A cover letter gives you an opportunity to highlight your career development journey. It’s your ad campaign, marketing your skills and experiences to your potential employers. Most recruiters want to see how you can impact their company through your letter.
Choosing the ideal page count can make or break your application process. Some companies may appreciate thorough information, while others might not have the time.
Corporate job openings attract around 250 applicants. Therefore, your cover letter should include details directly related to the role to boost your hiring chances.
But is it necessary to submit a two-page cover letter? It depends on your background experience concerning the role and company requirements. Go over these points below to see your ideal cover letter length.
Can a cover letter be two pages?
Most corporate jobs require a one-page cover letter. A survey says 83% of recruiters agree that an effective cover letter can increase your hiring chances even if your resume isn’t good enough. However, some say it’s optional, but it’s better to be ready.
Ensure readability. Your cover letter shouldn’t bore your employers, so avoid filler words. Write simple words instead of using technical industry terms.
What is the ideal cover letter length?
Writing an outstanding cover letter is a balancing act. Writing Tips Institute can agree that it shouldn’t be too little and that it doesn’t have enough information. Nor it shouldn’t be too stuffed with a lot of data.
When to submit a two-page cover letter
Recruiters sift through hundreds of applications per job listing. They may not have enough time to read your lengthy application. Still, some instances may require you to submit a two-page cover letter.
Legal and government responsibilities have enormous selection criteria. They have strict guidelines before accepting the right candidate. So submitting a two-page cover letter detailing your credibility is appropriate in these sectors.
You can submit a two-page cover letter if you fit the following criteria:
- Company requirements. You can use a two-page document if your employer requires you to include testimonials from former bosses. They want to conduct a background check to see if your application letter reflects their feedback.
- Numerous skills and advancements. Senior applicants with diverse background experiences typically submit a two-page cover letter. They want to emphasize how their capabilities can help the company succeed.
- Detailed job description. When a job instructs you to address several requirements, use a two-page cover letter to explain effectively. Call the HR department and ask for key elements on how to outline your letter. These factors may include formatting spaces, fonts, footers, and headings.
When to submit a one-page cover letter
Some employers have strict directions for a cover letter. They may ask for a word limit, a reflection on a given topic, or answer a question. You don’t have to hit the exact word count but focus on the content.
Present a one-page cover letter if you meet the measures below:
- Industry standards. The standard page length of cover letters can fit on a single page. If white spaces worry you, embrace them. Most hiring managers will find it easier to read through your letter over a wall of worthless text.
- Limited job description. Delivering relevant skills that match the job description on one page can save your employer’s time. Include impactful stories using the STAR method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This strategy gives a clear example of your skill’s effectiveness.
- Ability to express achievements on one page. Some applicants can explain their achievements and how they can enhance the company on a single page. Their paragraphs include strong, simple descriptions to prove their qualifications.
How to write a one-page cover letter
Your cover letter outlines the position you’re applying for and information highlighting why you fit the job. The first part should include the date and contact person’s name, title, company, and address. Choose professional terms to address your contact person in the salutation section—for example, Dear, Mr., or Ms.
Unless you don’t have the contact name, you can simply address the letter as “Dear, Hiring Manager, or Prospective Employer.” Avoid overly formal words like “To whom it may concern” because they’re outdated.
But remember to always research the company before applying for a job. It shows the commitment and willingness to go the extra mile to gather exact information about your recruiter.
Start your cover letter with an attention-grabbing first paragraph. Then, add strong selling points that stand out from the rest of the applicants. Be explicit and straightforward with your intention from the get-go.
The second paragraph gives a summary of your critical and persuasive skills. Try not to restate your resume. Instead, add professional drama around a central idea. State at least 2-3 key accomplishments that tie back to the role that shaped your career.
Finally, the closing statement. To write an unforgettable cover letter, draw the reader to a call-to-action, summarizing why they should consider you for the role.
Avoid submitting a cover letter without giving it your full attention. You might miss out on bits of unnoticeable errors, so make sure to proofread.
1. Keep your opening brief and concise
Typically, a cover letter should encompass half a page to a full page length. Express your strengths in 3-4 sections that are readable in less than 20 seconds. So be specific. Write your crucial motivation that foreshadows what you’ll do for the company.
2. Do not write a summary of your resume
HR managers spend roughly 30 seconds to a minute reviewing resumes. So make sure to write a banging cover letter that mirrors your resume. Keep fonts in all documents consistent and cohesive to show professionalism.
Apply appropriate text formatting with readable text styles. The best cover letter should have a 12pt font size and use font types like Calibri, Garamond, and Times New Roman.
3. Identify and cut the fluff
Your cover letter shouldn’t have irrelevant fillers that don’t talk about how you can help the company. State precise, impactful information about your skills and professional history. Steer clear from corporate jargon. Use simple, understandable words in place of technical expressions.
4. Avoid using too many adjectives and adverbs
Another way to shorten your cover letter is to minimize your adverbs and adjectives. Though they add color to your letter, using too many is not the best way to persuade your employer. Instead, make an effort to write distinct descriptions without getting out of topic in place of broad terms.
Here’s an example:
- I am an excellent and dedicated employee with a long, impressive work history in this industry.
- I have certifications in SEO content marketing and six years of experience in social media management.
Which of these sentences are likely to convince a recruiter? They both are informative, but the first sentence is too vague, while the second one uses concrete examples.
5. Give two examples to explain your point
You want to market your best traits and abilities that are helpful. So embody confidence. Don’t undersell yourself with words like “I’m probably not the best candidate, but if you give me a chance, I can prove myself to you.”
They don’t know that you don’t have extensive experience in certain skills. But what you can do is emphasize your strengths. Site at least 2 case scenarios wherein you came up with the best possible outcome to an issue.
6. Do not share your entire life story
The cover letter isn’t about the benefits the company can offer you. It’s about what you can put to the table that they can leverage.
Employers don’t want to read about your epiphanies and irrelevant background details. Generally, the first thing they want to see is applicable working experiences. They want to know that you’re capable of working professionally and can handle constructive criticism.
Example of a one-page cover letter: Web developer
June 28, 2022
Mr. Andrew Cole
xxx Company Address
Company City, State xxxx
Dear Mr. Cole,
I’m writing this letter to express my interest in the Web Developer position. I’m a progress-focused Web Developer with 9 years of working experience at [Former Company]. While working for the company, I enhanced their web security applications. I also designed an adaptive and user-friendly website capable of mobile and desktop use. Additionally, I trained over 30 staff members regarding internal web functions.
Throughout my time with [Former Company], I minimized hacker attacks from 3.2% down to 0.03% and redesigned the company website. As a result, I increased visitor clicks by 44% and consumer purchases by 23%.
I wish to work for [Company Name] as I would like to extend my experiences and ideas to help your company reach and surpass its objectives. With a good track record of initiative and dependability, I boosted [Former Company]’s sales and revenue to 39%. What would 39% do for your sales goals? I would train dozens of employees concerning web functions to streamline the process if hired.
I’m looking forward to discussing my qualifications in detail with you soon. Feel free to contact me at +222-222-2222 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Example of a one-page cover letter: Marketing manager
June 28, 2022
Ms. Liz Claire
xxx Company Address
Company City, State xxxx
Dear Ms. Claire,
I’m pleased that [Company Name] has a Marketing Manager job vacancy. I always see your clever ad campaigns and would love to bring my enthusiasm to the team. After working in marketing and advertising for 6 years, I’ve enhanced my marketing strategies and methodical communication approach.
Being goal-driven and results-oriented, I’ve launched 1,000+ successful online ad campaigns
during my professional career at [Former Company]. With my extensive field-specific skills, I would make a substantial asset to your company.
Here’s an overview of my responsibilities and top accomplishments:
- Wrote and optimized 58 blogs for [Former Company] and ranked 42 articles on the first page of the search engine.
- Launch campaigns that led to an increase in organic engagement and lead generation by more than 110%.
- Planned, monitored, and coordinated the company’s overall marketing and public relations activities.
- Prepared and managed the annual budget for marketing.
Because of my background in sales and marketing, I honed my knowledge in marketing analysis, conducting surveys, and implementing techniques that drive the best outcome. I’m sure that my extensive experience would be valuable for [Company Name].
I’m excited to deliver the same, if not better, marketing results at your esteemed firm. I’m looking forward to meeting you at your most convenient time. You may contact me at +111-111-1111 or email me at email@example.com.
Example of a one-page cover letter: Accountant
June 28, 2022
Accounting Hiring Manager
xxx Company Address
Company City, State xxxx
Dear Accounting Hiring Manager,
I’m writing to show interest in the Accounting Specialist position at [Company Name]. I recently graduated in accountancy at [Name of School], where I completed a BBA in accounting with competency in business administration.
After graduation, I immediately started an internship at a local accounting firm focusing on small business accounting at [Former Company]. Over the past three years of my internship experience, I honed my skills with accounting software. In addition, I became proficient in tax planning, financial statement preparation, and credit control.
Because of my academic and professional development, I’ve consistently performed at an outstanding level. I intend to bring the same drive and commitment to bringing excellent results to your firm.
Kindly contact me to discuss my qualifications so I can personally explain how I hope to contribute to your business. You may contact me at +000-000-0000 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
What experts say about two-page cover letters
“A two-page cover letter is perfectly acceptable in certain cases, such as when an applicant has a lot of experience to discuss or is applying for a senior-level position. In other cases, it might be best to stick to a single page. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what will make the strongest impression on the reader and convince them to give the applicant a chance. If in doubt, err on the side of brevity.
Lengthy cover letters may end up being skimmed or even ignored, so it’s important to make sure that every word counts. If an applicant can succinctly and effectively communicate everything they need to on one page, there’s no need to take up extra space. Conversely, if a two-page letter will allow for a more complete and convincing argument, then it may be worth the extra effort.”
Chief People Officer, Checkr
“It’s fine to have a two-page cover letter if you feel it is necessary, but you must understand that you only have so much time in front of an employer before they quickly make a decision, and possibly move on. Many employers treat cover letters/resumes like scrolling through social media channels. They will take a quick look, decide if there’s a possible fit, and make a decision based on the next steps.”
Career Expert, Career Addict
“As a former recruiter (20 years in the staffing industry), I do not think there are any circumstances that reasonably warrant a two-page cover letter. In most cases, cover letters are barely, quickly skimmed by the recruiter, if that. Recruiting is an extremely fast-paced environment. Recruiters and hiring managers are screening hundreds of candidates weekly, and they simply don’t have time realistically to read 2-page cover letters. In my experience, most cover letters barely get read at all. I strongly recommend keeping your cover letter to one page, preferably just 2-3 concise paragraphs.”
“An applicant should always avoid writing a two-page cover letter for the majority of companies. Instead, write a one-page cover letter (between 250–400 words) and try directly targeting your cover letter to the company by mentioning the exact criteria they mention in their job posting. Being intentional about your previous work experience, skills, and other qualifications you include in your cover letter tells employers you’ve paid attention to their job requirements and provided a clear purpose for why you want them to read it.”
Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Career Coach, Resume Genius
To recap, writing a cover letter can be overwhelming, especially for novice professionals. However, learning how to write a cover letter is essential for career development.
Certain companies do accept a two-page cover letter depending on the position. Make sure to research the company before submitting. You want to include the correct details like company culture, names of HR managers, and key players of the organization.
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