What is a short cover letter?
A short cover letter is a condensed version of a traditional cover letter that is typically one page or less. Unlike a full-length cover letter, which can range from three to four paragraphs or more, a short cover letter gets straight to the point and highlights the most important information about the applicant. It is often used when applying for positions that require a quick review of applications or when the employer specifically requests a brief introduction.
Why do you need a short cover letter?
There are several reasons why you might need a short cover letter:
- Time-saving: Hiring managers receive numerous applications, and a short cover letter allows them to quickly review your qualifications and decide whether to move forward with your application.
- Attention-grabbing: A short cover letter that highlights your most relevant skills and experiences can grab the attention of the hiring manager and make them want to learn more about you.
- Showcasing key points: By focusing on the most important aspects of your qualifications, a short cover letter allows you to showcase your strengths and make a strong impression in a limited amount of space.
- Following employer requirements: Some job postings specifically request a short cover letter, and failing to provide one may result in your application being disregarded.
When should you use a short cover letter?
A short cover letter is particularly useful in the following situations:
- Online applications: When applying for jobs online, many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes. A short cover letter can ensure that the most important information is captured by the ATS.
- Networking: If you are reaching out to someone in your network for a job opportunity, a short cover letter can serve as a quick introduction and highlight your relevant skills.
- Quick application turnaround: When a job posting has a tight deadline or if you are applying for multiple positions at once, a short cover letter helps you save time and submit your application quickly.
What to include in a short cover letter?
While a short cover letter is brief, it should still include the following key elements:
- Contact information: Include your name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile (if applicable) at the top of the letter.
- Greetings: Address the hiring manager by name if possible. If you don’t know the name, use a generic greeting such as “Dear Hiring Manager.”
- Introduction: Begin with a concise and engaging introduction that states the position you are applying for and how you learned about the opportunity.
- Relevant qualifications: Highlight your most relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that make you a strong fit for the position. Use specific examples to demonstrate your capabilities.
- Closing: End the letter with a strong closing statement expressing your enthusiasm for the opportunity and your availability for an interview.
- Contact information: Repeat your contact information at the end of the letter for easy reference.
How to write a short cover letter?
Follow these steps to write an effective short cover letter:
- Research the company: Before writing your cover letter, research the company and the position you are applying for. This will help you tailor your letter to the specific needs of the employer.
- Choose a format: Decide on a format for your short cover letter, such as a brief email or a one-page document. Keep it concise and focused on the most important information.
- Address the employer’s needs: Identify the key requirements of the job and highlight how your skills and experiences align with those needs.
- Use a conversational tone: Write in a friendly and conversational tone to engage the reader. Avoid using overly formal language or jargon.
- Edit and proofread: Review your short cover letter for any spelling or grammatical errors. Make sure it is clear, concise, and error-free.
Mistakes to avoid in a short cover letter
- Being too vague: Avoid using generic statements and be specific about your qualifications and experiences.
- Including irrelevant information: Stick to the most relevant skills and experiences that are directly related to the position you are applying for.
- Exceeding the page limit: Keep your short cover letter to one page or less, as requested. Long cover letters may be seen as a lack of respect for the employer’s time.
- Forgetting to customize: Tailor your short cover letter to each position you apply for by highlighting the most relevant qualifications.
- Neglecting proofreading: Carefully proofread your short cover letter to ensure it is error-free and presents you in the best possible light.
- Using a generic salutation: Whenever possible, address the hiring manager by name to personalize your cover letter.
In conclusion, a short cover letter can be a powerful tool in your job search. By focusing on the most important information and tailoring your qualifications to the position, you can make a strong impression on hiring managers and increase your chances of landing an interview. Remember to keep it concise, engaging, and error-free, and customize it for each application. Good luck!
Download: Short Cover Letter Template