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Short Cover Letters

In a cover letter, you’re providing a snapshot of your career and skills to a hiring manager. Regardless of whether a hiring manager reads your cover letter or your resume first, the cover letter is the first opportunity they have to experience you as a person. Your resume is, by nature, fairly straightforward and concise, only showcasing your certifications, skill set, and work history. A short cover letter could be a great way to build on that information while also being as easy to read.

Why Is A Short Cover Letter Appealing To Some People?

There are three main reasons why you might find a short cover letter appealing:
1. A hiring manager is more likely to read through the entire cover letter, which can make them more interested in calling you in for an interview.
2. You’ll ensure your letter has only the most important, critical information needed to make a case for yourself as an employee, which can be beneficial if you want to avoid being too wordy, or having irrelevant information.
3. It packs everything you need to showcase in a small package, which can be attractive for a hiring manager.

Tips On Cover Letter Length

The biggest rule for cover letter length is that it should never be over one page long. Your potential employer is unlikely to read more than a one-page cover letter, which means you’re more likely to lose the reader’s attention if you write a longer letter.

For most cover letters, you want to stick to between half a page and 3/4 of a page, which is 250-350 words. This is enough time to discuss your relevant skills while still short enough for a prospective employer to scan easily.

A very short cover letter may be shorter than this. As long as you’re able to fit all the information you need into your letter, you can write a very short cover letter and still make it the best cover letter for your needs.

Short Cover Letter Example

Short Cover Letter Example

Formatting for a Short Cover Letter

When creating a short cover letter, it’s important to stick to a professional cover letter format. Here are the four crucial components of your cover letter.


The first section is your header. The header is an important part of any good cover letter. It typically contains your full name and contact information, with your phone number and professional social media links, including your LinkedIn. It’s part of the cover letter design section.

Opening paragraph

In your opening paragraph, you first want to get the salutation right. Avoid generic salutations like “To Whom It May Concern,” “Dear Sir or Madam,” or even “Dear Hiring Manager.” If at all possible, you want to use the hiring manager’s name. It indicates that you’ve done the research necessary on the new job to know who’s managing this job opening.

From there, include a great hook that makes the hiring manager want to keep reading. This may be your biggest accomplishment, a story about why you chose this field, or any unique story that shows your skills, such as your interpersonal skills. By the end of the first paragraph, you should have also mentioned the job opening that you’re applying for.

Body paragraph

Next is your body paragraph. You want to show how you’re the perfect fit while also keeping the paragraph concise. Address key skills and requirements from the job description. For example, if the job lists communication skills as a major requirement, discuss those skills and how you’ve used them in previous jobs in your body paragraph.

Call to action

The closing paragraph should be your call to action in which you should request a job interview. Take this opportunity to also sum up why you believe you’re the ideal candidate for this job posting.

FAQ: Short Cover Letters

Although the maximum cover length is typically one page, many people wonder whether there’s a minimum cover length you should stick to. For most traditional cover letters, the minimum cover letter length is half a page, which gives you enough time to go through the cover letter format and talk about all your previous positions effectively.

Once you get better at writing cover letters and know what to look for, you may be able to write an effective, high-quality cover letter in just a few minutes. Just use the standard structure of a cover letter and adjust your text depending on what the job you’re applying to requires. Think of your cover letter as a template that you build on as needed.

Short cover letters can be a great choice for anyone. No matter where you are in your journey, a short cover letter can be a huge boon to your job application. However, recent graduates and other people with less work experience might benefit most from an intentionally short cover letter. If you’re thinking about how beneficial a short cover letter could be, consider using the ResumeNerd cover letter builder to create a short cover letter and see how it looks on your job application.