It goes without saying (at least, it should) that both a cover letter and a precise email body is imperative when submitting an application for a new job. If you attach a cover letter without an email, it may show laziness. If you type out the body of your email and do not attach a cover letter, the employer may wonder about your motivation and drive for wanting to apply for this position.

Then, the one that throws everyone for a loop is combining both the cover letter and the body of an email.

Below, we will explain the difference between a cover letter and the body of an email, as well as some helpful tips as to how to get the most out of your cover letter.


The Email

An email is reserved for a very brief introduction as to who you are, pointing out the attached documents, and listing necessary contact details should the prospective employer be interested. It can also be used to list their salary bracket (heads up, only include this if the prospective employer has listed this in the advertisement for the position). The email can be short and sweet, most of the time this doesn’t make it into your prospective file – but if there is nothing in the email, it can indicate laziness (as mentioned above), and it’s just plainly not pleasant to see a wide open space on a job application.


The Cover Letter

This is a document entirely on its own hypothetical two feet, and is significantly longer than that of the email. However, make a point of making a point. Do not dawdle on unnecessary topics, and while it is longer than the email, the suggestion for this would be a page and a half, maximum.

Throw yourself in there, tell them who you are, why you’re applying for the position, why you feel you are perfect for this position, and get out again.

See below for the best voice(s) to use for your cover letter.

Tips for Writing the Best Cover Letter You Can


How to Address your Cover Letter?

Generic applications are out – unless you truly have no idea who you are sending it to and you have no way of finding out. It is highly important to be as careful as possible. Addressing it as “Dear Sir” or “Dear Ma’am” could be seen as sexist in this day and age. Addressing it as “To Whom It May Concern” may indicate that you weren’t willing to do the effort to find out who it would be.

Effort is one of the main things any hiring manager looks for – contacting the company itself and requesting the name or even just the title of the one the email will be sent to would be your best option in the long run.


Spell Checker

This one usually doesn’t have to be mentioned, but it is crucial that this gets done on both your cover letter and your CV. If you are using Microsoft Word, make the Spelling & Grammar Checker your new best friend. You don’t necessarily have to speak eloquently and charming, but any misspelled words, incorrect/missing punctuation and over all incorrect grammar is normally a large black mark against your name as a prospective employee.


Exaggeration is not your Friend

Be honest in your cover letter, highlighting all the skills you possess that you feel make you a strong candidate for the positon. Do not use phrases such as “I am perfect for this position”.


Do Not Use This Phrase

Do not tell the employer what they already know. Also known as, steer clear from saying “My name is ________ and I am applying for the position of __________.”