In this article, we'll cover the question "how long should a cover letter be?" which plagues cover letter writers everywhere when gathering together the information they need to draft a compelling cover letter for a potential new position.
- # The Factors that Determine the Length of a Cover Letter
- # Long Cover Letter? What Really Counts in a Cover Letter
- # Sample Cover Letter Format with Standardized Length
- # How to Edit the Cover Letter Template
Cover Letter Template
The Factors that Determine the Length of a Cover Letter
Cover letter length is determined by several things. Cover letters are a vital part of the process of a job application and one should always be send across with any job role enquiry, unless you're specifically asked not to, or the application is an online application with no option to include a cover letter or message.
It's less clear how long a cover letter should be. Employers don't usually tell you the length of cover letters for their jobs, so it's up to you to figure out what the optimal length of your cover letter should be.
Here are some factors that might determine the length of a cover letter:
- The kind of job you're applying for. Jobs below managerial positions don't require any more than one page for a cover letter. Managerial position cover letters are usually around a page to a page and a half. Academic positions are cover letters up to two pages long. As a general rule of thumb, a cover letter that is one page (or approximately 500 words) is perfectly acceptable for any job.
- The request of the employer. Some employers will request that cover letters are a specific length. Usually, they say that shorter cover letters are better, and most professionals agree that a page is sufficient.
- Character restrictions. Some job applications, especially on job search websites, will have character restrictions on the area that you would type your cover letter up. You might need to re-draft you cover letter to ensure that it fits in the box provided to you.
Long Cover Letter? What Really Counts in a Cover Letter
Cover letters are full of various pieces of information about the applying individual that make up the whole cover letter length. This information should be kept brief, professional, and shouldn't be repeated throughout the cover letter. Your cover letter is your introduction. It's the person that announces you before you enter a room.
In this section, we've put together some quick points about what really matters when you're writing a cover letter.
- Highlighting your relevant experience. The most important part of a cover letter is to describe your skills and relate them to the open job position.
- Getting your professional tone across. Cover letters are individual, yes, but they're also professional. You need to convey your personality, while showing that you're a serious candidate.
- Standing out from the crowd. Tell the employer how you're different to their other applicants; what skills do you have that they don't? What training?
- Showing that you care about the position. Research the company and relate your cover letter back to the job advert. Having a good knowledge of the position will help you stand out.
Sample Cover Letter Format with Standardized Length
In this final part of our guide, we'll show you what a cover letter looks like with proper formatting and how to structure it.
- Begin with contact information. It should look a little like this:
Address Line 1
Address Line 2
Address Line 3
Address Line 1
Address Line 2
Address Line 3
- Write to a person and address them at the start of your letter. If you can't find the name of an individual or manager to direct your cover letter to, call the company:
"Dear Mr. Mouse,"
- Add a subject line:
"Re: Open job position"
- The first paragraph should explain why you're writing to the company. It also outlines your current position, which you can relate to the position you're applying for in the next two paragraphs.
- The second paragraph of your professional cover letter should outline your skills and experience. Don't list skills; simply point out a few which can easily apply to the job position.
- The third paragraph you write should further outline your experiences, your skills, and what makes you stand out as an applicant. Talk about an experience, or extra training that you've had which makes you different to standard candidates.
- Closing paragraph. A closing paragraph is used to briefly note how much you would enjoy working for this new company, what you can offer them, and give you space to outline the effort you're willing to put into your work.
- Closing statement. Inform the employer that you're looking forward to hearing from them soon, and sign-off.
These steps are all vital in creating a good cover letter length with the information you have about your skills and previous work experience. By breaking the structure up like this, you can use approximate word count totals for each paragraph to write a cover letter which is the right length.
How to Edit the Length of a Cover Letter Template
After knowing how long a cover letter should be, you may need to create your own cover letter now. It is easier for you to download and edit one of our beautiful PDF cover letter templates. With a professional PDF editor, Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor, you can make any changes to the templates.