Email Cover Letter

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In some ways, writing an email cover letter is easier and harder than creating a snail-mail cover letter. Editing, copying, pasting, and choosing "stationery" are all easier-the latter especially so, since patterns and designs are not well-received in business email correspondence, and of course the quality of the "paper" has no range in email. On the other hand, imparting a personal feel to an emailed cover letter is harder to achieve. Moreover, the email may be more likely to get permanently "lost" if there is a very high volume of responses to a job posting mixed in with unrelated inbox emails and it gets accidentally or otherwise deleted.

Even if you email address is perfectly respectable, be sure that the identifier you used with it is too. For example, you don't want to have "Jacktheripper " popping up in an HR manager's inbox. Such identifiers can generally be set and reset in your account settings.

Because many employers are relying on electronic submissions in order to fill prospective job positions, the odds are excellent that any job seeker in this day and age will at some point be requested to submit his or her resume electronically. When it is sent this way, the e-mail serves the same purpose that a paper cover letter would serve if the resume were being mailed to the employer.

All of the basic rules of cover letters apply to email cover letters as well, as well as some additional rules. In particular, a job seeker should be aware of the "image" of the mail address he or she is using to send the email as well as that of any alternate email addresses owned. Additionally, it is very important to confirm the specific email addresses of the intended recipients. A simple, professional email address is preferable to something such as [email protected] or [email protected]; mistyping or misidentifying the intended recipient's email address will guarantee a failed application.

Fortunately, owing to Internet services such as Yahoo, Google and Hotmail, it is relatively easy and inexpensive to set up a professional email address if one does not have one already. Another email pitfall to avoid is the temptation to be much more informal in email than with a written letter. When the email is a cover letter for a resume, however, that tendency could be fatal to the job seeker's job search hopes.

An email cover letter should be written with an appropriate subject heading ("Hey yo!" won't cut it) and the body of the letter should be carefully proofread for both grammatical and spelling errors. Just like a paper cover letter, the email cover letter needs to be direct, with simple, direct language that is written to communicate essential information.

Take care not to mix fonts, inadvertently italicize, boldface or underline text and be sure to utilize these features only sparingly. To protect your archive from loss and to prevent accidental duplication of applications, send a copy as a cc to an alternate email you have registered, as back up and insurance against accidental loss of your incoming or outbound emails.

If, like many, you are using a cover letter as a template from which to copy everything but the names and other identifiers of the recipients or their associated and named products, locations, etc., be absolutely sure to uniformly replace all of them with their replacements before hitting "send".
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