Just as certain secrets can help you write a dynamic cover letter, there are also key strategies for sending email cover letters. Email cover letters are incredibly common these days. An email cover letter is a cover letter that is simply written into the body of an email. Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing a dynamic email cover letter.
Know the rules of a dynamic cover letter
Before you even think of sending an email cover letter, first make sure you understand all the rules and guidelines for writing a cover letter! These basic rules will be the same no matter what type of cover letter you are sending. Review LiveCareer's How to Write a Cover Letter page to learn the basic rules and guidelines of cover letter writing.
Don't waste your subject line
Don't ever leave the subject line of your email blank, but don't waste it by just inserting the job number. Instead, use the subject line to entice the reader into your cover letter. For example, for a director of nursing position, say something such as: "experienced nurse for director of nursing position." Another option is to include your name, the name of the position you are applying for, and the name of the company. Example - Sean McConnell - Senior Product Manager - The Gap
Your opening paragraph is critical
More than ever, your first paragraph has to be dynamic; you need to both hook the reader and then sell him or her on your abilities in that first paragraph. See the sample letter (see link below) for a dynamic email opening paragraph.
Keep your cover letter short
Brevity is critical with an email cover letter. Focus on your key selling points. Most experts say that at most, your cover letter should be two to three paragraphs -- and under 150 words. The idea is that your cover letter should not be any longer than one screen in length.
Take advantage of keywords
Use keywords pertinent to the job you are seeking, and focus on key industry buzzwords and critical skills sets. Noun phrases become more important than action verbs. Because your cover letter may be filed into a database, using critical keywords will enhance the likelihood that your cover letter and resume will be retrieved in a future search.
Stick with plain styling
When sending your email cover letter, use a plain white background -- no need to have fuzzy bears or other strange or "cute" backgrounds attached to a piece of business email.
Always use standard cover letter protocol
Just because it's an email, doesn't mean you should abandon standard business letter writing guidelines. Thus, make sure to include a salutation (ideally to an actual person; example: Dear Jack Smith) and a standard closing (such as "sincerely"). Leave blank lines between paragraphs. And avoid the use of emoticons, abbreviations, wild colors, and other cool techniques and shortcuts used in everyday emails.
Don't bother with attachments (unless requested to do so)
Some companies actually block all emails with attachments; thus, your email would never even be received if you used an attachment. If you are instructed to attach your resume to your email cover letter, include the attachment. Include a PDF version and a Word version of your resume, if possible.
Always follow the company guidelines
Many companies now have career centers on their websites. It's better to take the time and check than to send something the company doesn't want. For example, Marriott allows you to create a career management account where you can store up to five different resumes and cover letters.
Never hit "send" without thoroughly spell checking and proofreading your email letter
Don't just rely on your email software's spellchecker. Take the time to really proofread it. A simple typo could be the downfall of a brilliant cover letter. Avoid all mistakes.
Be sure to test your message before sending it to the company
Even if you're sure your letter is perfect, send it to a friend and have him/her check for the content and style one more time. Also, send the letter to another email account of yours, to make sure it goes through correctly (translation -- none of your formatting gets knocked out of place).
Get additional cover letter help via LiveCareer. Use our Cover Letter Builder to construct a top-notch email cover letter in no time at all. You can also use our Cover Letter Templates and Cover Letter Samples. And if you're resume is in need of a helping hand, put our Resume Builder to work.