When crafted effectively, a simple cover letter can win a hiring manager’s attention and convince them to interview you.
Why you should use a simple cover letter
A cover letter doesn’t have to be lengthy to do its job. In fact, many managers would prefer a shorter letter that requires less of their time to read. As long as it hooks the reader’s interest and conveys your qualifications, there’s no need to make your cover letter any longer than necessary.
But there’s a catch to using a brief cover letter: you have to make every line count. This means it can actually be more challenging to write a shorter cover letter than a longer one. Follow these tips for crafting a short and sweet cover letter that gets results.
What to include in a simple cover letter
Direct examples of your strengths
When using a short cover letter, don’t allocate precious space to pleasantries. Instead, dive straight into your pitch for why you’re the best candidate in your very first line.
This can take many different forms. Consider the following cover letter introductory lines:
- With more than two decades of sales experience in the upscale home appliance market, I’m the candidate for your job.
- Instead of dodgeball and duck-duck-goose, my idea of childhood fun was taking apart and reassembling my dad’s old Atari.
- As a lifelong Badgers fan, I’d be honored to bring my skills as a certified UX designer and ADDY award winner to the University of Wisconsin’s digital marketing team.
Three different styles, yet all are effective introductions that draw the reader in while telling them what sets the writer apart.
Your personal style
Opting to use a short cover letter is a choice that also says something about you as a candidate. Perhaps you’re a straight-shooter or a laser-focused communicator. To help that piece of your personality shine through, choose language that matches the way you speak. Here’s an example:
Wrong: ‘Due to the fact that I possess many years’ experience with the coding languages you utilize, I believe I’m thoroughly capable of succeeding in the role.’
Right: ‘I’ve been coding in Python for more than five years, which makes me a great candidate for the job.’
What to omit from your cover letter
When you’re working with fewer words, every one of them needs to contribute to convincing the hiring manager to talk to you. As you proofread each line of your short cover letter, ask yourself, does this line serve that purpose, or can it be omitted?