If you want to write a cover letter, it’s important that you understand the length and format. What should you know to make your cover letter have the best impact?
Creating the Right Length for Your Cover Letters
How Long Should a Cover Letter Be
Throughout the job application process, you will need to write a cover letter and a resume for every job you apply to. This is true whether you’re applying for your dream job or an entry-level job. However, the process of actually writing your cover letter can be difficult. You need to use it to prove that you’re a strong candidate and that you’re better for the position than every other job seeker. Here’s how you can master your cover letter length and format in a way that will give you the best shot at landing your next job.
The Importance of a Cover Letter
First off, let’s talk about cover letters. Are they really necessary? What if the job description doesn’t mention anything about a cover letter? Do you really need to look at cover letter examples first, or can you just write a quick paragraph?
The truth is that a cover letter is an important tool in your job search. Your cover letter goes over why you’re in this field, highlights work experience and key achievements, and includes a call to action where you can request an interview. You need to effectively hit all of these points before you’re able to write an effective cover letter, which is why a cover letter builder can be so helpful for people who aren’t confident in their cover letter writing skills.
Length and Format of a Cover Letter
The ideal cover letter length is typically around 250-350 words, or between half a page and 3/4 of a page. Any shorter than a half-page, and a hiring manager may assume that you don’t have enough relevant experience to benefit the company. Longer than 3/4 of a page or longer than a full page, and the recruiter is less likely to actually read the whole thing. Keeping the length of your cover letter at about a 250-350 word count gives you enough time to convey your most important skills and experiences without going too long.
Utilizing the correct cover letter format is also a huge part of keeping your cover letter to this length. First, start with the correct salutation. In the header, include your contact information, including your phone number and social media accounts, like LinkedIn. Open the letter with the name of the hiring manager, rather than a generic cover letter opening like “To Whom It May Concern.”
In the first paragraph, mention the job you’re interested in, and include a great hook. This could be a particularly striking experience from your work history, information about why you went into this field, or a great achievement you managed at a previous job.
The second paragraph needs to go deeper into your past experiences. This may include referencing multiple company names to indicate where you’ve worked in the past and going over your best skills. If you want to highlight multiple achievements in your professional life, you can add more bullet points underneath this paragraph.
Next is the final paragraph. This closing paragraph is where you include the call to action, openly requesting the follow-up for a job interview. In the third paragraph, you also wrap up your cover letter, thank the hiring manager for their time, and sign off.
Tips for the Ideal Cover Letter
Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing your cover letter:
Take advantage of the white space available. White space is an important part of a cover letter, and you should be spacing out your paragraphs so that the letter is easier to read.
Personalize your cover letter for each job application. You shouldn’t be submitting exactly the same cover letter to multiple jobs.
Use cover letter templates to write your cover letter. A cover letter builder can help you find sample cover letters and give you cover letter tips for writing the best possible letter.
FAQ: How Long Should a Cover Letter Be
You should typically use a 10-point or 12-point font to format your cover letter. Additionally, it’s a good idea to use a simple and professional font like Arial or Helvetica. Most of the time, people use the same font on both their resume and cover letter. Using the ResumeNerd resume builder allows you to create a beautiful resume, which you can then carry over to creating the best cover letter for your needs.
The most common mistake in writing a cover letter is forgetting to proofread it. If hiring managers see errors in your letter, they’ll probably skip over your application. One of the best cover letter tips is to write your cover letter, put it away for a little bit, and then go back and re-read it. This allows you to look at the cover letter with new, fresh eyes, making it more likely that you’ll catch any typos and misspellings.
Always address what the employer is looking for in your cover letter. Read through the job description and pick out skills and qualifications that fit with your own, and emphasize them. A cover letter builder can also ensure your cover letter stands out in the right way, with expert tips for constructing your letter, and a professional design for the letter.