Applying for a new job is a multi-step process that take a lot of work! Once you’ve done your homework, created an attention-grabbing cover letter, and whipped up a sleek resume, you’re ready to go. But there’s one important step that stands in the way: your application email.
When a job posting asks you to email your application package to the hiring manager, there’s more to it than simply attaching your assets and hitting send. What on earth do you write in that email??? Don’t let this final step phase you – composing the perfect application email is easy when you arm yourself with these insider tips from Style Nine to Five’s Founder, Christie Lohr.
What NOT to Say
Before we get into writing a great application email, let’s review a few no-nos to steer clear of. According to Christie, “Avoid anything that sounds too impersonal! Things like, “I’d like to apply for this position.” Or, “I’d appreciate the opportunity to discuss your available role,” are just like having a generic cover letter, and you’re not doing anything to make yourself stand out.”
What else to avoid? Being too casual. While you want to avoid sounding stuffy or stiff, stay away from swinging too far the other direction. “Starting an email with “Hey!” is a pet peeve of mine,” Christie says. “It’s way too informal! You’re not best friends yet.”
What to Say
Your application email should be short and sweet. It’s not a repeat of your cover letter, but is just a chance to introduce yourself and express your interest in the job. For Christie, the most important thing to say is, “Your reason WHY and make it specific and genuine.” She gives a real example of a great application email that she recently received:
I would like to formally submit my application for the Junior Recruiting Assistant position at Style Nine to Five. I am very passionate about this opportunity as I am looking for a role working directly with people and making a positive impact on their lives. I know I would be an exceptional candidate with my experience in the fashion industry and passion for helping others.
What makes this such a great example is:
• It’s short – just a couple of sentences does the trick
• It’s to the point – stating right off the bat what the email is about
• It gives a glimpse into their personality and passions
• It emphasizes why they’re a great candidate, aligning their interests with the role
• It’s authentic – not sounding phony or like a canned message
The takeaway: show them who you are by talking about why you’re applying to their company in the first place and how that makes you the ideal candidate for the role.
Don’t Forget the Subject Line!
Never, ever leave your subject line blank. A “no subject” email gives a “no interest” vibe to the hiring manager, so be sure to use this space wisely. Avoid being vague with subject lines like “Application” or “Resume,” and make it a little more lively. You want to keep it concise and straightforward, friendly, and professional. Sounds hard? Follow Christie’s no-fail subject line formula that she uses herself. A few examples:
Hello! + Digital Marketing Role
Hello! + Senior Designer Application
Hello! + Social Media Intern Opportunity
This works because it’s cheerful and energetic and cuts right to the point so the hiring manager can see at a glance what position you’re applying for. They might be recruiting for several jobs at once, so stating the job title in the subject makes it easy for them to see what your email is all about.
The Final Step: Attachments
Different versions of Word can mess with your layout and can leave those squiggly red lines under any unusual spellings. Rather than risk your hard work showing up jumbled, save your application assets as PDFs so they’ll appear to the hiring manager the exact way that you see them when you’re ready to send them off.
Name your documents consistently in a way that’s easy to understand what the hiring manager is clicking on. Christie’s recommendation? “Make it look like it’s tailored for the specific role or company rather than something generic that looks like you could use it for any job.” Here’s an example:
Yes: Jeanine Gordon – Style Nine to Five Resume
The application email doesn’t need to be a major roadblock. As we’ve seen, it can go a long way in adding that extra oomph to put you front and center in the hiring manager’s mind. It’s all in the details. Taking a few extra moments to compose a great application email is part of looking professional, and it might just be that extra nudge you need to move to the next round.
Need help whipping your resume and cover letter into shape? Style Nine to Five’s Resume & Cover Letter Refresh will leave you with application assets that will capture the hiring manager’s eye and send you straight to the top of their list.
By: Jeanine Gordon – Jeanine is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for creating stellar content for global brands and small businesses alike – specializing in fashion and lifestyle.