Writing an E-Mail Cover Letter Template

A job seeker wrote me to say that he needed help writing an e-mail cover letter template he could use for his job search. I took a look at what he had, and gave him some ideas to improve it.

See if there's one or two tips from my rewrite that you can use for your cover letters.

This E-Mail Cover Letter Template Needs Help!

Here's the e-mail sent by Dave Zrt (not his real name):

Susan,
I need help with my cover letter template because its BAD. I just don't have any experience in writing cover letters. I want to have a template I can use to e-mail my resume for various jobs in web design.

To understand what I'm asking, here's my cover letter template:

Dear Hiring Manager:
Why I sent you this e-mail is because I am interested in your job opportunity found on _______ .com. My knowledge in web design includes Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, WordPress, HTML, Dreamweaver, Flash, and Microsoft Word; in addition, my web design experience includes working in the Windows and Mac platforms. Therefore, I am positive with my skills that I acquired from my web design experience that I would be an asset to your company.

Presently, I am working toward completion of my AAS in web design. From June 2007 to the present, I designed a company web site. As a result, the company tapped into billion dollar market and reached 100 million dollar sales mark in 2010 through website promotion. From January 2007 til January 2008, I worked at an internship with a Congressman by creating flyers and programs using Microsoft Publisher for campaign events, assisting in reelection of congressman in 2007 and 2008. Furthermore, my experience will help grow your business.

Enclosed is my resume for your review, and please visit _______ .com for samples of my work. My qualifications are competitive and my skills would prove to be an asset. Should you find that my background meets the requirements of your opening, I welcome the opportunity to discuss how to assist your company in its future goals.

Please feel free to contact me at (phone number) or (e-mail).

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Dave Zrt

Basics of Writing an E-Mail Cover Letter

Dave,
I like the positive tone of your letter. It's confident and upbeat. Now let's look at how we can make it a little tighter and more inviting to read. First, let me say a few things about e-mail cover letters.

The ideal e-mail cover letter is concise, contains short paragraphs, and is meant to sell the reader on opening the attached resume. Your letter should also be a good example of how well you present yourself. To do all that...

Your e-mail cover letter should say enough... but not too much:

  • Enough to make the employer want to read more... in the attached resume.
  • Not so much that it makes you seem like a motor-mouth who doesn't get how busy the employer is.

Each time you e-mail your resume, you need to send a targeted cover e-mail that speaks to the employer you have in mind. When writing lots of cover letters, it's easy for them to sound like form letters. No one likes getting a form letter, so take care not to let that happen to yours. Here's how:

Think of your e-mail cover letter template as just a guide, not a rigid form. As you fill in the blanks of your template, also delete and add phrases and sentences to address the specific goals of the job you're going for and the person who will read your cover letter. If you do this, your letter will sound custom-made and nothing like a form letter.

An E-Mail Cover Letter Template

In the following rewrite of your template, I removed a lot of details. I also put your skills and achievements in bullet lists to make them a quick read. Here you go...

Dear Hiring Manager:
I am interested in your _______ opening, posted on _______.com.

Good technical and design skills are key, I know, to this job. Over the last x years as a Web and Graphic Designer, I've gained lots of experience using:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
- WordPress
- HTML
- Flash
- Mac and Windows platforms

There are two projects I'm especially proud of, which are relevant to your _______ projects.
- I designed a commercial website that helped my employer tap into a $1B market and reach the $100M sales mark.
- As a Congressional Intern, I created promotional materials for a very successful reelection campaign.

My resume is attached. To see samples of my design work, please visit (web address).

I would like to talk with you about your current projects and how I can get involved. Please contact me at (phone number) or (e-mail).
Thank you,
Dave Zrt

Writing an e-mail cover letter template is a smart move. It will save you time if you use it as a starting point for all your targeted letters. By not having to start from scratch each time, you can respond to new job posts on a dime.

By the way, Dave, I used my 12-Word Cover Letter tips to rewrite your template.

Here's to a speedy job search, Dave!
Susan

You can get more ideas for writing e-mail cover letter templates, by signing up for my Ready-Made Resume Builder.