You probably know that the standard cover letter length is about 250-300 words. In some cases, going up to 500 words is also acceptable. For example, if you are applying for a federal job or were specifically requested to answer several questions in your cover letter.
However, today most recruiters favor short cover letters. This is especially true if you are sending an email cover letter or a LinkedIn message to follow up on your application. In some cases, shorter cover letters are preferred for internal applications or if you already know the hiring manager.
So, how do you write a short cover letter without eliminating pertinent information? You still want to highlight your interest, showcase your personality, and relevant skills. Well, the best way to learn is through examples.
A General Short Cover Letter Sample
It’s not uncommon for a company to simply request a brief cover letter. Likewise, you may be putting together an application package as more of a formality or submitting your resume to someone who is familiar with you.
In these cases, you don’t need a traditional cover letter. Something brief that covers the basics is just fine. Here’s a great example.
General Short Cover Letter Sample (text version)
Dear Jason Biggs,
First, I wanted to thank you for calling me last week. I really appreciate the heads-up about the opening in your marketing department. Thanks for thinking of me for the role. I am definitely interested and just wanted to go over a few key points.
Most of my marketing experience has been in the banking and finance sector. I believe my experience will be very useful at a fintech firm like yours. I already understand the target audience, and generally how the industry works. Furthermore, I’m familiar with the culture at Biggs Financial Tech as well. Not only that, but I think my approach to managing teams will go over quite well there.
For your reference, I’m attaching my resume and portfolio. Are you open for a lunch meeting next week? I’m closing out some contracts now and would love to make a permanent move soon.
Short Email Cover Letter Example
High chances are that you’d be emailing a potential employer about the job opening. In fact, most specifically ask you to do so.
In that case, you can use the email itself as a stand-in cover letter. The best approach here is to keep things coherent and on-point.
Remember that you don’t need a formal heading. If you have a signature attached to your email, you can skip the closing as well. Here’s an example of that.
Dear Michelle Carter,
My name is Chris Jones and I’m sending you this brief email to apply for the position of line cook. I saw the job listing posted on Career Max, and I am confident that I meet all the application criteria.
I have more than five years of restaurant kitchen experience, a high school diploma, and a food service sanitation certificate. In addition to back-of-house experience, I have also worked as a server and food-runner. My experience includes both casual and fine dining.
I am currently working as a line cook at a ski resort in Vail, Colorado. However, this is seasonal work, and I will be available for new employment in the next three weeks.
If you are interested, I will be in the area next week. Maybe we could meet. As requested, I have attached my resume and two letters of reference.
Short Cover Letter Example For An Internship
If you are applying for an internship, a short cover letter is often best. Why? Because the decision-making will probably be bombarded by a ton of other applications.
Since you don’t want to sound like everyone else does (aka praising the company and emphasizing your desire to learn), try going with a shorter cover letter like this one:
Short Cover Letter Sample For An Internship (text version)
Dear Mr. Tiernon,
My name is Karen Levine, and I am a senior at the University of Denver in the Mass Communications program. I attended your presentation at the school’s internship fair last week and was very impressed by the fact that Radio Station M1 has over 100,000 daily listeners.
As someone who has focused on radio and television production, I am very interested in learning how you’ve managed to scale your audiences and become a top 40 national radio station. However, I also believe I bring some valuable skills to the table. I am experienced in board operation, FCC guidelines, interviewing, announcing, and audio production. Also, I’d be happy to help with podcast production and distribution — something you’ve mentioned you plan to do.
If possible, I’d like to meet for an interview. In the meantime, I’ve attached my resume and a reference from my department head.
P.S. We also have a longer cover letter sample for an internship if you need some extra inspo and writing tips!
Since online communication is the way to go for most people, shorter cover letters are more widely accepted than ever. They work well for emails or applications that are completed entirely online. If you use some of the examples above, you can write a concise cover letter for nearly any type of job application. The key is to focus on the main points, then close with an interview request. Then, all you have to do is attach your resume, and wait for a callback.