How to Write an Eye-Catching Job Application Email

Written by Coursera Staff • 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 you to 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.  

What is a job application email? 

Sometimes, 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, 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 your email so that the recruiter or hiring manager can understand 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 be your entire 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: 

  • CV

  • Cover letter 

  • Portfolio samples 

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


How to write a job application email 

As you would with any other job application, review the job description, identifying your experience and skills that align directly with the role. These details will inform your email body (cover letter) and let you know about your research 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 unavailable, keep your salutation generic with a simple 'To Whom It May Concern' or 'Dear [Department] Hiring Team'.   

3. Introduce yourself in the first sentence. 

Get direct in your first sentence and treat it like a CV 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 entire 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 of your more significant 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 company. State the documents you’ve attached and your availability for the 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 CV, 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 would like to make sure your email is error-free so that a recruiter or hiring manager can see your attention to detail.  

Job application email samples 

Below are 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, 

Dear Creative Hiring Team,

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

I’ve been incredibly impressed with X’s B-corp status and mission to connect volunteers with meaningful and impactful experiences. While at XYZ University, I volunteered with a local composting group while completing two work placements, one at the creative agency ABC Designs and the other at A to Z Corporation. 

During my work placements, 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 organised team player with strong attention to detail, traits that will serve me well at X. 

I’ve attached my CV and two samples of work I completed during my placements. I’m available to discuss my experience and skills at your convenience. 

Yours faithfully,

Simran Kaur


Career advancer 

[Clear subject line] Senior copywriter application: Samantha Dent

Dear Mr Kumar,

I’m writing to apply for the senior copywriter role at X. My name is Rahul Arora. I have over six years of experience strategising, creating, and revising compelling copy for various 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 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 prioritises empathetic, value-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 CV, a more in-depth cover letter, and writing samples. I look forward to discussing this role in more detail. 

Yours sincerely,

Rahul Arora


Next steps 

Gain help writing professional emails or letters with the University of Colorado Boulder’s Business Writing course, available on Coursera. Access this and more than 7,000 other courses, Guided Projects, Specialisations, and Professional Certificates with Coursera Plus

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