You’ve made it to the interview stage of the job application process. Congratulations! You have a great resume and cover letter, and now you need to seal the deal with your interview skills.
Even if you’re just starting in your career or making a career change, having solid interviewing skills can be critical for landing that dream job especially when there are so many qualified candidates competing for one opening.
But before we explore how to nail your next interview, let’s talk about something else: namely, how long should a cover letter be?
How Long Should A Cover Letter Be?
Most cover letters are between one and two pages.
That said, we’re not saying there aren’t exceptions to this rule. Some jobs might require longer cover letters, but for the most part, a single page is your best bet. If you have more than three paragraphs of information about yourself (or your experience), then it might be time to consider cutting down your content or looking for another job opportunity that fits your skills better.
How Many Pages Should A Cover Letter Be?
A cover letter can be as long or short as you’d like it to be. You don’t have to write a whole book, but if you know that you have enough information to fill pages and pages of content, then by all means do it! If your cover letter is ten pages long and you only need three paragraphs explaining what makes your experience relevant for the role, then that would be too much.
However, if the content is relevant and concise, who cares how many pages it takes? There are some situations where lengthier cover letters are appropriate like when writing a cover letter for an academic position or applying for a job outside of your field (for example: applying for a position at an investment bank with no prior experience in finance).
In these cases, having more information about yourself will help convince them that yes you are qualified for this job.
In general though? Unless specifically asked by an employer, keep it short and sweet!
What Are The Three Most Important Parts Of A Cover Letter?
The three most important parts of a cover letter are:
A greeting and closing. The first thing readers will see is your name, followed by a salutation and closing statement. This may seem small, but it’s crucial for creating an introduction that feels personal and professional at the same time.
One page only! Most professionals recommend keeping your cover letter to one page, which means including any additional information (like previous jobs) in an attachment rather than in the body of the document itself. If you need more space for your resume or other details about yourself, consider using separate pages for those documents as well.
Tailored specifically to the job description. Be sure to tailor this part carefully so that it matches exactly what hiring managers are looking for when they read through applications and make sure not to send out generic letters if you want yours to stand out!
What Is The Purpose Of A Cover Letter?
A cover letter is the first impression you get to make on an employer, so it must be well-written and present your skills and experience in a positive light. A good cover letter will do the following:
- Introduce yourself, your skills, and your experience
- Show why you’re a good fit for the position
- Show that you’ve done your research on the company (and by extension, the role)
- Demonstrate that you’re serious about applying for this job
What Is The Difference Between A Cover Letter And A Resume?
You might be wondering what the difference is between a resume and a cover letter. A cover letter is your chance to sell yourself to the employer, and it’s often your first impression of them. The resume is where you put everything that makes up who you are: all of your skills, accomplishments, and education. Here’s an example:
- In this section, write what information goes on each page of your cover letter.
- In this section, explain the order in which these items should appear on each page (do not include headers).
How Can You Stand Out In Your Cover Letter?
When writing a cover letter, you need to make sure that it’s tailored to the job. If you’re applying for a position that requires you to write code, then it’s better if your cover letter is about how great of a coder you are. If the job listing asks for someone who can do graphic design, then mention that in your cover letter as well.
When writing your cover letter, include references to what was written in the job description and any other requirements listed there. Also, make sure to highlight any accomplishments from previous jobs or school experiences that might be relevant for this position and add them to your cover letter too!
You never know when including something like this will give an employer an extra reason why they should pick out yours over another applicant’s application packet!
How Do I Write A Good CV And Cover Letter?
Your CV and cover letter are your first chance to make an impression on a potential employer, so they must be well-crafted. To ensure your documents are in top shape, follow these steps:
Do Your Research
This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s worth repeating because you can’t write effectively if you don’t know what kind of information is expected from you or how the hiring manager likes to receive it. Find out as much as possible about the job posting itself—what qualifications are listed in the description? What skills?
What experience? Is there a section dedicated to personality traits or interests? How long is the application process typically taking at this company (i.e., number of days between submission and callback)? Does this company tend toward longer cover letters or shorter ones?
In addition, look up any notable news stories about companies similar to yours online if anything interesting has happened recently within their ranks (such as layoffs), be sure to include a sentence about how recent events have affected your interest in working there.
Should My Cover Letter Include Work Experience?
If you have work experience that is relevant to the position for which you are applying, include it. If you don’t have any relevant work experience, including volunteer experience. If you don’t have any relevant work experience or volunteer experience, include academic experience.
If you don’t have relevant work experience, volunteer experience, or academic experience, then consider including some personal qualities that make up who you are as a person: these could include an interest in languages (if this relates to the job posting), a passion for cooking or art (again if they relate), etc
This will show hiring managers who are reading through hundreds of applications that they should take notice of yours!
Should I Include My GPA On My Resume And Cover Letter?
When it comes to including a GPA on your resume, there are many factors to consider. If the job you are applying for requires that you have a certain GPA or higher, then yes, absolutely include your GPA (and make sure it’s a 3.0 or better). However, if this isn’t specified in the posting, it’s best to omit it from your cover letter and resume.
Consider why you would include your GPA on each document separately:
If the job requires a minimum GPA and yours is lower than what is required? You may want to still include this information; however, when doing so consider why showing up as less qualified than others could potentially improve your chances of securing an interview with them.
When Is It Okay To Send In A Two Page Resume Or Cover Letter When Asked For One Page Only?
It’s okay to send in a two-page resume or cover letter when asked for one page only if your experience is extensive or very relevant. As an example, if you’ve been in the profession for 20 years, have had many important positions at different companies, and worked with a lot of people, it’s not going to be hard to fill up two pages with just your work history alone.
If you were lucky enough to do something like this (or whatever qualifies as “extensive” and “very relevant”), then yes! Send in a two-page resume/cover letter when asked for one page only.
If you don’t feel that this applies to your situation, however.
Can You Put Contact Information On Both The Cover Letter And Resume?
You can put contact information on both the cover letter and resume. The best thing to do is to put your contact information in both places if you’re applying for a job that requires you to apply online. This way, if someone wants, they can contact you directly.
If not, at least they’ll have your resume to refer back to if they want more details about what makes you qualified for a role after looking over your cover letter.
Should My Cover Letter And Resume Have The Same Design And Fonts As The Job Description?
You should use the same design as the job description. This includes using the same font, color scheme, and general layout.
You can be creative with what you do with these elements to make your cover letter and resume stand out, but it’s always a good idea to follow along with the original design to avoid being too jarring or different from what someone is expecting based on seeing the job listing for a long time.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article, so hopefully, you feel better prepared to write your letter.
Remember that the most important thing to remember is that you need to keep it personal and relevant your cover letter should make an argument for why you are the best person for the job. If there’s anything we haven’t covered here (or if you have any questions), feel free to reach out via email!