Is Your Cover Letter Too Long?

Since I’m spending the week reviewing resumes and doing phone screens for a client, I thought I should share something important that my client said to me today about all the resumes she’s been getting – and the accompanying cover letters that are driving her crazy. Her words:

PLEASE tell people not to write two-page cover letters! I don’t care how well they write or how interesting they are as people, I just don’t have time to read them.

So now I’ve told you. Don’t do that, ok? 😉

Good cover letters can make a big difference in getting you to that all-important job interview.  But you don’t want them to turn off the employer before you’ve even had a chance to show them how great you are!

Keep your cover letters short and interesting. Use them to highlight how well your strengths match the job. Let the employer know how to contact you. And that’s pretty much it.

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For a bit more on cover letters and resumes:

How a New Resume and Cover Letter Got Her the Job Interview!

 

About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.

Comments

  1. How true! A good letter is a short letter. You could start out with a long letter as your DRAFT, if that helps you get things down in print. But once you’ve finished your long draft, work hard at editing it down to a short one-page letter that looks quick and easy to read (three or four brief paragraphs). That way it will get read!

  2. Wow. I don’t know how I’d think of even four paragraphs to write without blathering.

  3. Susan: Thanks for stopping by. You know I’m a big fan of your work. Your book and site have helped a lot of people get jobs. Thank you for that.

    TEB: I’m a big fan of yours too, as you well know. I was thinking about your comment when I read the unabridged 2 page letter one prospective interviewee sent. And sadly, it made lots of points that had nothing to do with the job, as interesting as they may be under different circumstances.

    When I’m reading 20 resumes and covers, I want the person to be clear and grab my attention in a professional and engaging way. Don’t tell me about your hobbies in a cover letter unless they are exactly on point!

    But you are now the master of the cover having had a brilliant (ahem) instructress, so I don’t have to tell you any of this.

    Hope all is proceeding nicely in your new home and work!

    Ronnie Ann

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