Cover Letters

What is the Best Cover Letter Length?

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When you apply for a job, your cover letter gives the hiring team their first impression of you. To position yourself as the best possible candidate, it is important to include all relevant information in your cover letter without writing an overly long introduction. This article will discuss the best cover letter length and how to make this introduction as effective as possible.

What is the best cover letter length?

The best cover letter length is between a half-page to a full page, or about 300 words. Break your cover letter into three or four paragraphs that address key points of your application and use a 12-point font. Ensure that the employer can read each paragraph in 10 to 15 seconds so that the letter is simple and straightforward to read.

How to structure your cover letter

When applying for a new job, include these five essential parts when writing a cover letter:

1. First, express interest in the position

Begin your cover letter by explaining your interest in the position and the organization. Be as specific as possible, mentioning relatable experience or something that you admire about the company. Including this allows you to say what draws you to the job posting and gives you a chance to establish a connection with the company. 

2. Second, explain how you qualify

Use your work experience and educational background to explain why you are a good candidate for the position. Explain the bullet points in your resume, using them to create a quick summary.

3. Third, include specifics and data

Incorporate data into your cover letter when you can. Consider using numerical data to show your accomplishments, percentage increases and dollar amounts to convey the objectives you have achieved during your career. 

4. Fourth, mention major accomplishments

Include at least one major accomplishment that relates to the position that you are applying for. Discussing professional success allows you to expand on your work experience and helps the hiring team understand what you might be able to achieve in this new role. 

5. Last, suggest next steps for the hiring team

Close the cover letter by expressing thanks and indicating your interest in continuing through the hiring process. Convey your request for an interview and further discussion about your qualifications for the position. 

Cover letter template

Follow the template below to outline your cover letter:

  • Start with your own contact information
  • Include the date of the application
  • State the employer’s contact information
  • Open with a professional greeting
  • Mention the job opening
  • Discuss your work experience
  • Express gratitude to the hiring team
  • End with a professional salutation
  • Sign or type your name

Cover letter example

Use the following cover letter example as a model to help you write your own:

Hannah Lee
123 Main Circle | New York, NY 11110 | 555-555-5555 | hannah.lee@email.com

July 1, 2019

Pat Smith
Smith & Co. Firm
123 4th Blvd.
New York, NY 11101

Dear Ms. Smith,

I am writing to apply for the Account Manager position at Smith & Co. Firm. I was thrilled to learn about this position from our mutual colleague, Lee Chen, as I have been interested in working for Smith & Co. Firm since the beginning of my career. I have always admired the firm’s client acquisition and maintenance strategy. It is one of the most advanced and data-driven methods in the industry.

I have seven years of experience working in the client management field, and the past three have included a management role. In my most recent role, I developed a strategy for acquiring and retaining new accounts, resulting in a 25% revenue increase for the organization. I also worked with my company’s information technology department to establish a client management system that allows for a 50% increase in efficiency.

My past roles have allowed me to gain the problem solving, analytical thinking and leadership skills that this Account Manager position demands. With my proven experience, I believe I could contribute substantially to Smith & Co. Firm’s objectives.

I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my qualifications for this role in person. Thank you in advance for your consideration. I look forward to talking with you further. 

Sincerely,
Hannah Lee

Tips to email your cover letter

Paper cover letters and email cover letters should follow very similar structures and length guidelines. When including a cover letter in the body of an email, you can eliminate the contact information and date from the beginning of the message. Keep the total length to about 300 words, and proofread before sending your application to the hiring team.