Writing an Email Cover Letter

Email cover letters can be a nuisance. They can be difficult to write, particularly on forms, or on unfamiliar software online. That affects the quality of your information and the way you write. There are ways of making writing email cover letters easier, and writing effectively.

Email Cover Letter Content Issues

A major problem with email cover letters is that they tend to be written on the spot, and therefore aren't as well prepared as a normal cover letter. That can cost you a job, so you will need to put in time and effort writing the cover letter.

Note: It's never a good idea to try writing any cover letter in a single draft. There's always something that needs a look. A messy cover letter doesn't do much for your peace of mind, either, when you see what you've sent the employer.

You can use a hard copy or computer copy as a cross reference for your email cover letters, to make sure you've got your content right. The email cover letters, however, will vary with every application, because you need to target specific elements in each job application in your cover letters.

It's a good idea to list all the content you want to use before starting your draft.  You can even make a list of essential job criteria, and use that as a checklist for your material.

Drafting your email cover letters has to be done patiently, to get best results. Go through the letter section by section. Make sure it contains everything you want to say.

Writing Email Cover Letters

The simple fact about email cover letters is that you have to produce the equivalent of a 400-500 word document on whatever software the email provides. That's the problem. The software may or may not do things you want it to do. Email software is OK for basic tasks, but it's not very comfortable when writing, particularly when you're used to Word, or other real word processing software.

(Ironically, you can use Word for email, but email cover letters, of course, are always on proprietary or blogging-type software, or online forms which never seem to be able to do anything properly.)

The solution is to use some backup. You usually can't, and shouldn't, copy direct from other software onto online application forms or blogging-type software. Often it won't copy properly, and causes more problems than solutions. But you can save yourself a lot of grief by using your normal software to help you out.

This is the basic process:

  • Write a draft of your email cover letter.
  • Copy it and paste on your usual software.
  • Review the draft.
  • Get the structure and content right.
  • Rewrite on the email software.

Important: The "cut and paste approach" can often seriously backfire with any form of job application and business letters. Always make sure you have full control of your current letter content. That's another reason we're suggesting rewriting, not cutting corners on your materials.

This is a do it yourself editorial process, and it's very reliable. The two stage writing process allows you to review, and it also makes you more conscious of mistakes in the text because you're doing more "handling" of information.



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