Sample Email Message Formats for Job Searching

Examples of Formats for Career and Job Search Emails

When you're writing employment-related email messages, how you communicate will impact your success. Employers expect to receive well-written and error-free email messages. Because you only have a short amount of time to make an impression, keep your emails short and focused.

What to Include in a Professional Email Message

What's the best way to format the emails you send to employers and connections? An email message for employment purposes should include the following elements:

  • Subject line with your name and why you are writing.
  • Professional greeting.
  • Body of the message, which should be no longer than two or three paragraphs. The message should explain who you are, why you are writing, and what you are requesting or have to offer.
  • Professional closing.
  • Signature with your contact information: full name, email address, phone number, and mailing address. You can also include your LinkedIn Profile URL, as well as links to any social media pages you use for professional purposes.

Review Examples of Email Message Formats

Review examples of email message formats for cover letters for jobs, references, resignation letters, LinkedIn messages, farewell messages, thank you notes, as well as examples of subject lines and signatures.

Email Cover Letter Format

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When you send an email cover letter to apply for a job, it's important to follow the employer's instructions on how to submit your job application, and to make sure that your email cover letters are written and formatted properly.

The employer may ask you to include a cover letter in your email message, or you may be asked to send an attachment. When you include your letter in the email message, you simply type or copy/paste from your word processing program into the email.

If you send an email cover letter, here's how to format it.

Subject: Your Name - Job Title 

Salutation

Email Message
The first paragraph of an email cover letter should reference the job you're applying for and where you found the job posting.

Use the second paragraph, and third if you need it, to detail what you have to offer the employer and to explain why you would be a great hire.

Take the time to show the employer why you are a good match for the job. In the last paragraph of your message, thank the company for considering you for the job.

Closing

Signature

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Farewell Email Message Format

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When you're leaving your job, it's always a good idea to send personalized farewell emails or messages via LinkedIn, rather than group messages, so your farewell message is personal. Include your contact information, so your co-workers can stay in touch.

Here's what to include in your email:

Subject: Your Name - Moving On

Salutation

Email Message
If you know the person well, you can send an informal message relaying your plans for the future. For other colleagues and clients, send a formal farewell message.

Mention that you're moving on, share your appreciation and thanks, and add a request to stay in touch.

Include your personal contact information in the message or in your signature, so it's easy to stay connected.

Closing

Signature

Read More: Farewell Letter Samples More

LinkedIn Message Format

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When sending messages and invitations on LinkedIn, your communications should be professional and well written. Format your letter as you would an email message. Explain why you are inviting the person to connect with you or requesting information or assistance.

Be sure to mention how you know you're connected and what advice or assistance you need. Include your contact information (email and phone number) in your message, so it's easy to connect outside of LinkedIn.

Review these guidelines for sending LinkedIn invitations and messages for more information on what to include in each type of correspondence. More

Networking Message Format

You only get out what you're willing to put in
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When you're networking to grow your career or boost your job search, it's important to include information on why you are writing and what type of help you are seeking. If you're writing to a friend or colleague, your message doesn't need to be formal.

If you're asking someone who doesn't know you for job search or career help, write a formal request for assistance.

Subject: Your Name - Referral (or other reason for writing)

Salutation

Email Message
What you will include in your letter will depend on who you're writing to. If you're asking for job search help from someone you know, you can be less formal than if you are requesting assistance from someone you were referred to.

In general, use your first paragraph to introduce yourself, and the following paragraphs to explain your request. Finish your letter with a request to follow-up.

Closing

Signature

Read More: Sample Networking Letters More

Reference Letter Format

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When you're emailing a reference letter for a job applicant, your message should explain your connection to the person you are recommending, including how you know them. Include as much detail as possible on why the person is qualified for the job for which they are applying.

Subject: Applicant's Name - Recommendation

Salutation

Email Message
The first paragraph of the reference letter explains how you know the person you are recommending and why you are qualified to recommend them.

In the second paragraph, share details on why the person is qualified for the job. In the third paragraph, state that you "highly" or "strongly" recommend the person.

Conclude your letter by offering to provide additional information to support the person's candidacy.  List your email and phone number here, as well as in your signature.

Closing

Signature

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Resignation Email Message Format

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When you're sending an email to resign, it should be brief and to the point. List your name and "resignation" in the subject line of the message. Your email only needs to include the fact that you're leaving and when your last day of work will be.

Subject: Your Name - Resignation

Salutation

Email Message
The first paragraph of your email should say that you are resigning and state when your resignation is effective. 

The next (optional) paragraph of your resignation letter thanks the employer. 

Conclude your email (also optional) by offering to assist with the transition.

Closing

Signature

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Thank You Email Message Format

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Taking the time to send a thank you message after a job interview is time well spent. In addition to thanking the interviewer for his or her time, you can reiterate your interest in the job, and share anything you forgot to mention during the interview.

Subject - Thank You - Job Title Interview

Salutation

Email Message
A thank you letter for a job interview should share your appreciation for the interviewer's time, reiterate your interest in the job, share any information you neglected to mention during the interview, and offer to provide any additional information the company may need to make a hiring decision.

Closing

Signature

Thank You Letter Articles and Advice

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How to Format Email Subject Lines

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When you're job searching, the subject line is one of the most important parts of the email messages you send to employers and networking contacts. Your email message must include a subject line. If it's blank, it's probably going to end up in a spam mailbox or being trashed.

Here are examples of email subject lines.

  • Your Name - Job Title (of the position you're applying for)
  • Your Name - Resignation
  • Your Name - Moving On
  • Your Name - Request for a Meeting
  • Your Name - Job Title Interview (of the position you interviewed for)
  • Your Name - Request for Job Search Help
  • Your Name - Career Advice
  • Your Name - Referred by [Name]

More Examples: Best Email Subject Lines for Job Applications More

How to Format Your Email Signature

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When you are using email to job search, it's important to include an email signature with all your contact information, so it's easy for hiring managers and recruiters to get in touch with you.

Here's how to format your signature in an email message:

Your Name
Email Address
Address
Phone Number

optional:
[LinkedIn URL]
[Website URL]

Review these tips for how to set up your email signature and add it automatically to each message you send. More

Professional Email Message Examples

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Review sample job search email messages and templates, cover letters, resumes, thank you letters, and more job search email communications samples. More

Job Search Email Etiquette Tips

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When you are using email to job search, it's important that all your communications are as professional as they would be if you were writing an old-fashioned paper letter. 

Here's information on what to include in your job search emails, how to make sure your email message is read, and how to make the best impression when sending professional email communications. More