How To Write an Email Response to a Job Posting

Your Guide To Emailing About a Job Posting and Sending Cover Letters

Person smiling while composing an email

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Imagine you’ve just found your dream job on an online job post. Your resume and cover letter are important, but you’ll also want to make a good first impression with your initial email response to the job posting. A good email response reflects your experience, job skills, and communication skills. It could encourage the hiring manager to read your resume and schedule an interview.

When crafting your response, you have a lot of things to consider. The email response should be the right length, concisely express your interest and qualifications, and follow modern design formats. Once you understand the components of a well-written email response, you can apply for that dream job with confidence and look forward to a bright future.

Key Takeaways

  • The best email responses to job postings are succinct while providing a good overview of your experience and talents.
  • Good grammar and punctuation are important, but you must also pay attention to details such as spacing and fonts.
  • You can write your cover letter in the body of the email; it does not need to be an attachment.
  • Job postings can remain online for weeks or months, so the sooner you respond, the better.

Emailing About a Job Posting

Finding a job posting for a role you really want can cause anxiety, and you might not know the best way to proceed.

“First, follow the instructions of the job posting,” San Francisco human resources director Leslie Brown told The Balance via phone. Include your resume, email address, and phone number in the initial email so they can easily contact you.

“Take a hard look at the job responsibilities and duties, and tailor your resume to that position,” Brown said. “For example, if it’s a customer service position, you need to highlight all your customer service expertise. It can really blend in with the job description.”

After following the application process, if the job posting includes the name of a hiring manager, you can contact them directly via email or through their Linkedin profile. Reaching out personally might help you make a good first impression and show you’re eager to get the job.


You don’t have to apply to the job right away. If you have questions, such as if it’s a remote or in-office position, you can email the hiring manager to get answers before officially submitting an application.

Emailing a Cover Letter

A cover letter is a powerful tool. It offers you an opportunity to make a strong first impression, and when written well, may persuade the hiring manager to review your resume. And if you think no one reads cover letters, think again: A survey of more than 230 recruiters and hiring managers by ResumeGo found that 87% read cover letters. The survey also found that applicants who submit cover letters often get 50% more interviews than those who skip them.

Before drafting the letter, make sure you understand the duties of the position and take time to research the employer to learn more about how you can fit into the organization’s culture and help advance its goals. Tailor your cover letter to the job and company.

When emailing an employer about a job posting, your cover letter should appear in the body of the email, not as an attachment.

“If you attach the cover letter, it looks a little more formal,” Brown said. “Some people don’t prefer such a formal response, especially if it’s a smaller company.”

Components of a Cover Letter

When possible, address your cover letter to a specific hiring manager. In the first paragraph of your letter, state the position you’re applying for and tell the hiring manager why you believe you are the best candidate for the job.

In the next paragraph, explain why your experience and skills qualify you for the position.

“It doesn’t need to be long, just a few major points on your strengths,” Brown said. “Just say, ‘I’d be a great fit because A, B, and C.’ ”

The last paragraph should direct the hiring manager to your attached resume and must include your contact details and availability for an in-person or virtual interview.

“Write something that’s concise,” Brown said. “Using bullet points is important because they draw the eye to your strengths. A cover letter should be half a page, at the most. Make sure it’s double spaced, so it’s easier on the eye.”

Cover Letter Fonts

Use modern fonts when writing your cover letter and resume. While Times New Roman once was the standard font in business communication, Brown told The Balance that it’s outdated today. Instead, choose a rounder, more modern font, such as Verdana.


Choosing a modern font may help you avoid ageism, particularly if you are over 40. A font such as Verdana gives the impression that you’re a contemporary worker, while an outdated font such as Times New Roman could make you appear out of touch.

Email Addresses

Using an outdated email address could also indicate you are not familiar with current workforce trends. For example, AOL and Hotmail email addresses aren’t as popular as they once were.

“Young people have Gmail addresses, period,” Brown said. If you don’t have a Gmail address, you can easily make one in just a few minutes before emailing about the job posting.

Grammar and Punctuation

Do not use the word “I” at the beginning of every sentence or paragraph. For example, if you’re applying for a customer service job, try not to write, “I assisted customers with billing errors. I helped new customers open accounts.” Instead, you could say, “As a customer service agent, I helped new customers open accounts and assisted existing customers with billing errors.”

Before writing an email response or submitting a cover letter and resume, correct all grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. If you write your cover letter and resume in Google Docs or Microsoft Word, use the spelling and grammar tool to check for errors. Microsoft Word also has a “Read Aloud” tool that enables you to hear the flow of your text and helps you catch misspellings or missing words. Grammarly is also a great tool, and it offers a free plan.

Portfolio Materials

Some job application systems have fields in which you can include a link to your portfolio, while others have fields to upload examples of your work, and some offer both. While an online portfolio might provide a broader view of your talents and accomplishments, some employers like to print work samples. Whenever possible, attach portfolio items that the reviewer can print, even if you include links to online work.


Consider attaching PDF documents to emails to make them easy for the hiring manager to open and print.

Examples of How To Respond to a Job Posting

Let’s say you’re an assistant manager of a doughnut shop and want to apply for a job as a manager of a neighborhood bakery. The job calls for supervising 12 employees, generating sales reports, buying advertising, making bank deposits, and ensuring the bakery complies with health codes. In your email response, you could write a cover letter that mentions you are applying for the manager position. You’ll also want to express why you think you’d be a good fit for the job and what you like about the company.

Next, create a short bullet-point list of your experiences and qualifications as they relate to why you’d be a good fit for the job, such as:

  • Strong management experience, supervising up to 10 employees per shift
  • Detail-oriented when inspecting kitchen and customer area every hour to ensure compliance of health department regulations
  • Manage time well, creating weekly work schedules for all hourly employees
  • Organized inventory of all cooking ingredients and supplies such as bags, boxes, cups, and cleaning products
  • Generate cash register reports after each shift and make bank deposits at the end of the day

In the last paragraph of your cover letter, you’d mention that you look forward to speaking with the hiring manager soon and include your contact information as well as availability to meet for an interview.

Before emailing your cover letter and resume, you must review the job description carefully to make sure you have tailored both documents to the position. You might also want to add a personal touch. For instance, you might add that the bakery makes the best muffins in town and you can always smell them as you walk down the block.

After putting the finishing touches on your cover letter and resume, submit them as directed in the job posting. Attach your resume and paste the text of your cover letter in the body of the email.

After sending the email application, you can look for the hiring manager’s email address on the bakery’s website or find their Linkedin profile, and send a personal message stating that you have applied for the position and feel confident that you are a good candidate for the job.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best job posting websites?

LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed are three top job posting websites for job seekers. However, you should search Google to find other websites that may offer a more narrowed list of job openings based on industry, such as Mediabistro, which focuses on jobs for designers, copywriters, social media managers, proofreaders, and more.

How long does a job posting typically stay up on a job board website?

A job posting can appear on a website for as short as two to three weeks or as long as a few months, depending on how quickly the company needs to fill the position.

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  1. ResumeGo. “Cover Letters: Just How Important Are They?

  2. Office of Intramural Training & Education. “How To Write a Cover Letter.”

  3. Microsoft. "Listen To Your Word Documents."

  4. Grammarly. “Grammarly Prices and Plans.”

  5. Mediabistro. “Welcome to Mediabistro.”

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