So, you’re looking for a job and you know that a critical part of your success will be your email application.
In this guide, we explain the process for writing an effective email for a job application. We don’t stop at the first application but provide examples of several follow-up emails for job applications after no response here.
Follow the advice, and you’ll stand the best chance of getting the job of your dreams (or something to fill the time until that comes along).
How to write an email for a job application
The average recruiter receives 250 applications for each post and spends no more than 7 seconds scanning your message (about the same time it takes to tie your shoes).
The key to success is standing out. That doesn’t mean trying to be witty or wacky, but being a pro is the same process you must use through all job application follow-up emails.
What you need to apply to a job via email
Let’s clarify what a job email is. It’s not a cover letter or a CV but a mechanism to deliver them.
Some people don’t bother to spend much time on an application email but get your application email wrong, and the recruiter may not even bother to read your resume or open your application letter.
Why? Because if they’re dealing with 250 responses, they’re actively looking for reasoning to exclude applications – so don’t let that be you!
Each recruiter has their own application process, but there are some pretty standard things that you’ll need to include with every application, including:
- Cover letter
- Work samples (optional, but a nice extra!)
Here's a brief explainer if you don’t know what these are.
1. Cover letter
Your cover letter is a formal part of the application process where you introduce yourself, describe your skills, why you want the job, and what value you can add for the business.
We’re not going to walk you through how to write a cover letter. However, there are some amazing online resources, so start there.
You can attach your cover letter as a Word document or PDF. It’s essential to use a file that can be downloaded, printed, and shared – so avoid using Google Docs or cloud software.
2. CV (resume)
Your CV is the story of your working life, a snapshot of your skills, and a chance to highlight your achievements. Again, we’re not going to explain how to create a compelling CV, but we recommend using a simple, easy-to-read, and understandable template.
Again, don’t try to be fancy with formats – create a document that can be downloaded, printed, and shared.
3. Samples of work (optional)
As the experts say, “show, don’t tell.” You can use your application email to showcase your skills and previous results. You can attach a portfolio, photos, or videos or provide a link to your website or social media in your email.
Some tips from us are to introduce examples and explain the impact. Who cares if you designed a great-looking poster? But if that poster boosted sales by 50%, that’s a different matter.
The second piece of advice is only to include a few examples (3 is a great number). Too many appear desperate.
Thirdly, only share work that’s 100% yours. If you worked as part of a team or an organization, make your role clear. Never claim other people’s work as your own.
Finally, be prepared to answer questions on these examples at your interview – including what you did in the process.
Best job application email tips
We’re all about providing information, advice, and terrific tips to help you get ahead of the competition and secure that essential interview.
Here are 7 job application email tips. (Why 7? Because that’s the world’s favorite number, and we couldn’t think of 10.)
1. Send your application email and CV for review
Tip number 1 is the most critical. After proofreading at least twice (or eight times), send your job application email and CV to a friend, colleague, parent, or mentor – or all of them – and ask for feedback, comments, and suggestions.
Your email will give the first impression, so make sure it’s personal, professional, formal, friendly, and favorable.
2. Make a convincing pitch in the email body
Remember that hiring managers, executives, and founders are busy and will not often open or read your full CV. So you’ll need to convince them in the email body that it’s worth their time to read further.
Think of your email as an advert for you:
- A persuasive subject line gets the attention (and may result in opened email)
- A compelling email body makes the recipient want to learn more (and may result in opened CV)
- Convincing CV makes the recipient want to contact you (and may result in an interview)
The most important thing is to reflect the language in the job spec. The recruiter has been straightforward about what they want and who they’re looking for. Using their language can help to establish that the person to fit the slot is you!
3. Make it easy to contact you
Even though you might have all the necessary contact information in your CV, please include them in the email. This reduces the steps between clicks and contact.
Here are some of the things you should include in every job application email: Use this
- full name
- phone number
- social media links (LinkedIn and Twitter)
- portfolio links (optional)
4. Use a professional email address
Sure, the email address you created when you were 12 or first started college was funny then but is it today? Unfortunately, the chances are it isn’t!
Make sure you have an appropriate email address for a job application. Creating a new email address doesn’t cost anything, and setting up alerts on your phone is simple, so why jeopardize your chances with firstname.lastname@example.org?
(Don’t email this, we don’t know who owns it!)
5. Check the name of your resume file name
We’ve touched on the importance of using the correct formats for cover letters and CVs.
When you create your CV, give the file (Word document, PDF, or whatever) a professional name that can also be identified with you.
You never know where it might end up.
Here’s a formal naming convention: “Name - CV - Position,” for example:
- Arthur Shelby - CV - Binman at Shelby Company Ltd.
6. Use references if you can
Do you know someone who works or used to work at the company? Or do you know someone who knows someone who works or used to work at the company?
Warm connections are always better than cold emailing (even if it’s unfair). As the saying goes, your network is your net worth, so try to leverage it to your advantage.
7. Include social proof
Have you already done similar work for someone else? Show it!
Social proof is powerful and backs up the statements you may have made in your application email, cover letter, and resume.
Social proof also includes social channels. LinkedIn is used worldwide, so don’t be afraid to drop in a link to your profile. It also creates a connection, so even if you don’t get this job, you’ll be the first to know of the latest opportunities.
Job application email format
Job application emails aren’t the time to get creative or buck the trend. However, there’s an accepted format for all job application emails, which we break down below.
1. Subject line for job application email
What’s a suitable email title for a job application? You could go crazy and say, “I’m perfect for this job!!!” but that would be silly. Instead, the subject line for your job application email should be simple to read and easy to understand.
The traditional (and still best) approach is to state your name and the job you’re applying for (or a combination of that). Here are a few examples:
Applying for a job probably is the best place to get creative, so stick to a simple subject line for your job application emails.
2. Email greeting for job application
Your email greeting should be polite and professional. Examples of that include:
- Dear (an oldie, but a goodie!)
If you know the recruiter's name, then use it. People always love to receive emails addressed to them. One thing to avoid is the phrase “Dear Sir/Madam” or using formal titles such as Mr, Mrs, or Ms. We’ve got a whole world of possibilities, so it’s time we all moved on from traditional (old-fashioned) titles.
3. How to start a job application email
First up, state the purpose of your email.
- I am applying for the post of (job name)
Doing this means the person understands what the message is about – which will save them time. Also, in many cases, the person receiving the email won’t be the recruiter, so they can file it away and share it with the person (or persons) who need to see it.
After that, you’ll need to explain what you’ve included with the email (your resume, cover letter, and examples). It’s always worth providing at least a few positive sentences on the opportunity. Finally, you’ll need to include any requested information, such as salary expectations.
4. How to end an email job application
There are conflicting opinions on how to end an email job application. We recommend asking for information on the next steps. Here’s how this can work:
- Please can you provide me with details on the next steps in the process?
This leaves the recipient in no doubt that you’re serious about your application. If they reply, you’ll be reassured that they’ve received your application. Finally, you’ll know the timescales for decision-making, which removes the need to send a follow-up.
Always ask for the next steps in the process at the end of every email job application.
5. Email signature for job application
Sign off with your full name, phone number, and social media links (LinkedIn and Twitter), and attach your CV. Provide all information the recipient will need to contact and connect with you.
Job application email samples
We’ve talked a lot about the process; now, let’s put it into practice! These job application email samples cover 7 common situations you might experience when searching for a job. You’ll get a simple job application email sample, some application follow-up emails, and even how to withdraw an application if needed.
Use these job application email examples to start your job search, but edit and update them to suit your specific circumstances.
1. Simple job application email sample
This simple job application email sample can be cut, pasted, edited, and amended for pretty much any opportunity. It’s not exciting or innovative, but it provides a structured way to communicate the critical points you need to.
2. Email introduction for job application sample
The previous email sample covered how to apply for a job, this one is similar, but it’s about introducing yourself to the recruiter. This introduction approach is a great way to make a personal connection and can work well for several situations.
3. Job application status email sample
We’re clear that you should always ask for details on the next steps in the recruitment process, but as we all know, real life doesn’t always follow rigid plans. This job application status email sample is a way to politely push the recruiter to let you know what’s happening in the recruitment process.
4. Withdraw the job application email sample
Yes, there are some occasions when you might need to withdraw a job application, in most cases because you’ve got another job.
You don’t need to explain why you’re removing yourself from a recruitment process, but most people usually do (and we have in this withdraw job application email sample).
5. How to email HR for a job application update
When emailing the recruiting managers, you’ll need to be formal as they decide your destiny. On the other hand, HR teams deal with large volumes of applications, so this short message is fine. Here’s how to email HR for a job application update.
6. How to write an email to accept a job offer
Hooray, you’ve been offered a job; now it’s time to say yes. Here’s how to write an email to accept a job offer.
Job application email template
Flowrite's email template for job application
There is no 100% right or wrong way to send a job application. But having an effective email template, using proper grammar, and email format will help, as you need to most likely send many, many emails to land your dream job.
This is where Flowrite comes in. Flowrite's AI-powered smart templates can help you craft better emails.
Our tool turns your words into ready-to-send emails, like this:
Final words on job application emails
It’s the way the world of recruitment works, and we know it can be frustrating.
But trust us, by investing some time crafting high-quality job application emails and persuasive follow-ups, you’ll stand the best chance of getting a perfect position.
Supercharge your communication with Flowrite
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