How To Write A Job Application Email That Employers Will Actually Click Into

Don’t let your resume end up in the ‘trash’ folder!

Cover image via shinL | SAYS |

So, you’ve spent a whole week perfecting your resume. But now what?

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One of the most daunting things about applying for a job is actually sending in your resume. If you've ever emailed a potential employer, you can probably relate to the little panic attack you get after hitting the 'send' button.

Sadly, thousands of resumes end up in the ‘trash’ folder every day

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You may have prepared the best resume in the world, but if your email application doesn’t hit the mark, employers may not even get to the point of reading your resume. That’s why it’s important to spend time crafting your emails — it could determine the success of you securing an interview!

“Candidates can always use a template to craft their CV. What’s more important is how you draft and send the very first email,” says Kim Lim, co-founder of The Picha Project.

Here are five big tips on how you should craft your email when sending your resume:

1. Use a professional email address

Image via SAYS

While it’s very endearing that you maintain your teenage email address, you’ll want to use a proper one when applying for a job.

Include your name or initials in your email address and try not to use numbers if possible. Having a professional email address gives you credibility and shows employers you’re ready for the job.

2. Write a clear and strong subject line

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Your subject line is the first thing employers see in their email inbox. Tell employers what position you're applying for and keep it simple. Include necessary details like job title, name, referrer's name, and job number if applicable.

Here are a few examples of good subject lines:

  • Job Application: Jeremy Ng for Software Engineer role
  • Referred by Jason for Graphic Designer Position at SAYS

3. Address who you’re writing to personally

Image via SAYS

When people see their names in an email, they're more likely to pay more attention to it. Try to reach out to hiring managers personally through email or find mutual friends who can put in a word for you. If you can only find a generic career email, you may address it to "Dear Hiring Manager."

4. Keep your email body short and sweet

Here’s the 'sandwich format' that you can use for all your resume emails. The idea is to keep it succinct. Don’t rewrite your resume or cover letter in the email, but pull out the best parts that relate to the position you’re applying for.

  • What I’m applying for:
    Your introduction should be two sentences max. Tell the hiring manager who you are, what role you’re applying for, and show your enthusiasm for the job.

  • Why you should hire me:
    Here’s where you should personalise your email. Imagine the job description as a question and your email as an answer. Tell them why you’re the right fit, how you can add value, and why you want to join the team.

  • Hire me lah:
    Finish up your email with confidence. It’s acceptable to ask when you can expect to hear back from the company, and it gives you an excuse to follow up.

5. End it with a signoff and your information

Email sign-offs with the greatest response rates.

Image via Boomerang

Lastly, use one of the email closings above before signing off with your contact details. Remember to include your name, email, phone number, and address. Plus, make sure your sign off is formatted nicely!

Ready to write your own job application email? Copy this template below into your email to get started:

Subject line: Applying for [Job Position] Role at [Company Name] - [Your Name]

Dear [Hiring Manager's name],

I'm [your name] and I would like to apply for the [job position] role at [company name]. I came across this position from [a friend/job portal/your website] and would love to explore this opportunity working in your company.

Coming from a [your education] background with experience in [your work/volunteer experience], I believe that I will fit into this role seamlessly. With my skill sets in [elaborate on specific types of technical skills], I also hope to contribute and add value to the team.

One thing about [company name] that got my attention was [elaborate on why you want to join the team]. Because of that, I would be thrilled if I got the chance to work alongside the amazing team at [company name].

I am looking forward to meeting you in person to explore the [job position] role. Would love to hear back from you by [insert date, two weeks from today] if possible.

Thanks in advance,
[Your name]
[Your current job position]
[Your email]
[Your phone]
[LinkedIn link, Facebook link, resume link, online portfolio, or website]

Finally, before hitting the 'send' button, here are other quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Send the email to yourself, check the formatting, and look out for typos

  • Make sure you attach your resume with the right file format (.doc or .pdf)

  • Name your attachments (e.g. Jeremy Ng Resume.doc)

  • Send your email on Monday, between 6am to 10am

Now, you’re set. Send your emails with confidence and prep for the interviews!

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For more career tips like this, follow our #HireMeLah series:

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#HireMeLah is a personal growth series to help young Malaysians be the best they can at their workplace. In the series, we interview directors, hiring managers, and employees across Malaysia, and bring you the best tips to advance in your career.

Send over your stories/tips/advice to [email protected] for a chance to be featured. By the way, thank you shinL for the super cute cover image! :D

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