How Long Should A Cover Letter Be (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 Page Long 

A cover letter is a one-page document that can be used as an introduction to a potential employer. When a person is applying for a job, the cover letter is an important document. 

It should be concise and professional, but it should also set it apart from other applicants. 

A cover letter shouldn’t just be a repeat of one’s resume; instead, they must think about what makes them qualified for the position and how they can help solve any problems or issues the company might have.  

The length of the cover letter depends on the company and position a person is applying for. Read more about how long a cover letter will be below.

How Long Should A Cover Letter Be?

DocumentLength
Cover Letter1 Page 
Resume1 Page

The standard length for a cover letter is one page although there are no set guidelines. The point of a cover letter is to get someone interested in a candidate’s resume, so one must tailor it accordingly. 

Think of the cover letter as another form of marketing and trim it down accordingly. Cover letters that go on forever only serve to turn off potential employers from reading through to the actual resume.

A cover letter is written to introduce oneself to an employer and introduce their interest in the advertised position.

It is a written introduction of oneself that often accompanies a resume. It can include as much or as little detail as one feels comfortable with; including a personal story and previous work experience is not out of the question.

Sometimes, the length of the cover letter depends on who will read it- if it’s going to HR professionals, then it needs to be short and sweet with no more than three paragraphs total. On the other hand, if the person reading is in charge of hiring decisions or has power over promotions, then they may require more information, so make sure that both ends are addressed in the same way.

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Not all employers read cover letters – they may be more inclined to skim through the resume instead. If this is the case, a candidate must ensure that the letter succinctly states why they are a favorable candidate for the position and include any key details missed in the resume’s profile section. 

Why Should A Cover Letter Be So Long?

The length of a cover letter is a point of contention for many job seekers. The consensus seems to be that a one-page cover letter is acceptable as long as it showcases a candidate’s skills and qualifications.

Knowing the length of a “typical” cover letter lets the recruiter know how long they have to read it. Therefore, if a candidate wants their application to be opened, employers want letters that are not too lengthy or too short in length – about one page in total, three paragraphs should do nicely.

The ideal length is one page divided into 3 or 4 paragraphs. The first part must explain how the person heard about the vacancy. This is where one must show their creative streaks by including a piece of attention-grabbing information.

An example would be “I am an experienced Marketing Consultant with over 5 years of marketing experience.”

The second part must include the qualification and highlights of the career with particular examples.

For example, one can effectively say, “Over the past 5 years, I have increased the company revenue by 90% and website visitors to 100,000.” 

The third paragraph must include the request for an opportunity to discuss the job further. Again, one must provide accurate contact details and other information so that the employer can easily reach out.

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Overall, a candidate should pay extra attention to customize the cover letter so that the companies know it is not just a generic template but created with a lot of focus. 

Conclusion

The objective of the cover letter is to pique the reader’s interest by showing them that someone is indeed a strong candidate while also making them read one’s profile with enthusiasm and, of course, score an interview.

Don’t go with the one size fits for all cover letter; make sure to spend extra minutes personalizing it. Also, candidates must make sure to proofread the cover letter twice or thrice and have a friend read it aloud as well. One cannot make a great impression with a cover letter full of grammatical errors and misspellings. The point is to make the employers read the resume.

References

  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/nn100907e 
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11948-014-9554-8 
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