concise cover letters

Posted: October 1, 2013
By: Clay Cerny

Clients will often present me with cover letters that cover an entire page.  They go into great detail to recreate their resume as a narrative.  I prefer a more concise presentation that outline key skills and attributes (a sample).  There are two reasons for doing keeping your letter tight.  First, if employers doesn’t want to read a long resume, why would they want to read long cover letters?  Second, it is a cover letter.  The function of a cover letter is to inform the reader about a document that is included with the cover letter.  Ideally, it will say something that makes the reader want to read the document. Keeping your message focused and concise is the best way to convince an employer to read your resume.

Posted: October 30, 2012
By: Clay Cerny

Today a prospective client told me that he wasn’t getting calls because his cover letter didn’t “touch all the bases.” When I asked what he meant, the prospect began to rattle off detail after detail from his resume, a mad list of facts with no context.

I showed the prospect a couple examples of my cover letters, which are brief introductions to the resume and person sending it.  He asked, “Does this work?”  I answered by presenting a simple fact:  If employers don’t want to read long resumes, why would they want to read even longer cover letters that just repeat what is in the resume?

In any kind of business writing, a cover letter has a simple purpose:  To explain whatever is being sent with the letter.  The other thing (resume, brochure, contract) is what’s important.  Keep the cover letter tight, and readers will look at what is most important:  your resume.

Sample cover letters for

Sales

Management

Career change