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Cover Letter less than 250 words?

Cover letter
New answer on Aug 20, 2020
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 01, 2018

Would someone be able to highlight how to effectively compose a cover letter less than 250 words?

Brief Background: I am an experienced hire, applying for boutique firms. I engaged a firm that specializes in preparing candidates for management consulting, to help me write a cover letter for my application. The framework for the letter was - Intro, work ex 1 - challenges and learnings, work ex 2, Why this Firm. The feedback I received from the partner who would be referring my profile was that it was too long and uninspiring.

To alleviate his concerns, I drafted another letter with different stories, shorter length with the framework preserved. The current feedback is that its still too long and he would like it to be strictly less than 250 words. Does that mean I eliminate all stories and I focus mainly on my motivation and strengths, apart from stressing on 'Why the firm"?

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Anonymous replied on Aug 01, 2018

Given the framework was provided by them, I would not delete the stories and would stick to the framework.

As a tip to shorten your cover letter, you should focus on the key takeaway of all your stories. In helping many candidates with their cover letters and CV, I always see a tendency of people explaining a lot of details about the specific experience, with too little focus on the "so what" - highlight the key skills you learned, and the key impact of your actions.

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replied on Aug 01, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Most probably you received this feedback not because the company will be evaluating your cover letter, and 250 words is a pass rate.

Usually, when someone is referring you to the company, he needs to provide some facts about you and your candidacy. That's why the partner asked you to keep 250 words limit and is giving you the guidelines (it will be the justification for his reference rather than your cover letter). Just follow his advice and stress the part about yourself.



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Anonymous replied on Aug 20, 2020

Hi A,

I would recommend you to follow the recommendations of the partner who will be referring you.



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