Cover letters, as we know them, are obsolete. We are in the age of Twitter and blogs and text messages. No hiring manager, HR manager or recruiter has time or attention to droll through dense text populating more than a page. Our communication mediums are all about short and sweet, and cover letters are no exception – one page with lots of white space and short sentences. There are 3 reasons to keep your cover letter short and sweet:
Reason 1 – You only get 30 seconds
Hiring managers will only give your CV an initial 40 second read and the cover letter gets even less, usually 30 seconds at first read. So you need to make it easy for the eye to find the key information. This means effectively using simple formatting/fonts, lots of white space, bullets and sections.
Reason 2 – You need to show off your communication skills
In this new world of 140-character tweets and SMS messages with a maximum of 160 characters, hiring managers, now more than ever, expect us to write concise, convincing, newsworthy content. And for sustainability roles especially, communication skills are at the top of the list. Wow them with punchy, short, conversational style language and they may actually want to call and talk to you live.
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Reason 3 – Let your CV do the work
In the old days, cover letters would be lengthy letters to prove how your skills and accomplishments fit the job role. Now CVs should do this and cover letters are just a formality to summarise key points. A CV should be focused on your skills and accomplishments relevant to the role you are applying for, while a cover letter is just to introduce how you found out about the job, why it’s your “dream job” and very briefly summarise three reasons why your skills fit the requirements.
This article originally appeared on Acre