If you’ve spent any time exploring our website, you know that we offer advice and examples for a variety of cover letters. We have advice that pertains to specific career fields, levels of experience, and your career goals. In this piece, we’re going to address something universally important. It applies to everyone, no matter which job you are pursuing. This is the art of brevity.
If your cover letter is more than a page long, that’s an issue. Most HRs will not read it until the end. Worse, you may be disclosing things that are better left unsaid.
In this post, we are going to cover some reasons for keeping your cover letters short. We’ll also give you some tips for doing so. Be sure to read to the end. We’ve included a short cover letter sample.
Why Cover Letters Should Be Short
The primary reason to keep your cover letter as brief as possible is in consideration of your hiring manager. They may be viewing designs of application packets. Imagine if all of them included a lengthy 3-page cover letter. The last thing you need is to have your application ignored because someone looks at your cover letter, and finds it to be exhaustingly long.
Career Consultant, CPCC, CPRW
Save The Details For Your Resume And The Interview
Your resume is the place for details about your work history and education. So don’t dwell too much on these. When you want to add some career facts, think in terms of bullet points – bite-sized statements that will provide some context.
You should also consider the interview. Awkward silences are always a bad thing. So is repeating yourself. Leave out some details so you always have a few conversation points if things slow down.
Don’t Talk Yourself Out of a Position
When someone is reading your cover letter, you don’t have the benefit of seeing their reaction. You can’t switch topics if you see that something isn’t going over well. If you go into too much detail on too many subjects, you run the risk of rubbing someone the wrong way.
Stick to Two or Three Important Points
To help keep things concise, identify two or three points that you believe will best communicate your interest in the position, and your ability to fit into the organization. By focusing only on these important points, you will be able to keep your letter nice and short.
Use Links Instead of Explanations
Rather than going into exhaustive detail about a project you did, consider adding a link instead. This is a great way to communicate your agenda without taking up too much space on the page.
For example, imagine that you want to mention some web design work that you’ve done. Why go into detail describing your work? Instead, link to your portfolio and let your work speak for itself.
Short Cover Letter Example in .docx Format
Short Cover Letter Example – Text Format
Dear Ms Hires,
I’m submitting this letter to express my interest in the position of head chef at Marco’s eatery. My resume contains details of my experience in the restaurant industry as well as my culinary training. I hope you’ll review it. In the meantime, I wanted to share a bit more about myself.
I have an absolute passion for Italian cooking. As a culinary arts student, I dedicated my senior project to the art of making pasta and gnocchi. I also spent a summer in Italy. There I toured southern Italy and worked in several restaurants. These ranged from small, local eateries to internationally known fine dining establishments. I was fortunate enough to spend two weeks staging at Il Toro Diavolo.
I am capable of managing and motivating kitchen staff. While I am very proud of my culinary skills, I know it takes more than this to function as a successful head chef. This is why I have very carefully honed my management skills over the past few years. In addition to working with some great general managers who have advised me in this area, I have also completed coursework in business management and corporate communications. This has helped me to successfully manage kitchen staff through some very stressful, frustrating services.
I’ve eaten at your restaurant and would love to meet with you to discuss your goals for Marco’s. I believe I can really be an asset to your business. I’m available for an interview at your convenience.
Final Tip: Clean up Your Writing of Needless Words And Phrases
If your writing is full of jargon and “weak” adverbs, chances are it’s going to be needlessly long. The same thing applies if you use the passive voice. Look for repetition, sentences that are too long, and words and phrases that don’t add anything useful to you cover letter. Then edit them out ruthlessly.