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Letter to send with resume

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Letter to send with resume
December 31, 2018 Wedding Anniversary Wishes 3 comments

Yes - with a caveat. Unless explicitly stated "No cover letters please" (which is extremely rare) you can assume "send us a resume" is code for "send us a resume.

Once you have saved your resume and cover letter and they are ready to send, the next step is to write an email message to send with your documents.

First, open your email account. Then click on Message at the top left of the screen or click on File, New, Message.

You can either type your cover letter directly into the email message, copy and paste from a word processing document or if the company requests an attachment, send your cover letter and resume with the email message. So, your choices are to send a cover letter attachment or to use the email message as your cover letter.

If you are attaching a cover letter, your email message can be brief. Simply state that your resume and cover letter are attached. Offer to provide additional information and let the reader know how you can be contacted.

If you're writing an email cover letter, review these formatting tips before you send it.

Also, be sure to follow the directions in the job posting for how to apply when sending your cover letter and resume or your application may not be considered.

Review a Sample Email Message

Subject: Sarah Smith – Museum Docent

Dear Ms. Cooper,

I’m writing to apply for the summer docent program at the Museum of Local History.

I have extensive docent experience, having volunteered at both the Harbor Museum and ABC Art, and have led tours both as a student leader and a member of the town historical society. In addition, I’m a lifelong town resident and an enthusiastic amateur historian.

I’ve attached my cover letter and resume for your review. I hope you’ll contact me at your convenience to discuss the program and to arrange an interview. Thank you for your time.


Sarah Smith

The USC Career Center believes that writing a quality resume and cover . You will want to send the person writing the letter any important information that.

How to Write A Cover Letter

letter to send with resume

Applying via Email

Always follow the directions when applying for a job and also look for an opportunity to include a cover letter when you apply via email or online.

The way that you include a cover letter depends on what the job posting instructions were.

Applying online
Some postings allow you to post both a resume and cover letter.  In this case write a cover letter as if you are going to mail it.

Applying via email
If the posting says “email your resume to….” Your email becomes your cover letter.  Begin it with Dear Mr. or Ms. etc. This is a formal email and you need to start with a formal greeting.  Then include the 3 – 4 paragraphs you would normally include in a cover letter (see content).  End by saying "Sincerely", followed by your name. You do not need to leave room for a signature.  You also do not need the date or the mail addresses normally included in a cover letter. You do not need to list "Enclosure".

If the posting says, “email your resume and cover letter to….”You will write a full cover letter as if you were going to mail it.  Include it as an attachment to your email along with your resume.  The email will now be a very brief version of your full cover letter. It should be one paragraph that includes the information from the first and last paragraphs of your full letter.  Do not cut and paste the same wording, however.  For example:

Dear Ms. Fernandez:

I am writing to apply for the position of Marketing Assistant which was posted on your website.  I have attached my cover letter and resume for your review and I believe that you will find that my qualifications meet all of your requirements.  Please contact me at (518) 555-1212 or at [email protected] if you have any questions.  I look forward to hearing from you about scheduling an interview.


Ronald R. Weasley

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How to Email a Resume

letter to send with resume

A cover letter is your first opportunity to make an impression on a potential employer. Even if a cover letter is not requested, you should always include one with your resume. The cover letter allows you to highlight the parts of your resume that are most relevant to the position for which you’re applying. It lets you get personal and give the recruiter a glimpse at your passion and personality.

Keep it Brief

Recruiters must sift through dozens, sometimes hundreds, of resumes to find the gems. They don’t need an essay about you and your skills and they won’t read much more than one page. Instead, they look for writing that’s expressive and short. Stick to two or three paragraphs in the cover letter. Include references to the job for which you’re applying or the ad to which you’re responding. Briefly explain your credentials and offer reasons why you’re the best candidate. Show off a little about how much you know about the company and how excited you are about the opportunity. End with a request for an interview.

Entice Recruiter

The purpose of a cover letter and resume is to land an interview. The cover letter should serve as an enticement for the hiring manager to take a deeper look at your resume and your qualifications. Use language in the cover letter that’s written in an active voice and entices the reader to want to know more about you. The cover letter is the marketing tool for your resume and serves as a way to individualize your submission.

Show Initiative

When posting jobs, recruiters don’t always request a cover letter, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t accepted. By including a well-crafted cover letter, you show the recruiter that you can take initiative. According to American University, sending a resume without a cover letter is unprofessional and can make you appear unenthusiastic or lazy.


A cover letter is more than a mere formality and should be crafted individually for each job. Direct the letter to a specific person whenever possible. Call the company and verify the correct spelling of the name of the hiring manager. Use the cover letter to direct the recruiter to your resume as well as to include additional details that aren’t obvious on your resume. Consider the cover letter a necessary professional ice breaker.

About the Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

The way that you include a cover letter depends on what the job posting instructions were. Some postings allow you to post both a resume and cover letter.

Should You Combine Your Cover Letter and Resume into One Document?

letter to send with resume

You shouldn’t try to fit your whole career and life into the space of a cover letter.

Your cover letter should be acarefully curated selection of stories from your career that gives the reader a clear idea of who you are and how you can add value to their company.

The Society for Human Resources surveyed organizations on resumes, cover letters, and interviews and found the top three things that must be included in a cover letter are:

  • How a candidate’s work experience meets job requirements.
  • How a candidate’s skills meet job requirements.
  • Why a candidate wants to work at the organization.

Your cover letter needs to provide this information and leave the reader convinced that you are the right person for the job.

To accomplish this, you should be using the requirements of the job to dictate the content of your cover letter and following these best practices.

Show how you can solve specific problems

Saying you’re a ‘problem-solver’ is about as helpful as explaining your preference for chocolate croissants over regular croissants. Don’t tell them about your amazing problem-solving skills. Explain the details of a particular problem you were key in solving and how exactly you employed your skills to solve it. Better yet, if you know the company has a particular problem you could help solve, outline how you can help solve it.

Pick an appropriate voice and tone

You should write like yourself, but you should also pick the appropriate voice and tone for the company you’re applying to.

Researching the company will help dictate the tone you want to use, which may differ greatly, depending on where you apply. For example, the tone of your letter for a legal consulting firm will likely differ from a tech startup.

Tell your story

Telling stories from your career is a great way to demonstrate your skills and give hiring managers some insight into your personality and work style.

When looking for the right stories to tell, always look to the requirements for the position in the job description.

It is also helpful to research the company further online to get a sense for the company’s culture. Before drafting your cover letter, compare your skills with the requirements for the position.

It can be helpful to use Venn diagrams to brainstorm and find what competencies you want to highlight and what specific experiences you want to share. After you create this diagram and identify what falls into both circles, overlapping subjects will direct and inspire the content of your cover letter.

Let’s say you’re applying for a marketing director position. Among other aspects in the description, the job requires several years of marketing experience, a deep knowledge of lead generation, and strong communication skills. Describe how, in your previous role as a marketing manager, you ran several campaigns for your clients and exceeded their expectations of lead generation (with specific numbers, if possible), and how you also trained and mentored new associates on how to manage their own accounts, which improved client retention rates.

Your anecdote is accomplishing a lot at once—it’s demonstrating one of your top hard skills, lead nurturing, and showcasing how you can collaborate with trainees, communicate effectively, and educate new employees on processes and client relations. You’re proving that you can meet the communication standards and marketing knowledge they’re seeking.

Honesty is the only policy

Dishonesty on your cover letter isn’t in your best interest.

Implying or stating that you have a skill that you don’t actually have will come back to bite you upon being asked to use that skill in the interview or on the job.

Don’t sound like everyone else

“Hi, I’m ___. I’m a detail-oriented, multi-tasking, natural-born leader and I am perfect for your company.”

Hiring managers are going to read the same basic cover letter repeatedly, and you don’t want to be the last template email the hiring manager discounts before lunch. Adding a little word variation helps you stand out against other applicants.

Instead of describing yourself as creative, try imaginative. You’re inventive, not innovative. You’re not determined, you’re tenacious. These word variations at least show that you can think beyond what the average applicant is willing to do.

End with a call to action

End your letter with a reason for them to contact you. But don’t add remarks like, “I’ll call to schedule an interview.” This doesn’t make you a go-getter, it crosses a boundary.

Instead, let the call to action be polite and open ended, suggesting that you are excited to offer more information and that you’re looking forward to talking with them.  

Proof your cover letter

Always proofread your cover letter for errors and have friends and family read through the cover letter.

How to Make Your Cover Letter Unique?

When thinking abouthow to make your cover letter unique, keep the following statements in mind:

  • You should make your cover letter unique and show the reader who you are as an individual.
  • You should include experience and skills that relate directly to the job posting.

These might sound like opposing statements, but they’re equally important for writing a successful cover letter.

Your cover letter needs to be highly related to the job you’re applying to, but the way that you prove your qualifications should show who you are as an individual.  

Tell a compelling story

Everyone loves a good story, and recruiters and hiring managers are no exception. Telling compelling stories from your career will make your cover letter unique and memorable for whoever reads it.

Just be sure that the stories you choose demonstrate proficiency with the skills, tools and concepts that are required by the job you’re applying for.

What makes this company your go-to choice? Why is this company special to you? Perhaps you’re attracted to the workplace culture, or perhaps you’ve always admired the business philosophy that the company lives by.

Address the recruiter or hiring manager by name

Now it’s fine to just use “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” when addressing the recruiter. In fact, I can tell you from experience that most people use precisely these words. However, I can also tell you that most people don’t get the job. If you want to make a strong impression, then take the time to find out who you’re addressing. 

You may have to make a few phone calls or try several searches before you find the right name, but, the harder they are to find, the less likely other applicants are to do it and the more impressed they will be with you.

Give your cover letter a unique visual format

A unique visual format for your cover letter can help you stand out from other candidates in a positive way. Just be sure that the unique format you use is appropriate for the company you’re applying to and their industry.

Here’s a good example of an eye-catching cover letter format:

What to Leave Off a Cover Letter?

Recruiters and hiring managers read thousands of cover letters and resumes, so make sure that you avoid thesecover letter errors:

Avoid overused phrases 

The average cover letter is going to be extremely generic and contain overused expressions such as “Thank you for taking the time to look at my resume” or “I believe that my set of skills make me a great fit for the job.” While none of these lines hurt your chance of getting the job, they certainly don’t help either.

Career coach Angela Copeland says, “stay away from phrases that are known to annoy hiring managers, such as ‘heavy lifting’ or ‘think outside the box’ or ‘game-changer.’”

Here are some more phrases that make recruiters and hiring managers groan:

  • “To Whom It May Concern”
  • “I’m not sure if you know”
  • “Dynamic”
  • “Please feel free”
  • “Significant”
  • “Self-Starter,” “Detail-Oriented,” and “Forward-Thinker”
  • “Really, truly, deeply”

Recruiters and hiring managers go through hundreds of cover letters and get tired of these clichés. They’re waiting for something new and refreshing to come along and it’s in your best interest to do so.

Never include irrelevant information

Never include irrelevant information in your cover letter. Irrelevant information can confuse or bore the reader, causing them to miss important points in your cover letter.

How to Submit a Cover Letter?

The longer you “sit on” a cover letter to edit and re-write it, the longer you prolong the opportunity for someone else to get the attention of the hiring manager you want to impress.

You should submit your cover letter as soon as you are certain that:

  1. Your cover letter, resume and portfolio work are free from errors.
  2. Your cover letter is written in a way that balances professionalism with personality.
  3. Your cover letter catches the reader’s interest from the first sentence and maintains it throughout.
  4. Your cover letter uses the requirements for the job and information on the company as a guide for its content.
  5. Your cover letter tells stories that are filled with examples that satisfy job requirements and make you stand out positively as an individual and a potential employee.

Submitting your cover letter

Always follow the submission instructions laid out in the job description when submitting your cover letter.

If you are submitting the letter though a website with fillable fields, be sure that no formatting or content errors have occurred.

Learn More!

It's the sender's responsibility (yours) to follow up after sending a resume. In the last paragraph of the letter, say how and when you intend to contact them.

letter to send with resume
Written by Tara
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