Short To The Point Cover Letter

We’re going to tell you about the biggest lie floating around the Internet. No, it’s not the one about Khloe Kardashian’s real dad, or Beyoncé’s fake baby bump. This is some next level conspiracy theory stuff. Are you ready? Here it goes:

Contrary to what the internet says, you don’t need to write a long cover letter. In fact, you should never write a long cover letter. Ever. Why? Because no one wants to read a long cover letter. Long cover letters make hiring managers look through multiple paragraphs to find the skills necessary for the job. Short cover letters present the necessary skills to the hiring manager.

Here’s an example:

Subject: Social Media Marketing Coordinator with 3 Years of Experience

Dear Amy,

I’m writing in response to the opening for Social Media Marketing Coordinator at Dreamworks, and I believe this position will report to you.

I have three years of experience doing social media marketing for Disney Films, in which I helped grow Twitter followers from 60K to 1 million. I have strong problem-solving skills and experience managing campaigns from start to finish, both of which should make me an ideal candidate for this role.

I’ve attached my resume for your review and would love the chance to speak with you about this opportunity.

Best,

Ariel

Why it works: It’s digestible. It takes Ariel’s skills and explains how those skills relate to the desired job. It calls the hiring manager to action and says “I’m the right person for this job.”

So, when you apply to your next job, resist the urge to tell the hiring manager about your camp counseling days, and keep your cover letter short, sweet, and to-the-point.

This article was originally published on The Politesse.

Photo: Alejandro Escamilla / Unsplash

Everyone hates writing cover letters. Everyone. And hiring managers hate reading them. Why?

The average cover letter is crap. There, I said it. When most candidates write a cover letter, they convert their resume into paragraphs of lifeless, overly buttoned-up language. In the Twitter age of 140 characters or less, ain’t nobody got time for that.

Your cover letter is a chance to show off personality.

Your cover letter is a chance to express genuine interest in a company.

Your cover letter—if it does both these things— is a chance to quickly grab attention.

Think about it.

You’re a hiring manager working through a pile of “I am writing in response to blah-blah-blah…” messages, when suddenly, you read one that shows you that there’s an actual person on the other end of the line. Who would you rather call for an interview? The actual person, right?

The best part of what I’m telling you here, is that you can cut through the crap in about three sentences.

Please steal this template and make it your own:

Dear [name],

[Company Name] is known for [characteristic] and I would love the chance to contribute to this reputation as your next [job title].

The attached resume will tell you all about my # years of experience in [thing you do]—what it won’t tell you is that I’m crazy about [thing the new job involves] and creating [awesome thing resulting from your skills].

I’m ready to leverage my background in a role with a team that values [quality], and [company or department name] seems like the right place to do this.

Thank you for your time,

[Yo’ name!]

You could replace the first sentence with a blurb about who referred you to the company. Or fold in words and phrases of your own. You might stuff a short list of bullets about your skills in there, if you really wanted to. Or swap the ending for one that talks about when you’re free to chat.

Whatever you do, it’ll be better than the blah-blah-blah version you’ve been using.

Here’s an “after” example, with a few twists:

Pinterest is known for turning the digital advertising market on its head and I’d love the chance to contribute to this reputation as your next PR manager.

The attached resume will tell you about the 10 years I’ve spent in media relations across a range of verticals—what it won’t tell you is that I’m crazy about generating awareness in bold and meaningful ways.

I’m looking to join a team that’s not afraid of calculated risks, and your department in Germany seems like that kind of place.”

By creating a template like this one, you’ll save yourself time without coming off like a phony bologna that’s stamped a cookie-cutter message on each application you submit.  Oh, and it pairs well with a concise resume.

The last thing I’m going to point out here is the relaxed, almost conversational tone of your new cover message. You’re emailing this bad boy. It doesn’t have to sound like an invitation to the governor’s ball.

Still have questions about crafting the perfect cover letter? Leave a comment or contact me 🙂

Cover Letter , email , hiring manager

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