How to Keep a Cover Letter Concise

A winning cover letter can help you land that job.
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When looking for a job, it's common practice to send a professional cover letter and resume to the hiring manager. The purpose of the cover letter is to further sell yourself to the employer. A good cover letter is brief and to the point. By keeping the letter concise, you show respect for the hiring manager's time, without selling yourself short.

Step 1

Limit your cover letter to one sheet of paper. This doesn't mean you have to fill up space on the whole sheet of paper. If you can say everything you need to say on less, use less. Don't put anything on the cover letter that is already on your resume.

Step 2

Use block style formatting for your cover letter. Use single spacing between sentences, instead of double spacing. Using the wrong format can make your cover letter appear longer than it really is.

Step 3

Include three paragraphs for the entire cover letter. The first paragraph is used to briefly introduce yourself. The second paragraph is used to describe why you are the best candidate for the position. The third and final paragraph is used to ask for an interview.

Step 4

Limit each paragraph to a few sentences, no more than five. This gives the hiring manager just enough information, whetting her appetite to know more about you. This can result in you being offered an interview.

Step 5

Resist the urge to disclose all of your job skills and qualifications in the cover letter. Mention two or three qualifications and keep it moving. Don't mention generic skills that can apply to any job. Only list skills that are specifically related to the job you are applying for.

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