Home » Blog » Cover letter basics » Cover Letter Length: Why You Should Shorten It

We’ve mentioned one important cover letter rule several times in this blog, but sometimes it seems like a good idea to mention it again: keep it short. A tight, succinct message will always stick the landing better than a sprawling novel that goes on and on and on. Here are three key reasons why short cover letters seem to land more interview invitations.

1. Short messages have a bigger impact

In many written formats, especially personal appeals, the things we say are often held against us, not used to our benefit. The more we reveal about our needs, our feelings, our circumstances, and our abilities, the more readers can (and will) read between the lines and interpret a sense of neediness, trouble, and shortcomings. During any negotiation process, those who talk the most tend to fare the worst, while silence is often interpreted as confidence and self-sufficiency. Don’t overshare. Save the finer points of your story for the interview.

2. Short messages are easier to remember

As readers, most of us don’t make it all the way to the end of a document that’s long and dense. Attention spans are limited, and when people have the option not to invest in a long read, they usually don’t. If you keep your message lean, there’s a stronger chance your reader will make it all the way to the end and remember your key details.

3. Short messages are respectful

Have you ever found yourself sitting next to someone who drones on and on and felt a sensation that’s not quite boredom, but actually closer to anger? Why does this happen? After all, the person isn’t behaving aggressively he’s just talking. Sociologist suggest that this feeling is an issue of respect. Respecting your listeners means valuing their time and attention and recognising that these things come at a cost. Time and attention are gifts we give to each other in polite society, so demonstrate that you value this gift by keeping your message tight, relevant, and limited to a single page. Now that you know the finer points of crafting a short cover letter that sings off of the page, you can use our free cover letter builder to help you create it.

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