A cover letter is a way to screen applicants for available interviews. It includes detailed information on why you should be selected for the job? It exaggerates the reasons for your interest in the organization and manages the most relevant skills and experiences. It is basically a supplementary to you resuming and highlights only such factors which are relevant for the job you are applying for. The employers receive lots and lots of resumes once they launch an opening so it becomes difficult for them to interview each and every person who has applied for. Thus, they screen out applications on the basis of covering letters. To show your relevant skills, your covering letter should be such that it should attract the employer from its first look. They need to be concise and must be within a page. The busy persons will just skim your covering letter in 10-20 seconds. So, you should make it sure that the points are clear and to the point. There are certain ways to cram down lots of information in such little space. Here are below mentioned ways:
How to Write a Short and Concise Letter: 16 Tips
1. Only 30 seconds time allotted to your letter: Hiring managers are so busy that they will have only 30-40 seconds time to read your covering letter. You need to include proper spaces, simple formatting and bulleted points to make your experience easy for the eye. When you want your CV to be different from all, you need to make a cover letter which is different from all. This is a very important self document. Due to such less time allotted to read the covering letter, candidates feel that they are not even read. But this is not true. If employers find catchy lines in the covering letter they go ahead and read in a summarized way. When you present it in a brief form, it shows your intelligence.
2. Show off your communication skills: The covering letter is the first impression you put in front of the recruiter. This letter should portray your communication skills and the way you present your data. It look appreciative if you use punchy and short sentences which are effective and definitely used for making you call and invite for the interview. A communicative candidate is a must for any position and his skills will be displayed in his covering letter itself. The paragraphs may be short but they should be full of passion and excitement in working in the organization and praising it. Covering letter is better written in a conversational manner.
3. Only Reasons for applying the job shall be highlighted: The readers normally are busy and they are unwilling to read and waste their time on it. Don’t make it complicated and formal. Maintain your letter in a standardized format so that the eyes knows from where and what information is to be extracted from it. It is true that the topic and matter is same for all. But you can make it unique by using different words for the same matter. The reason being the same, it can be in a sincere way.
4. Allow your CV to do the work: There is an attachment with the covering letter called the Curriculum Vitae which is responsible for including all details related to your professional and academic qualification, skills and experiences. Allow that CV to be filled with your everyday achievements. Keep the detailed things away from the letter. It is important to get your resume noticed too. If you include all the points in the covering letter, neither will it serve the purpose for the employer to read it, nor will it display your skills in a correct way. So, it is better to make your covering letter short and your resume in detailed format.
5. Make your covering letter right sized: The best approach is to stick to facts of writing the letter. Start from the very beginning mentioning the reasons and make your lines attention seeker. Speak out why they should hire you mentioning the relevant qualification and experience. Ask for interview and follow up details and close the letter by signing in a sincere manner. The plain format of the letter will be automatically impressive when the words in it will show their magic.
6. Short means interesting: Short letters are easier for you to proof read them. Write directly from your heart. Keep you aim and goals in writing in a tight manner. First understand the pressure you will have as a recruiter reading your covering letter. You should feel proud of yourself reading your document, then you can expect others to show interest in these. Don’t make your letter a dry reading for them. Approach the recruiter directly to call for an interview because you want the job.
7. It is not your autobiography: A covering letter is just a letter of introduction that highlights your key information and accomplishments. It is only to make sure you are fit for the job opening. It is written to focus on the important areas of your resume. It is written particularly for each employer and each job highlighting the importance of their organization and the openings. It is not right to consider your covering letter as your autobiography and write the whole life history.
8. Make edited sentences: A strategically targeted covering letter is the most important weapon with which you can fight the battle of getting the job. So, make your weapon as sharp as possible so that you get through in just one cut. Edited sentences show that you are targeting the job and the employer in a specific way.
9. It will not make you repeat information: When you know that you have to restrict yourself into some paragraphs, you will tend to remove unnecessary portions from the letter. The main purpose of a covering letter is to market your skills, qualification and experiences. The letter plays a major role for tweaking in to the applicant list. So, you should not repeat your resume details in a shorter way. Instead, you should tell the employer what attractive elements you found for the job and why you want to work there.
10. It will make your exclude irrelevant information: Since, it is in your mind to make yourself precise and short, you will edit it number of times to remove unnecessary information. This proofreading will make your letter more strong and presentable. Other than unique skills, you will want to exclude all other personal information because your main motive will be to highlight the skills.
11. Some information shall be provided on request: By dropping a covering letter, give the employers and readers a chance to approach you. In regard to references and other non crucial information, mention that they shall be provided on requirement, so that your purpose is served and your letter is also clean.
12. Style of writing will enhance: The covering letter needs as much attention for preparation as a resume. This is a valuable document at the time of evaluation. Generally, candidates prepare the covering letter after preparing the CV. So, it is just an after document for them. But they don’t know that it is a very instrumental document for the employer. Even though everything is online in recent days, a covering letter still holds its own importance. It is preferable to submit covering letters along with resumes even if you are submitting online.
13. Unnecessary exaggerations shall be removed: Only provide examples that will demonstrate a clear link between your knowledge, abilities and experience and also match with the needs of the employer. Include soft skills and academic skills in the covering letter only if your are applying first time for a job with no experience. After you have gained experience, you can only include your experience and not required to include any academic criteria
14. Only include critical information: A cover letter is the first thing that lodges in the minds of the employers. Here, you get an opportunity to interact with the employer and sell your key strengths confidently, to grab the readers’ attention. It is likely to progress in the line of selection process. Don’t make spelling and grammatical errors in the covering letter. A mistake in the covering letter will not only reveal your lack of interest but also show that you don’t have a habit of proofreading the same whatever you are writing.
15. Short letters will make the employer take early decisions: A tailored and a compelling letter shows that you have taken time to go through the basic requirements of the company openings and the company profile. It is a platform to express your enthusiasm to the employer and ask him to demonstrate values you would add to the organization.
16. Effective selling: Covering letter are effective selling documents because they keep your salable attributes in the front. Explaining your achievements will show that you are suitable for the job and also let you stand apart from the other candidates as well. Make sure whatever you write is valid and true to best of your knowledge and written in a tone which creates interest in you as a potential candidate to interview.
A well crafted letter is generally vital in applying for any job. It should only speak of hiring you. It shows that you are eager to contribute your expertise to the company. It is the golden and first rule of job searching. A concise cover letter adds value to the resume.