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Sending a Cover Letter and Résumé Via Email

Keep in mind several special instructions when you’re sending your cover letter (and résumé) via email.

First, make sure you use an appropriate subject line. Review the position application’s instructions to see if it tells you a specific subject line you should use. If it doesn't, use a simple and appropriate phrase like "Experienced Art History Grad for Exhibitions Manager” or “POSITION NAME application - FIRST AND LAST NAME.”

Include a greeting, and keep the body of your email short, unless the application instructions say otherwise. Ideally, you should type no more than one or two brief paragraphs. Introduce yourself and state that your résumé and cover letter are attached. Keep the tone somewhat formal, and make sure you adhere to the basics of good written communication (e.g., proper greeting, excellent grammar and spelling, proper salutation).

Review the application instructions to see exactly how the employer would like you to submit your documents. Are they supposed to be attachments, or pasted as text into the body of the email? Does the employer specify what type of documents to send? If nothing is specified, attach your résumé and cover letter to the email, both as PDF documents.

Finally, remember to include a closing sentence (followed by your name) within your email. 

Spell check and proofread everything, then send your email (with attachments if you’re using them) to yourself before sending the final email to the employer. That way you can make sure everything looks normal and that all of your attachments open properly.

The CLA Career Readiness Guide talks about cover letters and a host of other career-related topics in depth. Access it online, or pick up a copy in CLA Career Services or in one of the CLA Academic Advising offices.