July 06 2020

How to write a foolproof application email

Job Search

During your job search, you are very likely to come across employers who ask that you send them your application by email, rather than through a form or employment platform. If you are not used to writing an application email, this can be a headache.

But with the tips and examples you will find in this article, there will be no more reason to make mistakes in your application email:

Check if the recruiter is mentioned

It is sometimes difficult to know what to do when the email address specified by the employer is a generic address such as career@compagnie.com. Even if you are faced with a generic email address, always check to see if the recruiter’s name is mentioned somewhere in the job posting. This will allow you to correctly address the contact person for the position in your application email, and will show that you have taken the time to carefully read the job posting before applying.

In the event that only a generic address is provided and you do not have the name of the contact person, simply start your email with “Madam, Sir” or “To whom it may concern”.

Use a neutral and professional email address

It might seem like a no-brainer, but we’re still seeing quite a few email addresses that look something like crazymary78@gmail.com. While it can make the recruiter smile at best, this type of address is more likely to convey a sense of unprofessionalism to the person reading your application.

When you are looking for a job, we strongly suggest that you have a neutral address that includes only your first and last name with an extension such as Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo such as: firstname.lastname@gmail.com.

The subject of the message

Too often, candidates apply without indicating the subject in their application email. This oversight may be more fatal than it seems. A recruiter can see dozens of resumes per day in addition to all the other emails entering their inbox. Without a subject, your email could easily be ignored or even end up in the trash.

A simple and effective object is sufficient. There are two possibilities available to you:

If specified by the job offer :

It is possible that the job offer contains precise indications concerning the subject to put so that your application does not get lost. Often this will include the job number and / or job name, and sometimes your first and last name as well.

Make sure you read the instructions on the job posting carefully so your application doesn’t end up in the trash by mistake.

If you have no indication :

If the job posting doesn’t give you any clue about it, your best bet is to write something simple and sober.

Recall the subject of your email, and the job name with the offer number if there is one. For example: “Application – Project manager”.

With a professional subject line, you are sure to capture the recruiter’s attention as soon as they open their emails and thus ensure that your CV is read.

The body of the message

One common mistake we still see is sending resumes without any note in the body of the message, which gives the impression of lack of effort and motivation. You don’t have to write dozens of lines either, you need a happy medium. A simple form of politeness is enough to leave a good first impression even before reading your resume.

If you attach a cover letter :

If in addition to the CV you also attach a cover letter, there is no need to repeat yourself or copy and paste it into the body of your email.

In this case, the message may simply contain the usual greetings, and invite the reader to consult the attachments to learn more about your application.

If you do not attach a cover letter :

If you don’t include a cover letter and it wasn’t requested, you don’t need to insert it anyway into the body of the message. Chances are it won’t be read anyway. In this case, rather than including your entire cover letter in the body of the message, opt for a presentation summary, which is 4 to 5 lines maximum.

But you still have to put greetings:


Formal example :

Subject of the email: Application – [Job title]

To whom it may concern or Madam, Sir,

The purpose of this email is to express my interest in the position of [Job Title]. For this purpose, you will find my curriculum vitae attached.

Thanking you for your interest in my application and in the hope of meeting you,

Best regards,

[Firstname name]


More personalized example :

Subject of the email: Application – [Job title]

Hello [name of the person responsible for recruiting],

I would like to apply for the position of [Job Title].

I am very motivated to join your team [insert team, company or industry detail]. You will find attached my curriculum vitae detailing my experience in [field or industry].

Thank you for taking the time to read my application.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

[Firstname name]

The attachments

Pay attention to the format used. The recruiter may not be using the same software as you and might not be able to open your document. In order to ensure that the document sent is of good quality, we recommend that you always send your CV in PDF version. This standard format gives a good quality and professional rendering.


Good luck writing your application email! And we wish you success in your job search!

Read our article on Follow-up emails.

Looking for a job in Engineering, IT, Construction, or as an executive? Send us your CV. 

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