Should I Attach A Cover Letter Or Write It In The Email

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Should I attach a cover letter or write it in the email?

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Drop your resume here or choose a file . PDF & DOCX only. Max 2MB file size.

It's best to include a cover letter as a separate attachment in PDF format and also write a brief introduction in the body of the email highlighting your interest in the position and the attached cover letter. This way, the hiring manager can easily see both your email and cover letter in one place and it can also help to ensure that your formatting remains intact.

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An email cover letter

An email cover letter

Learn how to write a cover letter or email to respond to a job advert.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.



From : Laura Mazzanti To : David Kelly, HR Manager Subject : Application for sales manager position

Dear Mr Kelly,

I am writing in response to the job advertisement on the ABC Jobs website for the position of sales manager.

I have five years of experience in sales. For the last three years, I have worked as a team leader, managing a team of 20 sales assistants in a large store. I have experience in hiring, training and managing staff. I have good communication skills and I can speak Italian, Spanish and English.

I have attached my CV with more information about my background and qualifications.  

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

Laura Mazzanti

  • Be specific in the subject line and say what job you are applying for.
  • Start your email with Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms + person's surname.
  • Say where you saw the advertisement.
  • Say which job you're applying for. You can use the sentence I'm writing in response to the job advertisement for the position of … .
  • Write a short paragraph to say why you're suitable for the job. Mention your education, qualifications, work experience or skills.
  • Attach a CV (also known as a résumé in the USA) with more information about your qualifications and background.
  • End by saying I look forward to hearing from you soon or I hope to hear from you soon .
  • Sign off with Best regards or Best wishes .

What kind of information would you include in your CV or résumé?

Language level

Dear Mr. Vizitue,

I am writing in response to the job post on the DSGN Jobs website for the position of graphic designer.

I have 7 years of experience in design. For the last four years, I have worked as a freelancer with numerous creative projects and different types of clients. I have experience in motion design, infographics, typography, and artificial intelligence. I possess good communication skills and am fluent in English, German, and Finnish.

I have attached my CV along with my portfolio and additional information about my background and qualifications.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes, An Andre

  • Log in or register to post comments

In my resume, I include information about my work experience, age, education, skills, and hobbies.

In my resume, I include some information such as personal information, skills, portfolios, relevant work experience, previous workplaces, reasons for leaving jobs, and some of my outstanding personality traits.

My CV includes job experiences, educational background, and skills. Those are essentials for a resume.

In my CV I include short info about me, my professional skills and my hobby with a few of jokes. It's welcome in IT)

The kind of information that we should include in a résumé: - Personal information (Name, date of birthday, email, address, phone number...etc) - Education career - Work experiences - Skills - Habits

In my opinion, would include in CV or resume , picture person ( uniform), also information personal, Education , skills and qualification.

I would include personal information, for example, name, age, phone. Of course, there will be my soft and hard skills, work experience. And a bit of smile.

I usually include information like: my last experience in other works, my principal skills and why I want the job.

I would write down personal information such as name, address, Educational attainment, relevant skills for the job and work experience.

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  • Cover Letters

How To Email a Resume and Cover Letter Attachment

should my cover letter be the email

Ashley Nicole DeLeon / The Balance

Depending on the job for which you're applying, you may need to email your resume and cover letter to the hiring manager. That's often the case with smaller employers. For other employers, you'll apply online or via a job board.

What's the easiest way to attach your resume and cover letter to an email message? When you're asked to send a resume or cover letter via email, follow these steps to ensure you have correctly attached your documents, written an email explaining what you are sending and why, added your signature to the email, and included a subject line that will get your message opened and read by the recipient.

Key Takeaways

  • Most employers request a Microsoft Word document or a PDF file of your resume. 
  • It's easy to save your documents in the file format requested by an employer.
  • When saving your documents, use your name as the file name.
  • Include a subject line that states who you are and what job you are applying for in the email message.

Check the Employer's Instructions

When you apply for jobs via email , the employer may require you to send your resume and cover letter as an attachment to an email message. It's important to send your attachments correctly, to include all the information you need so your email message is opened and read, and to let the receiver know how they can contact you to schedule an interview.

What's most important is to follow the employer's instructions and send exactly what they have asked for in the format it's requested. If you don't, your message may end up in a spam or trash folder.

Save Your Cover Letter and Resume

When sending your cover letter and resume attachments, the first step is to save your resume as a PDF or a Word document . The job posting should specify how to send the attachment. This way, the receiver will get a copy of the resume in the original format.

If there aren't instructions on how to send your documents, submit your resume as either a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or as a PDF file. These are the formats most commonly preferred by employers, and it's easy to save the documents and add them as attachments to your email message.

You can either save your cover letter in document format or write it directly in the email message.

Save as a Word Document

If you have word processing software other than Microsoft Word, save your resume as a Word (.doc or .docx) document. File > Save As , should be an option in your program.

Save a Google Doc as a Word Document

If you don't have Microsoft Word, you can save a Word (.docx) version of a Google Doc. Select File > Download and choose Word Document (.docx).

How to Save as a PDF

Whether the employer requests a PDF file or you opt to send a PDF, here's how to convert a document file.

To save a Word document as a PDF:

  • Select  File > Save As  in Microsoft Word.
  • Select  PDF  from the  Format  drop-down menu.

To save a Google Doc as a PDF:

  • Select  File > Download and choose  PDF Document .

Choose a Unique File Name

When saving your document, use your name as the file name , so the employer knows whose resume and cover letter it is, i.e., janedoeresume.doc and janedoecoverletter.doc.

Don't use "resume" as a file name, because it will be hard to differentiate your resume from those of the other applicants.

Include a Subject in the Email Message

The subject line is one of the most important parts of the email messages you send to apply for jobs. If you don't include one, your message may not even get opened. 

Your email message must include a subject line, and it should explain to the reader who you are and what job you are applying for. Be specific, so the recipient knows what he or she is receiving. Employers often hire for many positions at the same time, so include both your name and the job title.

Add a subject to the email message before you start writing it. That way, you won't forget to include it afterward.

Here's what to write:

Subject: Your Name - Job Title

If the employer requests additional information, like a job ID number, be sure to include that too.

Write an Email Message to Send With Your Resume

Once you have saved your resume and cover letter and they are ready to send, the next step is to write an email message to send with your documents.

First, open your email account. Then click on Message at the top left of the screen or click on File > New > Message .

You can either write your cover letter as part of the email message or send it as an attachment. Here's how:

Write Directly in the Email

You can either type your cover letter directly into the email message , copy and paste it from a word processing document, or if the company requests an attachment, send your cover letter and resume with the email message. So, your choices are to send a cover letter attachment or to use the email message as your cover letter.

If you are attaching a cover letter, your email message can be brief. Simply state that your resume and cover letter are attached. Offer to provide additional information and let the reader know how you can be contacted.

Be sure to follow the directions in the job posting for how to apply when sending your cover letter and resume or your application may not be considered.

Adding Your Signature To the Email

It is important to include an email signature with your contact information, so it's easy for hiring managers and recruiters to get in touch with you.

Include your full name, your email address, and your phone number in your email signature, so the hiring manager can see, at a glance, how to contact you. If you have a LinkedIn profile , include it in your signature. Do the same with any other social media accounts you use for career and business purposes.

Sample Email Signature

Jared Harshbarner 617-123-3790

How To Add Your Signature

To add your signature to your email message, click on File > Insert > Signature , if you have a signature saved that you use for job searching. If you haven't created an email signature, type your contact information (name, email address, phone, LinkedIn) at the bottom of your message.

Attach Your Resume and Cover Letter to an Email Message

Once your email message is ready to send, you need to attach your resume and cover letter to your message:

Click on Insert > Attach File. Your email client will display a list of files in the default file folder of your computer. If your resume and cover letter are stored in a different folder, click on the appropriate folder.

Click to select the file you want to add to your email message , and then click on Insert to attach the document to your email message. Take the time to carefully proofread the message before you send it.

Before you click Send , send the message to yourself to be sure all the attachments come through, and your email message is perfect.

Send a copy of the message to yourself, as well as to the company, so you have a copy for your records. Add yourself as a Bcc (blind carbon copy) by clicking Bcc and adding your email address.

Then click Send , and your cover letter and your resume will be on their way to the employer.

Review a Sample Email Message

Here's a sample email message sent with resume and cover letter attachments to apply for a job.

Subject: Sarah Smith – Museum Docent

Dear Ms. Cooper,

I’m writing to apply for the summer docent program at the Museum of Local History.

I have extensive docent experience, having volunteered at both the Harbor Museum and ABC Art, and have led tours both as a student leader and a member of the town historical society. In addition, I’m a lifelong town resident and an enthusiastic amateur historian.

I’ve attached my cover letter and resume for your review. I hope you’ll contact me at your convenience to discuss the program and arrange an interview. Thank you for your time.

Sarah Smith 555-555-1234

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it better to send a word document or a pdf to apply for a job.

A PDF file retains the format of your resume and letter, so the recipient will see them as you wrote them when they open the file(s) you send. A Word document is easily read by the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that employers use to manage job applications. What's most important is to follow the company's application guidelines.

How can I be sure my documents are formatted correctly?

Send a test message, and email your resume and cover letter to yourself before you send it to the employer. That way, you'll know your documents are formatted and attached correctly.

ZipJob. “ Resume PDF or Word: The Best File Format in 2022 ."

Google. " Create, View, or Download a File ."

Microsoft. " Save or Convert to PDF or XPS in Office Desktop Apps ."

Adobe. " How to Convert a Google Doc to a PDF ."

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How to Address a Cover Letter: Tips + Examples for Every Type

Learn how to address a cover letter under different circumstances and how to find a contact to send the letter to when you don’t have a name.

[Featured Image]: A woman with curly hair and in a yellow blouse is examining a cover letter she is working on.

When you're applying for a job or contacting an employer speculatively, the format of your cover letter will vary depending on whether you have a named contact and the reason for your letter. It's important that you address a cover letter properly as it's the first thing the reader will see, so you should strive to make a good first impression with it.

In this article, you'll learn what a cover letter is and why it's important along with tips on how to address different recipients for various types of cover letters.

What is a cover letter and why is it important?

A cover letter is a document sent in conjunction with your resume or application for a job opening. A great cover letter expresses your reason for applying and pulls together all the main evidence supporting why you're the best person for the job, as outlined in your resume, application, and any other supporting documents.

Each cover letter you write is highly tailored to the position you’re applying for and the hiring company. It should address essential criteria and elaborate on important points in your resume. Consider your cover letter to be your sales pitch. A great cover letter will be an invitation for a recruiter to read your resume or application.

Who do you address a cover letter to?

Your cover letter should be addressed to the person responsible for recruitment. If you don’t know the name of the person, there are ways to find out. Getting this can be the difference between your letter being read or lost in the pile, so follow the guidelines below to make sure you address your cover letter most effectively.

Addressing a cover letter with a name

If you have a name for your recipient, this is the best start. It means the letter will likely be delivered to the appropriate person, rather than get lost or sent to someone without the decision-making power you require.

A cover letter is a formal document, and so it should be addressed as such. The most professional way to do this is with “Dear.” For example:

Dear Mr. Miller,

Dear Ms. Jones,

Dear Dr. Lopez,

If you don’t know the person’s gender or preferred pronouns, you can use their first name. For example: “Dear James Miller.” Follow the salutation with a comma. 

What about "Mrs."?

Traditionally, "Mrs." was used to address married women who took their partner's surname after they tied the knot. Today, though, it's less common in professional settings and likely best to avoid, unless your recipient has explicitly used it to refer to themselves in their correspondence with you.

For female identifying recruiters, u se "Ms." instead of "Mrs." in most cases. This will help ensure that you don't inadvertently offend your recipient, who may be unmarried or who is married but didn't adopt their partner's last name.

Addressing a cover letter to a recipient with a professional title

If the recipient of your cover letter has a professional title, always include it. Someone with a PhD will be "Dr." rather than "Mr./Ms." This also makes things easier if you are unsure of which personal pronoun to use.

Addressing a cover letter without a named recipient

When you're uncertain what the name of your recipient is, it’s definitely worth taking the time to find it. This is covered in more detail in our "First steps in determining a recipient" section below.

But, if you absolutely can’t find a name, address your cover letter to the appropriate department within the company or organization. For example: “Dear [Department] Hiring Team.” If you know the job title of the person you need to send your letter to and it’s just their actual name that eludes you, address their position instead. For instance: “Dear Head of [Department]” or “Dear Director of [Department].”

Addressing a speculative cover letter

When writing a speculative cover letter—one that isn't in response to a job posting—the principles are much like the above. You may or may not know the name of the person you're trying to reach. If you do, so much the better. Include the name.

The difference with a speculative letter is that you may have been given the name of the appropriate recipient by a mutual connection. If this is the case, mention that connection in your introduction. For example:

Dear Mr. Morris, 

I was given your details by my former employer, Jenny Lee, of Brandenburg and Associates following news of the development of your new customer service department.

Addressing a cover letter sent by email

Addressing a cover letter to send via email is slightly different from a printed letter. A printed letter would include the address of the recipient and the date, which is not necessary in an email, as the letter will simply be the body of the email.

However, your email still needs to be as professional as a traditional cover letter. Use a formal way of addressing the letter, just as you would in a printed cover letter. 

The subject line is all-important with an email cover letter in order to be noticed amid the hundreds of emails a recruiter might receive. Include your name, the job title you’re applying for or reason for contact, and what is included in the documents you're sending. An example of an appropriate email subject line might be:

Helen Williams – Marketing Manager Position – resume and cover letter

If you have a recipient’s name but you're sending your email to an ‘info’ address, you can include ‘ FAO ’ (For the attention of) in your title:

FAO Mark Booth – Helen Williams – Marketing Manager Position

How to find the right recipient

If you don’t have a recipient for your cover letter, you'll need to do some research. It might even be the case that you have a name, but not an email address. Here are some tips for hunting down elusive contacts and their addresses.

1. Research websites

Check out the company website and social media sites. Use Google to piece together what you know and find details on lesser-known websites, such as About pages. For example, if you know the desired department to contact, you can search for, “Head of Marketing for [Department]” and see what it brings up.

If you have a name but no contact address, you can search your contact: “Mr Jones, Head of Marketing at [Company].” You may be lucky enough to find a social media page this way, if not a contact email address.

2. Call the company

The good old-fashioned telephone is an excellent way to find out a contact for your cover letter. Call the company, explain why you are calling, and ask them to whom you should send your cover letter and resume.

3. Check LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great tool for finding people thanks to its built-in and highly effective search function. You can search by the person's name if you have one, and for more advanced searches, you can even add in the company and location. If you find the person you’re looking for, you will see a ‘Contact info’ link on their profile under their name, so you can attempt to message them and ask. 

If you don’t have a name, you can search the company and see who is listed as an employee. If the person you want isn’t listed, you may be able to contact someone in a related department, such as HR, and ask for assistance. You may even be able to get an introduction from a mutual connection.

Read more: Letter of Introduction Writing Guide + Samples

Formatting your cover letter

The format of your letter is as important as who you send it to. When you’ve put in the effort of tracking down the most appropriate recipient, you’re going to want the rest of the letter to stand out, too.

Address and date

Your letter should be professionally formatted with your name, address, phone number, and email address in the top left. On the next line down, add the date, followed by the name and address of the recipient. As with any document, you begin writing the cover letter with ‘Dear [Name]’ on the left of the page.

If you are sending your letter digitally, which is far more common these days, your letter should be in the body of the text and you need to include the date, your city/state, phone number and email address at the top, but not the recipient's name and address. 

Cover letter template

Using a cover letter template can be very helpful. Generally, cover letters follow the same format (aside from the address at the top) and should ideally be no longer than a page, whether they are printed or emailed. Feel free to download this cover letter template for your use.

Get started

When deciding how to address a cover letter and who to send it to, your efforts in finding the right person and formatting your cover letter professionally can help you get the interview you're looking for. For further help on crafting cover letters that get you noticed, you can check out the Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters course offered by the University of Maryland on Coursera. 

Keep reading

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.

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