How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

What is the best cover letter length, and why?

We asked hiring managers and business owners this question to get insights into the ideal cover letter length. From 2/3rds of a page to a max of 400 words, there are several different cover length recommendations and the reasons behind them.

Here are 10 considerations for the desired cover letter length: 

  • 2/3 of a Page, to Make Every Word Count
  • Highlight Your Experience and Passion in a Page Or Less
  • Half Page at Most
  • Time & Optics Make the Ideal Cover Letter One Page Long
  • Concise and Brief
  • Three Paragraphs
  • Creativity and Confidence is Key
  • It Depends On Your Previous Experience
  • One Page Long
  • No More Than 400 Words

2/3 of a Page, to Make Every Word Count

It is infrequent to produce more than 2/3 of an A4 page of text and keep it concise and personal. Exceeding this length often means repeating CV content, using too many filler sentences, or trying to score a whole page. Going over this length also doesn’t indicate a strong motivation but reluctance to use modern templates and respect the recruiter’s time.

Michael Sena, SENACEA

Highlight Your Experience and Passion in a Page Or Less

Ideally, your cover letter should be a half-page to one full page. If you have too much text, the hiring manager may glance over it and not read it all. On the other hand, if you don’t have much written in your cover letter they may think you didn’t put much effort into writing it. Try to keep it to 3-6 paragraphs and keep it to no more than one page. Be straightforward and to the point. Highlight your relevant experience and show that you have a passion for the industry. Then let your resume demonstrate how you are aptly qualified for the position.

Maegan Griffin, Skin Pharm

Half Page at Most

I view cover letters as more of an introduction than a place to sell yourself.  With this in mind, anything more than 1/2 page is overdoing it and I prefer to see just a greeting, a summary of why you’re a good fit, any relevant results or experience, and then a short sign-off.  Depending on the position, we can receive 50+ resumes, and cover letters are rarely looked at twice, we are much more likely to review a resume and ask questions based on it.

Sylvia Kang, Mira

Time & Optics Make the Ideal Cover Letter One Page Long

The ideal cover letter is no longer than one full page and no shorter than half a page. In terms of word count, the ideal cover letter is around 300 – 450 words. The primary reasons for this are time and optics: recruiters and hiring professionals don’t have much time at all to get through cover letters, and the immediate optics can make a real impression. If your cover letter is longer than one page, your writing may suffer from a lack of brevity. On the other hand, a cover letter that is half a page or shorter may appear to be low-effort.

Tina Hawk, GoodHire

Concise and Brief

Your cover letter should be half a page. It should be concise yet include all pertinent information asked for the job. Avoid writing a cover letter that is as long as an essay. Try to make a creative template; Divide your letter into paragraphs and each paragraph must not exceed 150 words. 

Make an effort to hit the job’s most significant pain point in the first 40 characters and must add a call to action in the closing paragraph. Typically, the job owner received more than 50 or over 100 proposals. They lack time to read lengthy, pointless words. As a result, you should always write briefly and effectively. A cover letter seems to be your first impression, so make it as impressive as you can, but do not bluff about yourself.

Ryan Yount, Luckluckgo

Three Paragraphs

Intro, body, and conclusion—use this structure for your cover letter for the best results. Explain who you are and a bit about your background, why you’re applying for the job/why you’re the best fit, and end with the details about your availability or any other routine matters you need to cover.

David Patterson-Cole, Moonchaser

Creativity and Confidence is Key

Your cover letter does not need to be a second resume. Creating a cover letter that is creative and confident can be seen in its length. Additionally, you want to be respectful of the time of your reader. One page is perfect, but do your one page well. Be concise, explain who you are, and open up opportunities for intrigue and conversation. Don’t be afraid to go into two-page territory, but an excellent cover letter of one page has plenty of opportunities to stand out.

Tony Chan, CloudForecast

Depends On Your Previous Experience

It depends on the role you are applying for, as well as your previous experience. That being said, cover letters should not be longer than a page. If your experience aligns perfectly with the role for which you are applying, you may not need to write too much in your cover letter. On the other hand, if you are switching industries, you may need to write a little bit more in your cover letter in order to explain your situation.

Drew Sherman, Carvaygo

One Page Long

A cover letter should be one page long and it should include the following: why you are interested in the position, a brief summary of your qualifications, and how you will follow up. The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself and explain why you are interested in the position. It is also a way to highlight your qualifications and explain how you will follow up. 

It is important to highlight your relevant skills and experience and to explain why you are interested in the position. The cover letter should also be well-written and error-free. A cover letter should be one page long because it is a concise overview of your qualifications and why you are interested in the position. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills.

Jane Kallinger, Sewing From Home

No More Than 400 Words

Cover letters should be a one-page document with no more than 400 words. While your resume serves as a basic form of your previous job experience, employers want to understand your interest in the position and how your history can help you succeed in the role. Try to highlight key points in your resume as well as opportunities that aren’t included, such as volunteering virtually or in person. There may be a high level of applicants, so these letters should be concise with no more than six sentences in each paragraph. Simplicity is key for a solid cover letter, so get right to the point.

Lillie Sun, Three Ships Beauty

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