It’s easy to feel intimidated when writing a cover letter. After all, apart from your resume, this is the document that convinces a hiring manager to learn more about you. Many candidates feel like they need to go into great detail about their education, skills, and experience to wow recruiters. From the recruiter’s point of view, however, a short cover letter is almost always more effective.
“When I read a cover letter, I want to know, specifically, what value a candidate can add to the job,” says Louise B., a recruiter who works in international tours sales. “I don’t have time to read their life stories and I’m not interested in how the position will benefit the applicant. Instead, I want to know why I should hire that person for the job in a clear and concise document.”
Tips for Writing a Short Cover Letter
Many jobseekers, especially recent graduates, tend to focus too heavily on their education. No matter how proud you are of your degree, remember that the recruiter is trying to learn more about why you are a better fit for the job than others. Since most jobseekers have college degrees, it’s better to use the paper space to discuss unique experiences.
In addition to emphasizing relevant accomplishments and a culture fit with the company, your short cover letter should feature the following:
- Begin with your name and contact information
- Address the reader by name
- Open with a brief story
- Incorporate numbers and figures to illustrate success
- Break up body content with bullet points
- End by encouraging the recruiter to make the next move
- void being overly formal
Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a short cover letter, use this insight to your advantage. By using direct language and eliminating fluff, you get right to the heart of why a company should hire you. Whether you are a recent graduate or have extensive experience, read on to see examples and learn tips for creating succinct, but successful, cover letters.
Short Cover Letter Examples
Below is a short cover letter for a recent graduate. Although the jobseeker has minimal experience, he keeps the attention on his relevant achievements. He also offers specific examples of success.
Study Abroad Office Front Desk
RE: Study Abroad Program Advisor Position
Dear Ms. Cooper,
When I returned from my semester in New Zealand, facilitated by this very office, I knew I wanted to turn my passion into a career that could impact the lives of other young people. After coming back to Colorado University, I took on my current role as front desk reception for the Study Abroad Office. Since then, I have gained invaluable experience working with students, learning specific program options, and running informational sessions.
Having earned dual bachelor’s degrees in international affairs and higher education, along with my firsthand experience studying abroad, I know I will be an immediate and valuable contributor as study abroad program advisor. In my current role, I have successfully accomplished multiple tasks:
- Led pre-departure seminars with up to 50 students at a time
- Answered questions and handled phone calls from parents
- Gained comprehensive knowledge of visa requirements for all study abroad programs
- Built rapport with outbound students and visiting international students
I am a dynamo not only in advising students and parents but also in meeting goals and deadlines. Whether via phone call or interview, I welcome the opportunity to discuss how I can use my experiences to advance the mission of the Study Abroad Office.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing back and learning more.
Next, we’ll look at an example of a short cover letter for a jobseeker with five years of experience. Although the applicant could go into great detail about her past achievements, she caters her cover letter to the recruiter with concise, yet powerful, examples of her accomplishments. Additionally, she ends her document with a question to the hiring manager as a cue for him to take the next steps.
RE: Assistant Director of Sales Position
Dear Mr. Jones,
This year, I achieved a milestone worth celebrating: I sold 5,000 gym memberships. When the corporate Fitness Plus office established new sales goals, they asked my team and me to increase our numbers by 30% within one year. My 20 team members, all of whom I personally interviewed and trained, were able to hit that mark in less than eight months. On top of this accomplishment, we set a new company sales record.
With five years of experience in sales and management, along with an avid interest in health and fitness, I am confident in my ability to repeat my previous success as your assistant director of sales. In addition to increasing numbers, in my current role, I have effectively improved gym member engagement and customer satisfaction in multiple respects:
- Boosted overall profit by $1 million
- Bolstered membership renewals by 15%
- Attracted lucrative partnerships with vendors
- Created genuine and enduring relationships with clients
Whether I am developing rapport with customers or leading a diverse team to success, I am comfortable handling a wide range of responsibilities. At your convenience, can we schedule a time to discuss how to increase Whole Fitness’s memberships by 10% in the next six months?
Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Start Your Short Cover Letter
Now that you’ve had the chance to look over two different short cover letter examples, it’s time to get started on your own. First, take some time to think about the unique experiences you have that make you a perfect fit for the job. Then, check out Cover-Letter-Now’s quick and effortless cover letter builder to create your document.
As you write, keep in mind that your short cover letter should not be a regurgitation of your resume. It should stand on its own as a compelling document and showcase why your experiences make you the best match for the job.