Keep cover letters short and sweet

by Shannon Houde

Cover letters are becoming obsolete. We are in the age of Twitter, blogs and text messages. No hiring 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.


Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up

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

Photo by Unsplash via Pixabay

Find us on Facebook for career advice, sustainability market insights, and hot jobs.


You may also like...

online course
5 Reasons why our online course will point you to Purpose

You asked, we answered: affordable and accessible career coaching has claimed its spot within Walk of Life. Whether you’re changing careers, returning to the workforce, or feeling engulfed in career fog without purpose, here’s why our online course should be at the top of your priority list: We’ve done most of the work for you Get our proprietary toolkit – created after a 20-year career as a recruiter, CR consultant and business strategist, I’ve seen all the mistakes that jobseekers make

By Shannon Houde
Job seeking through the holidays

If you are working on job applications over the holiday break, here are five helpful tips that will help you stay focused and be impactful. Tip #1: A recruiter or hiring manager is only going to look at your CV for an average of 40 seconds. Therefore, being able to identify these 15 words (5 values, 5 traits and 5 skills) and highlight them at the top of your CV/resume gives them a quick snapshot of who you are, how

By Shannon Houde
Know yourself & your audience to win work

An elevator pitch is your verbal pitch that answers the question, “What do you do?” while the written profile for your CV/resume answers the question, “Who are you?” Both are key to developing a strong personal brand.

By Shannon Houde
Myths of CV and resume writing

As a career coach and former HR exec, I know first hand what makes a resume stand out. Equally, I know what makes a hiring manager drop a resume into the ‘No Way’ tray. Many myths are propagated in relation to CVs and resumes. It’s a veritable minefield! In today’s blog, I’m busting some of those myths to help you avoid the common traps and shape your CV into something the hiring manager really wants to see. 1. CV content

By Shannon Houde


Book a 30-minute trial session with Shannon