Resume Critiques by a Professional in Human Resources

The Short Cover Letter

I am an advocate of the short cover letter. There are exceptions to every rule, but this is the advice I offer to the majority of my clients. Longer cover letters can contain redundancies, boring content, creative shticks that fall flat and potentially disclose unnecessary information. Shorter cover letters are easy to absorb and can highlight your top qualifications for the job.

Short cover letters can be broken down into a three-paragraph format:

  • The Opening Statement – This should include the position and where you heard about the opening. You can be creative if you like but keep it short.
  • Why Should They Hire You? – This paragraph should include information to ensure the hiring manager that you possess the qualifications for the position. Let’s say the position description requires 8 years of sales management experience and an expertise in the wholesale beverage industry. The writer will want to say that they have over ten years’ experience with Anheuser Busch and highlight one or two major work accomplishments.
  • Closing Statement – I recommend thanking the reader for their time and let them know you are looking forward to an interview. Phrase your words with confidence.

There are times when I suggest additional content in a cover letter. Please include any strong connection with someone in the company that would offer up a glowing recommendation. A cover letter is also an opportunity to control the dialogue on a potential red flag within your qualifications. For example, if you are re-entering the full-time workforce after being an at-home caregiver, you will want to address this as positively as possible – “During my five years managing our home, I maintained my project management certification through continuing education credits and took on freelance projects intermittently with ABC Company. Though I enjoyed this chapter of my life, I am ready to move on to a team that requires my efforts on a full-time basis.” In summary, a short cover letter can still include any information that a hiring manager will want to know that may be difficult to include in your resume.

The short cover letter is easily absorbed and allows for maximum retention. I would love to provide a critique on your resume and cover letter. My critiques include examples and tips on content, grammar, and formatting without the high price tag of hiring a resume writer. Please click here to buy your critique today or check out my bio.

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