How to reduce your cover letter to 350 words

Tips to study Spanish
Studying flickr photo shared by mer chau under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Cover letters are a great way to promote skills in front of the prospective employer. Though, today you need to make some alterations to what is considered as a good cover letter.

The most important one is that you should not keep it too long. Cover letters used to be around 675 words but nowadays they are going down to 350. Employer have less time to focus on long and time consuming activities like reading about someone`s achievements.

The main aim of the short cover letter remains the same- to show how you could contribute to the organization and why you are the right person to do so. But you should not repeat the things you have written in your CV – all your formal competence and your experience with former employers is already in your CV. That is where recruiters look for this type of information, because the CV is very clear and schematic.

The same for references – if you have a referee`s name reference on your CV, don’t mention them in the cover letter. It makes you look insecure – as if you are leaning too much on somebody else.

About the outlook-in the top right corner, you should have your name, address, telephone number and email address.

Try to find out who is doing the recruiting –do some Internet research. It is better to address the person by name. It makes it more personal. For example, write something like “To Ms. Alex Jenkins. Add the job title like “Director or HR Manager. Then put the name of the organization or company. Below it, write in bold letters “Application for the position”).

You need shorter paragraphs and more space between the lines. Though old-fashioned, Times New Roman is usually recommended. Your cover letter needs to be “airy”, and it shouldn’t look packed.

Don’t use additional things to make sentences more complex like “I would like to highlight the key reasons why I am so keen to be considered and how I can contribute to your company.” Just do it, don’t announce that you’re going to do it. That’s a bit like what good teachers give students in class: they don’t tell students what they’re going to tell them – they simply tell them.

In fact, the cover letter should be so short, clear and to the point and concise that the recipient would be able to read it in about ten seconds.

Once you have done this, proof-read it carefully to make changes if necessary. Do not feel insecure- it is the same job as writing the classic cover letter. Imagine this is a zip version of it.

This may sound overwhelming, but it is the reality of today’s market, and it’s the way recruiters work. Be catchy – grasp their attention but don’t overwhelm them with too much unnecessary information.

Next time you apply for something, give it a try-at least you will know that your letter was read by someone.

If you need to have your cover letter in Spanish proofread, contact me.

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