It’s important to review the job description and take note of requested attachments and any formatting specifications, such as whether you should submit your materials as PDFs or another file extension. 

Typical email job application attachments: 

  • Resume

  • Cover letter 

  • Portfolio samples 

A job application email differs from a job application follow-up email in which a candidate reaches out via email to a recruiter or hiring manager after first applying for a job elsewhere, usually via an ATS.

Placeholder

How to write a job application email 

As you would with any other job application, take time to review the job description, identifying the experience and skills you have that align directly with the role. These details will inform your email body (cover letter) and will also convey the research you’ve done about the role and company. 

Once you have all the relevant information, it’s time to begin crafting your email. 

1. Write a clear subject line. 

The subject line of your email needs to state your reason for writing. A job description may specify what you should include. If not, craft a clear subject line that states your reason for writing and your name. For example, “Application: Position Title, Your Name” or “Application for Position Title: Your name.”   

2. Include a salutation.

Review the job description to see whether the company wants you to address your email to a specific employee or hiring manager. If not, you may determine who the hiring manager is by researching their title on the company’s LinkedIn page. If that information is not available, keep your salutation generic with a simple “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear [Department] Hiring Team.” Learn more about how to address a cover letter.   

3. Introduce yourself in the first sentence. 

Get direct in your first sentence and treat it like a resume objective. State who you are, the amount of experience you have or what you’re currently doing, and that you’re writing to apply for the role. If someone referred you, mention it. 

4. Turn your cover letter into the body of your email. 

The body of your email can either be your full cover letter (if you choose not to attach it) or an abbreviated version of your cover letter (if you choose to attach it). As with a standard cover letter, you’ll want to discuss your experience, your unique fit for the role, and any accomplishments that speak to your larger impact.  

5. Close with details.

As you conclude your email cover letter, reiterate what you want and why you’re interested in this role at this particular company. State the documents you’ve attached and your availability for next steps.  

6. Sign your email. 

Sign your email with your contact information, including your full name, phone number, and email. If you have a website, include the address. 

7. Attach your materials. 

Make sure to attach all required materials, such as your resume, in the appropriate format. 

8. Proofread before you hit “send.” 

Review your email for any typos or grammatical mistakes. As with a formal cover letter, you want to make sure your email is error-free so a recruiter or hiring manager can see your attention to detail.  

Learn more: How to Use Resume Sections to Shape Your Professional Story

Job application email samples 

Below, you’ll find two sample job application emails, one from a recent graduate with little experience and another from a mid-career applicant seeking to advance.

Recent graduate 

[Subject line] Application: Junior graphic designer, Kenan Sampson

Dear Creative Hiring Team: 

My name is Kenan Sampson, and I’m writing to apply for the junior graphic designer role on your team at X. I recently graduated with my BFA in graphic design. 

I’ve been especially impressed with X’s B-corp status and its mission to connect volunteers with meaningful and impactful experiences. During my time at XYZ University, I volunteered with a local composting group while completing two separate internships, one at the creative agency ABC Designs and the other at A to Z Corporation. 

During my internships I: 

  • Designed original assets, including logos, landing pages, and templates

  • Retouched work to meet each client’s specifications 

  • Met with clients as part of the graphic design team to receive and implement feedback 

I appreciate the challenge of bringing an idea to life through visual web-based mediums, and I’m interested in applying my experience to your company’s needs. I’m an organized team player with strong attention to detail, traits that will serve me well at X. 

I’ve attached my resume and two samples of work I completed as part of my internships. I’m available to discuss my experience and skills at your convenience. 

Sincerely, 

Kenan Sampson

ksampson@email.com

555-555-5555 

Career advancer 

[Clear subject line] Senior copywriter application: Samantha Dent

Dear Mr. Morley: 

I’m writing to apply for the senior copywriter role at X. My name is Samantha Dent and I have over six years of experience strategizing, creating, and revising compelling copy for an array of e-commerce brands, such as X, Y, and Z. 

Most recently, I’ve been working as a copywriter at ABC, a company dedicated to servicing small businesses in the e-commerce space. I handle copy needs for six different clients, ranging from plant delivery services to cookware. I regularly develop distinctive value-driven language for each digital campaign that drives action, and my clients see results thanks to those efforts. For instance, X experienced a 3% increase in sales and a 12% increase in engagement across their social media platforms after our most recent end-of-the-year campaign. 

I’ve appreciated my time at ABC, but I’m eager to continue growing in my career. I’m now interested in finding a senior copywriter role at a company that prioritizes empathetic, values-first copy. I believe that opportunity is at X, where I can more impactfully manage campaigns and contribute to the team’s strategy and leadership. 

I’ve attached my resume, a more in-depth cover letter, and writing samples. I look forward to discussing this role in more detail. 

Sincerely, 

Samantha Dent 

555-555-5555

sdent@email.com

sdent.website 

Next steps 

Gain help writing professional emails or letters with the University of Colorado Boulder’s Business Writing course, available on Coursera. Get access to this and more than 7,000 other courses, guided projects, specializations, and professional certificates with Coursera Plus.  

Placeholder

course

Business Writing

Writing well is one of the most important skills you can develop to be successful in the business world. Over seventy companies and thirty thousand ...

4.8

(3,955 ratings)

134,394 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 1 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Grammar, Communication, Business Writing, Writing

Related articles

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

Learn without limits