To write a short cover letter that still lands you the interview, draw inspiration from our short cover letter samples and template below. You can use these examples however you like — either download them as Microsoft Word files or copy and paste the text.
As long as you can explain why you’re the ideal candidate, a short cover letter is just as effective as a long cover letter. In fact, it’s even more effective to include just the one or two biggest reasons you deserve to be hired, rather than a list of less relevant reasons.
Five short cover letter examples
Our professional short cover letter samples include everything needed to capture the hiring manager’s attention and earn an interview.
Short cover letter sample #1
This brief cover letter works because it quickly makes an impact by highlighting the candidate’s passion for tutoring.
Additionally, the cover letter is just long enough for the candidate to include some concrete achievements from their past work. These examples show employers what the candidate is capable of in just a short amount of time.
Short cover letter sample #1 (text version)
February 29, 2020
Washington High School
Portland, Oregon 97174
Dear Principal [Name],
I’ve been passionate about teaching since I began tutoring for pocket money in high school.
I have seven years of teaching experience, instructing children with a diverse range of abilities. I’m also successful at boosting achievement, having increased average grades by 15% at my current school. I believe this makes me an ideal candidate for the tutoring role at Brearley High School as advertised on LinkedIn.
I can be contacted at 971 874-2478 or [Your Email]. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Short cover letter sample #2
Despite this short cover letter’s length, the candidate quickly spotlights their interpersonal skills and full attendance record — both details that will impress employers.
By the end of this cover letter, the reader is left with a clear understanding of this candidate’s qualifications and confidence in their abilities.
Short cover letter sample #2 (text version)
March 15, 2020
Hiring Manager’s Name
47 Jackson Street
Derry, Maine 04401
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
Since graduating from high school in 2010, I’ve waitressed at four different establishments in Derry. If Atwater’s restaurant is looking for an experienced professional, I’m your candidate.
I’m a reliable, diligent worker, with a 100% attendance record. I’m also popular with the local clientele: my ability to create a rapport with customers increased daily wine sales by $50+ in my current role.
I look forward to hearing from you. I can be reached at [Your Email] or (207) 014-7858.
Short cover letter sample #3
This concise cover letter is effective because the applicant wastes no time highlighting how much experience they have.
The candidate quickly shows that they were recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA) for their emergency response performance and strong sense of ethics. In less than 150 words, they effectively draw attention to their top hard and soft skills in a convincing yet brief cover letter.
Short cover letter sample #3 (text version)
April 7, 2020
Hiring Manager’s Name
1047 Osage Boulevard
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74169
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
As a state-qualified registered nurse with 17 years of experience tending to the infirm, I believe that I’m the ideal candidate for the nursing position at St. Mary’s Hospital.
In my present role, I evaluate the conditions of approximately 30 patients daily, developing personalized support plans for each of them, all while interfacing with colleagues to ensure effective care.
I’m responsive to emergency medical situations, and provide sympathetic support to patients as well as their friends and families. In 2018, I was awarded the Leadership in Ethics Award by the ANA in recognition of these qualities, so I believe I would be a valuable addition to St. Mary’s
I look forward to speaking to you about this position. I can be reached at 918.184.5447 or [Your Email].
Short cover letter sample #4
This short cover letter succeeds by packing plenty of information in a small space.
The applicant uses bullet points to showcase their relevant achievements and organizational skills. In this case, the applicant is applying for a copy editing role, so they talk about how they’ve successfully improved copy in the past, backing up those achievements with hard numbers.
Short cover letter example #4 (text version)
August 31, 2021
[Hiring Manager’s Name]
Atlanta, GA 30347
Dear [Mr./Ms./Mx.] [Hiring Manager’s Surname],
I’m writing to apply for the chief copy editor position at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution you advertised on Indeed.com.
Here are the reasons why I believe I’d be suitable for the role:
- I know the AP stylebook inside and out
- I have 7+ years’ experience as a sub-editor, including 2 as deputy chief copy editor
- In my current role, I edit 7,000 words per day
- I’m used to working to a (midnight) deadline
- I’ve adapted to working on rotation, often working weekends
- As deputy chief copy editor, I’m responsible for all copy editing on 3 days a week, supervising a team of 5
- Since I was hired, I’ve reduced the incidence of typos by 17% through my attention to detail and organizational skills
Thank you for reviewing my qualifications. You can contact me at your convenience to organize an interview at (470) 000-1234 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Short cover letter sample #5
This example demonstrates that you don’t need work experience to write an effective short cover letter.
In fact, short cover letters are perfect if you’re writing an entry-level cover letter. The shorter format lets you get right to the point and allows you to focus on your top 1–2 achievements that make you a good fit for the role.
Short cover letter example #5 (text version)
February 1, 2022
[Hiring Manager’s Name]
74 Company Address
Murfreesboro, TN 37131
Dear [Mr./Mx./Ms.] [Hiring Manager’s Surname],
I’m thrilled to be writing to you to apply for the Tour Guide position that Greenbay Tours is advertising on LinkedIn.
Guiding tourists around our historic city and teaching them about its colorful past requires strong leadership and communication skills. I grew into an effective leader and communicator as President of the Tubman High School Debate Team, and these abilities paired with a passion for history make me the perfect fit for this role.
I have no doubt that I could apply my charisma and sincere interest in our city’s past to showcase its marvels to tourists. Please feel free to reach out to me for an interview at (615) 000-1234 or email@example.com.
Short cover letter template
Prefer using a template where you can simply plug in your information? We’ve got you covered.
This template ticks all the boxes of a well-written short cover letter: it’s properly formatted, concise, and addresses the hiring manager by name. You can download this template — or copy and paste the text — and fill in the blanks.
Short cover letter template (text version)
[Hiring Manager’s Name]
[City], [State] [ZIP]
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
As a [Position Name] with [X] years of experience [Action], I believe that I am the ideal candidate for [Company Name].
I am a [Adjective], [Adjective] worker, and in my current position have successfully [Achievement — with numbers]
I look forward to hearing from you. I can be reached at [Your Email] or [Your Phone Number].
How to write a short cover letter for a job application
To write an effective short cover letter, you need to summarize your relevant experience, skill set, and achievements as quickly as possible.
Follow these tips to create a brief cover letter that wins over hiring managers.
1. Don’t use this overused opening line
“I’m writing to apply for the role of…” is the most overused opening line job seekers use on their cover letters.
Most hiring managers have seen it thousands of times. When writing your cover letter, try to avoid this boring opener.
Instead, learn how to start a cover letter with creativity and personalize your opening to you, and you’ll get noticed by more recruiters.
To illustrate how to do this, here’s an example of a captivating opening line:
“As an experienced and innovative marketer with an excellent track record, I’m thrilled to submit my application for the Senior Marketing Specialist role at ABC Enterprises.”
Then later on your cover letter explain the details about the role you want to fill and where you found it.
2. Cut meaningless buzzwords
Anyone can describe themself as “detail-oriented” or a “self-starter,” but buzzwords mean little to recruiters.
Rather than describing yourself as “self-motivated,” give an example of an achievement that demonstrates this quality in action.
For instance, you could write “Researched a new search engine optimization strategy that led to a 47% increase in sales.”
Adding an accomplishment that reflects your strongest soft skills demonstrates to the hiring manager that you actually have those soft skills, and aren’t just saying so.
3. Don’t mention every past job
You don’t need to mention every job you’ve ever had in a short cover letter.
Instead of talking about specific roles, discuss the accomplishments and skills listed on your resume that make you the perfect fit for the job.
You can give a more detailed overview of your previous positions when writing your resume.
4. Use short words rather than long phrases
Without realizing it, we sometimes write unnecessarily long phrases on professional documents when a single word is enough. After you’ve written your cover letter, go back and reread it. Replace longer phrases with single words (or at least fewer words).
Here are some examples of long phrases that are frequently used in cover letters along with some shorter words to use instead:
- I can
- In order to
- I am capable of/I am able to
- Due to the fact that
- Successfully accomplished
- A large number of
- With regard to
- At the present time
- Prior to
Short cover letter FAQs
Here are the answers to some common questions about short cover letters.
What do I include in a short cover letter?
Include the same sections of a cover letter you’d normally have, including:
- a cover letter header with your contact information
- the hiring manager’s mailing address
- a proper cover letter salutation
- the body of your cover letter
- a sign off and your signature or typed name
How do I format a short cover letter?
Format your short cover letter the same way you’d format a cover letter that’s standard length.
Standard formatting elements include:
- a professional cover letter font (size 10.5–12 points — your contact details can go down to around 8 points)
- 1” cover letter margins
- PDF or DOCX format
When shouldn’t I use a short and concise cover letter?
There are a couple of situations when you shouldn’t use a short and concise cover letter:
- If the hiring manager has set a minimum word count — make sure you hit it.
- If you have many relevant achievements, skills, and certifications that the hiring manager absolutely needs to know about (and you can’t describe them properly in your resume) — then you can add them to your cover letter.
- If writing at a high level is part of the job — showcase your written prowess with your cover letter.
- If you’re changing careers — a compelling career change cover letter needs to be long enouch to explain why you’re making the change and convince employers that your skill set will be an asset to their company.
However, here’s the Golden Rule of cover letter length: Never go past one page!
How can I make a short cover letter quickly?
If you need to make a short cover letter quickly, you can use a cover letter builder, which breaks the process down into a few quick steps. Or if you dread setting up a cover letter because you don’t know how to make it eye-catching, use a cover letter template instead.
Will hiring managers be turned off by a brief cover letter?
No, hiring managers won’t be turned off by a brief cover letter. In fact, many hiring managers will appreciate your ability to get to the point. Hiring managers have dozens of applications to review, and if you can sum up why you’d be the perfect hire in 200 words or less, they’ll appreciate you saving them time.
How short should a cover letter be?
As long as you can present a solid reason for why you should be hired, there’s no real rule about how short a cover letter should be. The shortest one we feature is under 150 words, but if you could convey the same information in fewer words, then go for it!