An excellent introductory email can interest you and make the prospective employer read your resume and cover letter with greater attention.
With the current job market, making an excellent first impression on an employer is more important than ever. Being able to make an excellent first impression and being able to market yourself are skills that are always useful. This article is not about how to write a resume or a cover letter. Those articles are everywhere. This article explains the critical elements of the body of an email to send us an introductory email.
How to Write an Introductory Email for a Job Application
An introductory email is a short and sweet email that expresses your interest in a position and forces the hiring person to spend a little more time going over your cover letter and resume. It can be sent as the body of an email to which your cover letter and resume are attached or at the top of an email that includes your cover letter and resumes in the body. In essence, it allows the hirer to get a “sneak peek” at you without having to read all of your cover letters and resume first.
In some ways, this email is similar to the first paragraph of a cover letter, but it must be much more concise and to the point. It will give you more latitude in using your cover letter to sell yourself instead of simply reiterating your interest and whatnot. There are several elements to this one-paragraph introductory email that are all crucial to its effect. (Note: I have heard that if you attach your resume and cover letter to an email, some companies will not “waste” the time to open them, making an excellent introductory email all the more critical. If you are applying for a company well known for such a thing (an internet search may tell you), it would be a good idea to have the attachments. But include your introductory email, your cover letter, and your resume all in the body of the email itself.)
The greeting is simple. It must be short and polite. The same rules apply as with any formal letter. Start with “Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. Whoever.” If you do not know the person, the current way of greeting the person (for now at least, although it’s constantly changing) is “Dear Sir or Madam.” If, through research, you can find out the name of the person in charge of hiring, use it. However, be careful to be sure you have the right person. According to Dale Carnegie, the sweetest sound in the world for each person is the sound of their name, so use it if you can, but be careful not to use the wrong word.
Expression of Interest
Another simple thing. Introduce yourself and state that you are interested in the job available. Be sure to use the company name, and be sure to triple-check your spelling. Nothing shows a lack of awareness to detail quicker than misspelling the business’s name where someone is proud to work and where you are claiming you would be proud to work. Start simple. “My name is ___.” Then include a summary of your job or school situation, such as “I am currently a student at ___ University,” or ” I am currently a (job title) at (company).” Then, in the second sentence, state the job you are applying for and the company name (SPELLED CORRECTLY!)
A sample Expression of Interest would look like this:
My name is John Jingleheimersmith, and I am currently a student at Franklin United College. I want to apply for the Assistant Manager position at Ice Ice Baby! Snowcones, Inc.
Highlight of Perfection
It is the most creative and most crucial part of the introductory email. It is the part where you tell the hirer why you and you alone are perfect for the position in question. Start with the job description. See what the requirements and duties are, and develop 3-4 general things that seem essential for the job and show your expertise. Ideally, these would be the same 3-4 things you highlight in your cover letter and which are “shown” in your resume. For example, for a customer service position, three things you may want to highlight would be an ability to communicate clearly and interact professionally with people, experience in the field, and work well as a team member. Whereas in a cover letter, you explain your abilities, you affirmatively state them and say that they make you the ideal candidate for the position. You may want to precede your skills and experience with affirmative words like “demonstrated,” “proven,” “vast,” and “established.” To end the sentence, restate the job title in abbreviated form if you wish.
An example of a Highlight of Perfection would look like this:
My demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and interact professionally with others, my vast experience in the customer service industry, and my proven ability to excel as a team member make me the perfect candidate for the Customer Service Representative position.
The important things to remember here are to be creative but specific, be forceful but professional, and tell the employer what you can offer them and why you are what they need.
It is a short statement of what you have included for their review; things like a cover letter, resume, writing sample, school transcript, or a list of references. Be sure to triple-check what they require you to send, and if you are entirely confident in something they don’t need, send it anyway if you think it will help. Hopefully, they will become so interested in you that they want to read the extra piece, and that would put you one up on the rest of the field. Also, remind them what they should do with your materials.
A sample of this sentence would look like this:
I have attached a cover letter, a copy of my resume, and a list of references for your review.
Ask for the Interview!
In my current sales job, the training sessions always reiterate to “ask for the sale.” The same is true in the job application process. Tell them that you would like an interview, and make them understand that it is in their best interest to give you the chance to meet them face-to-face. Remember, don’t simply say what you want; tell them what they want. They want to increase sales, increase their visibility, better their reputation, or any of several other things.
A sample of this sentence would look like this:
I would greatly admire the opportunity to interview with you to show you how I can be a great asset to (company) in the ____ position and help increase your customer satisfaction.
(Note: In telling them what they want, be careful not to make it sound as though they are currently insufficient at something. However, it would help if you remained bold.)
Thank them for their time, even though many companies don’t put much time into treating job searchers as people. A simple “Thank you very much for your consideration” will suffice. Don’t be afraid to add an extra expectation of continuing the hiring process with a phrase like “I look onward to hearing from you in the future,” but this is unnecessary.
Make sure you have a simple valediction, such as “Sincerely.” Please do not get too fancy with this; keep it professional. Remember, there should be two blank lines between the end of the body and your valediction and four blank lines between the farewell and your name. You should include communication modes in the lines below your name, especially an email address and phone number. You can add your regular address if you like, but if you get an interview about the only way you get as much courtesy as a rejection letter, they will have reviewed your resume and cover letter, which should both include your address.
Files and Copies
Be sure to attach or include below this email all of the documents you promised the hirer in the “What’s Included” sentence. Forgetting to do this shows a lack of interest or a lack of attention to detail, both of which will probably result in your information being shredded or deleted unless perhaps your included document is world-class, but don’t take that chance.
Here is a complete example of an introductory email:
Dear Ms Whoever,
My name is John Jingleheimersmith, and I am currently a student at Franklin United College. I want to apply for the Customer Service Representative position at Ice Ice Baby! Snowcones, Inc. My demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and interact professionally with others, my vast experience in the customer service industry, and my proven ability to excel as a team member make me the perfect candidate for the Customer Service Representative position. I have attached a cover letter, a copy of my resume, and a list of references for your review. I would greatly value the opportunity to interview you to show you how I can be a great asset to Ice Ice Baby! in the Customer Service Representative position and help increase your customer satisfaction even further. Thank you very much for your consideration. I am interested in this opportunity, and I look forward to hearing from you in the future.