How to Address an Email Cover Letter

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Hiring managers get a lot of email each day. Make it easy for them to scan your email and follow-up by including a clear subject line and a signature with your contact information. It's important to address the email cover letter correctly, including the name of the person hiring for the position if you have a contact, to ensure that your letter gets noticed.

When you're sending an email, it's important to make sure that your cover letter and resume are written as well as any other business correspondence.

If you can, have a friend proofread before you hit send, to pick up any typos or grammatical errors.

How to Address an Email Cover Letter

When you are applying for jobs, you will often need to send your cover letter by email. Read the directions in the job posting carefully, and include the required materials in the requested format. Make sure you pay careful attention to what they ask for, when. Hiring managers have specific practices to follow regarding how they evaluate candidates.

Don’t get yourself knocked out of contention by not including something like a cover letter with your application materials if they ask for one. Here are tips on how to address an email cover letter, including what to do when you don't have the name of a contact, or if you have a contact's name, but are uncertain of person's gender.

Subject Line of Email Message

Never leave the subject line blank. There is a good chance that if a hiring manager receives an email with no subject line, they’ll delete it without even bothering to open it.

Instead, use that space to clearly communicate the content of your email.

List the job you are applying for in the subject line of your email message, so the employer knows what job you are interested in as well. They may be hiring for multiple positions, and you will want them to easily identify the position you’re interested in.

Addressing the Contact Person

There are a variety of cover letter salutations you can use to address your email message. If you have a contact person at the company, address the letter to Ms. or Mr. Lastname. If you aren’t given a contact person, check to see if you can determine the email recipient's name.

If you can’t find a contact person at the company, you can either leave off the salutation from your cover letter and start with the first paragraph of your letter or use a general salutation.

Employers who responded to a recent employer survey conducted by Saddleback College preferred:

  • Dear Hiring Manager (27%)
  • To Whom It May Concern (17%)
  • Dear Sir/Madam (17%)
  • Dear Human Resources Director (6%)
  • Leave it blank (8%)

Follow the salutation with a colon or comma, and then on the next line start the first paragraph of your letter.

How to Address a Cover Letter for a Non-Gender Specific Name

If you do have a name, but aren't sure of the person's gender, an option is to include both the first name and the last name in your salutation:

  • Dear Sydney Smith
  • Dear Taylor Dolan

If possible, it’s a good idea to check LinkedIn, other career networking sites, and the company website to see if you can determine the gender of the contact.

As always, the extra effort is worth it to make your cover letter stand out among the many that the hiring manager will see.

Body of Email Cover Letter

The body of your cover letter lets the employer know what position you are applying for, and why the employer should select you for an interview. This is where you'll really sell yourself as a candidate. Review the job posting and include examples of your attributes that closely match the ones they are looking for.

Conclusion

If you have attached your resume, mention it in your conclusion. Then finish your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow-up.

Closing

Include a closing, then list your name and your email signature.

Signature

Your email signature should include your name, full address, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn Profile URL (if you have one) so it is easy for hiring managers to get in touch.

Firstname Lastname
Street Address
City, State, Zip
Email
Cell
LinkedIn

More About Email Cover Letters
When you're sending an email cover letter, it's important to follow the employer's instructions on how to submit your cover letter and resume, and to make sure that your email cover letters are written as well as any other correspondence you send.

How to Write a Cover Letter
How to write a cover letter, including what to include in your cover letter, how to write a cover letter, cover letter format, targeted cover letters, and cover letter samples and examples