These days many job postings originate on the Internet, and many job listings specify that applicants should respond via email. Job seekers who are used to writing formal cover letters often have difficulty adapting to the more casual nature of email. But as long as you follow a few simple rules of etiquette you should have no problem responding to a job posting with an email. The basic tenets of the job search process remain the same, no matter what the format.

Step 1.

Read the job posting in its entirety, then read it again and make some notes. Pay attention to the skills listed in the job listing. Employers typically list the most important job skills first, so place particular focus on the first two or three job skills listed.

Step 2.

Check the job listing for specific instructions regarding resumes and attachments. Some listings specify that all resumes be in rich text format, while others allow resumes in Word format as well. Sometime the job listing will specify that the resume be pasted into the body of the email, while others allow attachments. Understand exactly what the potential employer is looking for before you respond.

Step 3.

Cut and paste the email address from the job listing to the "To:" line in the email. Using cut and paste eliminates the chance that you will mistype the email address. Just highlight the email address with your mouse, right-click and choose "Copy." Then go to the "To:" line of the email, right-click and choose "Paste."

Step 4.

Type the name of the position and the publication or website where it was advertised in the subject line of the email. For instance if you are responding to an ad for a computer programmer from the LA Times you would type "Re: Computer Programmer position from Dec. 12 LA Times."

Step 5.

Start the email by expressing interest in the position. State that you wish to be considered for the position, and that your experience and qualifications make you an excellent candidate. Name the critical job skills you possess, using the desired job skills in the job posting as your guide. Do not claim to have skills you do not, but do focus on the skills the employer is seeking.

Step 6.

Invite the employer to see further information by reviewing your resume. Indicate that the email is either pasted into the bottom of the email, or attached, depending on what the job posting specified.

Step 7.

End your email by suggesting the employer contact you for an interview. Provide complete contact information, including your phone number and email address. Thank the employer for their time, then conclude with a sincere thank you or a sincerely yours.

Step 8.

Attach or paste the resume as directed in the job posting. Proofread your entire email several times before sending it.