How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

A resume should always be complemented by a cover letter. Like icing on a cake, a well-written cover letter is what turns a good resume into a great one.

Many candidates ignore the importance of the cover letter - this is a huge mistake. On the other hand, there are also those who write overwrought cover letters, and that’s a big no-no as well. To deliver the best results, your cover letter should be professional, free of any grammatical and typographical errors, and most of all, it should just be the right length.

So…How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

You probably know that recruiters only take all of six seconds to judge if a resume is worth their time - cover letters can even be shorter than that. With that in mind, it’s not necessary to write a cover letter that fills a whole page. How long should a cover letter be? It’s enough that the body of the letter itself takes up just about half of the page. That should be sufficient space for three paragraphs, which is the most number of paragraphs you should strive for.

cover letter structure

Now that you know how long should a cover letter be, the next thing to do is make your cover letter flow. Here’s how to arrange your paragraphs:

First paragraph - an irresistible intro

Grab the reader from the beginning of your letter with an intro that gives a clear reason why they should pick you over other candidates. Instead of starting with your personal information (an all too common technique), use your major achievements at your previous jobs to grab their attention. After your opening greeting, get down immediately to the nitty-gritty by saying something like, “With my ability to help my employer save on costs while maximizing efficiency, I believe I am the best candidate for this position,” or something to that effect.

Second paragraph - a winning sales pitch

After luring them in with your intro, win your reader over by using the second paragraph to declare the value that you bring to the company. The best way to achieve this is to provide tangible results to the achievements you claimed in your intro. You must give concrete examples of the positive results that your efforts have contributed to the company, then relate them to what you plan to achieve your potential employer’s company in the future.

On that note, be sure to research the company before writing your cover letter, so you can make your examples align with the company’s mission. By knowing what the company seeks to achieve, you can give more relevant reasons as to why your education, skills, experience and accomplishments fulfill the company’s needs while also making sure you meet expectation of how long should a resume cover letter be.

Third paragraph - a strong close

Use your third paragraph to tell your reader that you appreciate them taking the time to read your cover letter. After offering your thanks, use a ‘call-to-action’ that will compel your reader to respond positively. So instead of saying that you hope to hear from them soon, use a more proactive statement indicating you would like to have the opportunity to discuss further how you plan to contribute to the company’s success.

Let Resumeble write your cover letter for you

A cover letter needs to be personal, yet assertive. Formal, yet friendly. Thorough, yet concise. Resumeble can write for you a cover letter that not only meets the requirements of how long should a professional cover letter be, but will also make the perfect complement to your resume. Contact us today to learn more about how long should a cover letter be 2020 and other questions you may have about your resume.

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