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Applying by email

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Applying by email is one of the most common ways of applying for work, especially when the employer is a small business. It usually involves sending the company an email message and attaching an electronic copy of your CV and covering letter.

First impressions count. Here are a few basic rules that will help you get it right.

The email message

In most cases, the email message is almost like a covering letter (see the article on How to write a covering letter). However, it should be a little shorter, just three or four short paragraphs. Each paragraph should include only one or two sentences.

The main aim of the message is to persuade the employer that your CV is worth looking at more closely.

A well-written email will also prove that you have good written communications skills!

Example email message

Mr J Thomson
Office Manager
Smith & Jones Solicitors

The company name and the name and title of the person you are sending your CV to should be at the top – you don’t need to add the full address.

Dear Mr Thomson

Keep things business-like.

I am writing to apply for the post of clerical assistant (Ref. No. E1276), as advertised in The Herald on Friday 7 May.

Name the vacancy, any reference number and where you saw it.

I became interested in legal administration during my work experience placement last year with McSorley & Partners in Buchanan Street, Glasgow. They have offered to provide me with a reference if required.

I will be taking exams on Wednesday 12, Thursday 13 and Monday 24 May but am available for interview at all other times. I would be available to start work at any time after 28 May.

I have attached my CV as requested, and look forward to hearing from you.

Follow the instructions given by the employer.

Yours sincerely

‘Regards’ is also acceptable.

Amy McDonald

List your contact details.

19 Cartside Way
Dundee D17BE
Tel: 0978 345 789
Mobile: 02786 654987
Email: amy.mcdonald@test.com

Your email address should include your name.

Addressing the email

To: john.thomson@sjs.co.uk

Double check the email address – even a small mistake can stop your email getting to the right person.

Subject: Amy McDonald: Application for Clerical Assistant Post (Ref. No. E1276)

Say what you are applying for, if the vacancy has a reference number add it. Also give your name. The example we’ve given says exactly what the employer needs to know.

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Don’t put your address at the top of the email – this is the main difference between an email and a letter. Your address and contact details go at the end of your message.

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