How Long Should a Cover Letter Be in 2023?

how long should a cover letter be
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Recruiters scan your cover letter before reviewing your resume to get a sense of who you are and whether you appear to be a good fit for the post. Employers only have a limited amount of time to read cover letters, so be succinct and include your most relevant qualifications. A well-written cover letter might pique a potential employer’s interest in reading your resume and learning more about you. So, just how long should a cover letter be in the word count for a resume?

That’s what we’re here to address, along with some further cover letter writing advice. In this article, we will explore how long a cover letter should be in word count for a resume, the importance of a cover letter, what should be contained in the cover letter, how to write a cover letter to maintain the right length, as well as some tips to guide 

What Exactly Is a Cover Letter?

When applying for jobs, you should provide a cover letter along with your resume. It serves as a personal introduction and aids in the sale of your application. Cover letters are required since they allow you to explain to an employer why you are the ideal applicant for the position. 

This is accomplished by emphasising relevant talents and expertise, so you should always compose your cover letter with the position you’re applying for in mind. Send the text as a body of the email rather than an attachment to avoid spam filters catching it. Unless otherwise specified in the job advertisement, applications should always include a cover letter.

What Should Be Included in a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is your thesis statement explaining why you are the best applicant for the job. This includes talking about the traits you have and why they will benefit the organisation, previous employment experience that will help you flourish in this new role, and ideas for how you will grow within this position.

Even if a cover letter is not necessary for every job application, drafting one might help you stand out from the crowd. Many hiring managers also use a cover letter to evaluate your personality, attention to detail, and communication skills. This includes ensuring that your letter contains all of the following elements:

  • Please provide your contact information.
  • The goal of your letter
  • References to your previous professional efforts and accomplishments
  • Relationships between your qualifications and those necessary for the job
  • Your objectives concerning this role

What Is the Appropriate Length for a Cover Letter in 2023?

The adage “the longer, the better” does not apply to cover letters. Even if you have years of experience and have worked hard to acquire professional abilities and experiences, don’t show them all off on four pages.

Less is sometimes more. This is the case for an effective cover letter. It is critical to showcase relevant experiences for the listed position. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time to discuss your abilities and accomplishments in further depth after you get the interview.

It is critical to understand that in huge corporations, the hiring manager and HR department have very little time to review your application. On average, there are up to 250 candidates for each vacancy. This implies that your cover letter must stand out from the crowd while also being easy to read. Now coming back to the question, how long should a cover letter be in a word count or paragraph for a resume?

  • As previously stated, your cover letter should not be too long. Keep it to one page. However, half a page may not be long enough in some cases. Find a happy medium.
  • When it comes to word count, never go beyond 400. An average cover letter should be between 250 and 300 words long.
  • The ideal number of paragraphs in a cover letter is three to four. The maximum number of allowed paragraphs is six.

How to Write a Cover Letter with the Right Length

Cover letters should be one page long and at most four paragraphs long. Here are seven pointers to help you organise your thoughts and determine the ideal cover letter length:

#1. Examine the Prerequisites

Following norms and speaking succinctly yet convincingly are keys to outstanding cover letters. There may be specific guidelines for creating a cover letter for a job posting. This could be a writing prompt, a question, or a word limit. A query or writing prompt can help you determine the type and length of the organization’s response.

Follow these instructions carefully to make a good first impression and show your attention to detail.

#2. Include Your Contact Details as Well

Your name, phone number, email address, and professional networking profile should all be on one line. Put this information at the start of your cover letter so the reader knows who the letter and accompanying resume belong to.

#3. Thank the Reader Briefly

When drafting a cover letter with a word processor, remember to put the recipient’s name, professional details, and contact information after your own. In between the two sets of contact information, provide the date the letter was written. When you open the letter, use a formal salutation, such as ‘Dear’ followed by the recipient’s surname.

#4. Keep Paragraphs Brief and to the Point

Use a straightforward and clear format for each paragraph to create an easy-to-follow letter. Here’s an example of how to format your paragraphs:

  • Topic sentence: Begin each paragraph with an active and concise topic sentence that introduces the paragraph’s main theme. 

For example, ‘One thing that intrigues me about this work is that (name of company) prioritises developing and investing in new technology.’

  • Descriptive sentences: Add further relevant details to the topic sentence with the following one or two sentences.

‘In my experience, keeping up with the latest industry advances offers you an advantage over the competition. I also feel that innovations in the workplace are warmly received by employees since they provide them with a sense of forward momentum and confidence in the organisation.’

  • Conclusion: Finish with an attention-grabbing sentence that summarises your primary idea. 

‘I think I can continue to develop the department’s usage of new technologies if I were to receive this post’.

#5. Tell One or Two Relevant Stories Regarding Your Achievements

Applying for the job should be shown in your cover letter with examples of work. Mention triumphs and highlight organizationally relevant skills. Write concise, captivating stories using the STAR technique. Explain briefly your situation, task, actions, and results of your hard work.

‘At my former company, there was a client who was reluctant to rely on web promotion for his company’s goods. The client’s rejection was harming his business and making our advertising effort appear insufficient. I persuaded him not only to grow the internet marketing campaign but also to enhance the revenue of his company. I realised how beneficial it can be to strengthen relationships with current clients.’

#6. When Appropriate, Use Bullet Points

Though a clear paragraph structure is useful, you may also include a bulleted list of elements to make the letter look more lively and to influence your brevity when giving crucial data about your qualifications. For example

‘In my prior work as an office administrator, I increased productivity and established client relationships. Among my accomplishments are:

  • Developing a new client report filing system, which boosted interoffice organisation and cut filing time by 35%,
  • Creating an automated email system to send reminder emails to customers about upcoming meetings resulted in an 18% reduction in time spent on organisational correspondence
  • Writing a bi-monthly newsletter for both clients and office personnel with relevant industry information and corporate updates increases client engagement by 20% and employee engagement by 45%  

I feel my innovative problem-solving and expertise in internal and external marketing can assist Sissler & Johnson in boosting client satisfaction overall’.

#7. Include a Brief Call to Action

Summarise your qualifications in the final paragraph of your cover letter by describing the value you want to provide to the firm. Then, invite the recipient to check your resume and other application materials and to contact you if they have any additional queries. Reiterate your phone number and/or email address, and convey your desire to learn more about your candidature for the position.

#8. Thank You for Reading

Finally, thank the reader for their time and consideration in one brief line. This is a professional courtesy that demonstrates consideration.

Tips for Writing a Cover Letter

Here are some more basic pointers to help you develop your cover letter and keep it as succinct and targeted as possible:

  • Set your margins to 2.5cm before you begin writing: If you’re creating a cover letter on a word processor, set your margins to 2.5cm before you begin. This way, the text will fit more easily on the page and you will be able to better evaluate the length as you write.
  • Skip the contact information at the top of the email cover letter: You are not required to include the recipient’s contact information in an email, and you can include your contact information at the conclusion, both in the call-to-action paragraph and your digital signature.
  • Describe how you learned about the position: If you were suggested for this position by a colleague at the company or within the industry, describe that relationship in the first paragraph. This can help you stand out as a candidate.
  • Read to streamline: After you’ve finished writing the letter, review it to locate places you can cut or eliminate, especially if it’s longer than one page.
  • Proofread: Proofread your cover letter again, looking for grammatical and spelling mistakes. If at all possible, have someone else read it. A flawless cover letter demonstrates your attention to detail and writing skills.

You should make sure you tailor your cover letter to each specific job posting and learn how to be concise when writing to avoid a long cover letter for easy reading. 

What Is the Importance of a Cover Letter?

The importance of a cover letter varies depending on the company’s values and the position you’re looking for, but it’s a crucial tool in helping you get the job. Here are a few reasons why you should include a cover letter with your next job application:

#1. Makes a Favourable Initial Impression

A cover letter is your opportunity before any interview to provide the recruiter with a good first impression of you as a potential employee. It’s your time to show an employer why they should recruit you by explaining your experience, qualifications, and values that make you a good fit for the position. It also gives an employer more information about your current status by describing why you are applying for that specific role.

#2. Establishes Contact With Employers

Developing a relationship with your organisation is the best way to achieve personal and professional goals. A cover letter lets you explain why your professional successes matter to you, while your resume tells the recruiter about them. Showing an employer what you value at work helps them decide if you’re a good fit for the job and the company. It also lets recruiters learn about your motivations as an employee.

#3. Describe Your Relationship With the Person Who Suggested You

If you were fortunate enough to be referred for a job opportunity, a cover letter is the place to explain how that referral came about. Whether you learned about the job opportunity during a networking event or via a friend or family member who currently works for the company, use your cover letter to explain how chatting with your referrer motivated you to apply. A positive employee referral might also boost your chances of getting an interview and possibly being hired. There is a reason why you should emphasise this relationship from the outset.

What Should a Cover Letter’s First Paragraph Contain?

After a salutation, the first paragraph briefly explains why you are writing, the position for which you are applying, and how you discovered the opportunity. It directs the reader to your enclosed resume, which contains a summary of your talents and qualifications.

How Brief Is Too Brief for a Cover Letter?

What should the word count of a cover letter be? The appropriate number of words is 250 to 400 unless the employer specifies otherwise. This length will occupy half a page or one full page of 12-point type while still allowing for proper space and margins.

What Are the Four Essential Components of a Cover Letter?

Your contact information, a salutation, the body of the cover letter, an acceptable ending, and a signature are all included in a cover letter. Examine the structure of a cover letter, including what to include in each section and sample.

Which Font Is Best for a Cover Letter?

Use a straightforward, clear, and familiar font style, such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Font sizes ranging from 10 to 12 points are often considered suitable.

Should a Cover Letter Be Typed or Written?

Only your signature should be written in hand on the cover letter. Handwriting a cover letter demonstrates a lack of interest in the position, especially in a technology cover letter where computers are readily available. If necessary, borrow a computer, but always type or word-process your cover letter.


How long should a cover letter be in the word count for a resume? As previously mentioned, it shouldn’t be more than 400 words. A cover letter carries a powerful job application punch: it introduces you to a potential employer while showcasing your experience, talents, and personality. However, the fact that this one paper contains so much information does not give job seekers carte permission to go on and on. 

The purpose of the cover letter is to capture the reader’s attention by convincing them that you are a terrific prospect, to entice them to read your resume and profile, and, of course, to invite you in for an interview so you can sell yourself beautifully in person just as you did on paper. When learning how to write a cover letter for your resume, you should aim for a word count of 250-400 words; it should be precise and not long. Best wishes!


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