To make a great impression, you need the right information. A short cover letter can save you and a potential employer, time.
In this guide, you’ll find:
- Five effective short cover letter examples
- Reasons to write a short cover letter
- Tips to make the most of your short and sweet cover letter
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5 Short Cover Letter Examples
Need inspiration? These five free short cover letters examples can steer you in the right direction.
Tips on how to write a short cover letter
Knowing how to write a cover letter is the first step to creating an effective document to highlight what you bring to the table and your personality.
- Don’t skip the business letter format. The brevity of a short cover letter relates to its content. Don’t cut corners on the professional side and use the right format.
- Use the job description as a guide. This is where the employer explains what they look for in a candidate. It’ll help you write a simple short cover letter with the right information.
- Open the brief, short cover letter by explaining why you are a great candidate and why you want to work for this employer.
- Do not repeat your resume. Expand on results and experience. You can choose one and expand it in one or two sentences. Or use bullet points to make an even more concise, short and simple cover letter.
- Only include what is relevant to the job.
- Rely on action verbs for stronger, shorter sentences. Action verbs are powerful and concise, using them will help you write a great short cover letter.
- Check your grammar and spelling. You have the right information to draw the hiring manager’s interest, yet a careless mistake could cost you an interview. Use an extra pair of eyes, a grammar-checker, a writing aid service or all the above for a great simple short cover letter.
- Use a short cover letter as the body of an email, if you want to include more information about your career and a cover letter was not specifically requested.
Why write a short cover letter
A short cover letter can:
- Show you value time by being direct. Hiring managers don’t have much time and by going straight to the point, you’ll save them time.
- Showcase your personality and skills. You’re about doing, not talking. A short cover letter allows you to directly highlight what you bring to the table.
- Speed up your application writing process. You’ll spend less time looking for words to include and more time focusing on how to build a great job application.
Browse through 250+ cover letter examples for all jobs and career levels. Find inspiration to start writing your own short cover letter.
Short cover letter templates
Short cover letter FAQ
How to write a short cover letter?
Follow the same cover letter format to write a short cover letter:
- Introductory paragraph explaining who you are and what you seek.
- Write a one-body paragraph with your strongest, job-relevant skills and experience. If you prefer, use bullet points to get your point across and keep your letter
- Use a closing paragraph with a call to action.
What not to include in a short cover letter?
Make the most of your short cover letter by omitting unnecessary and irrelevant details.
- Irrelevant job experiences. If you’re advancing your career as a nurse, no need to rehash your waitressing experience.
- Words to up your word count. No need to use 12 words for something clearly explained in five words. Remember to use action verbs.
- Personal information, like unrelated hobbies or interests, marital status, parental status, personal issues or employment issues.
Remember, a cover letter helps set up the interview, where you’ll have time to talk about other skills and experiences. This is just step one.
When to avoid using a short cover letter?
Avoid a short cover letter:
- If you’re applying for a position in academics, communication industry or a career that requires a prolific writer, like grant specialist or ghostwriter, among others.
- If you’re in the midst of changing careers, an employer will notice your previous work experience in your resume. A cover letter will help you explain your interest in the new industry and what you could bring to the table.
- Avoid using a cover letter of any length if the job application requests no cover letters.
Can a cover letter be less than 200 words?
Yes. There is no set rule on a cover letter’s length. Ideally, a cover letter is between 250-400 words. However, if you are able to include the necessary information in a short cover letter, there is no need to achieve the standard one-page length.
Short cover letters’ key takeaways
- Use a traditional cover letter format when writing a short cover letter.
- Always customize your cover letter to the job description.
- Action verbs save you space and empower your accomplishments.
- Do not regurgitate your resume. Expand on it by using storytelling or bullet points.
- Ensure impeccable grammar with the help of a spell-checker, grammar service and the help of a trusted person.
- Avoid personal information, like parental status, marital status or issues at previous employment.
How we reviewed this article
Since 2013, we have helped more than 15 million job seekers. We want to make your career journey accessible and manageable through our services and Career Center’s how-to guides and tips. In our commitment to bring you a transparent process, we present our Editorial Process.
- Harvard Business Review. Silverman, David. “The Best Cover Letter I ever Received”
- Columbia University Center for Career Education. How and Why to Write a Great Cover Letter.
- Walk of Life “3 Reasons to Keep Cover Letters Short and Sweet, like Tweets”