What Twitter Can Teach You About Writing Cover Letters

Blog / What Twitter Can Teach You About Writing Cover Letters

Companies are Looking for Effective, Concise Communicators, Plus How to Write a Cover Letter that Commands Attention   

Some would say we live in a 280 character limit world. Social media platforms have changed the way we communicate, and not just online! It’s all about being short and sweet these days and cover letters are no exception. 

So what can Twitter teach us about how to write an effective cover letter? And why is brevity the name of the game?

It’s Not Really Just Twitter that’s Changed Us

Sure social media has shortened our attention spans and changed how we communicate. But don’t forget that people are busier than ever and hiring managers don’t have time to read a Shakespearan monologue for a cover letter. Studies have found that hiring managers give your resume about a 40 second look and your cover letter gets even less at about a 30 second glance. 

This means that you need to format your cover letter and resume in a way that makes it easy to find key information. Remember that old saying “KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid.” You’ll need to effectively use simple formatting, like white space, bullets and sections. Also, ditch the fancy fonts and keep it simple. (And for goodness sake, don’t use Comic Sans!)

Effective Communicators Shine on Twitter…and in the Job Search!

The most effective communicators on Twitter are the people who can make a point in 280 characters or less. Sure, threaded tweets are a thing, but remember, that the tweets you see go viral most often aren’t generally more than a tweet, maybe three at the most. 

The world is fast-paced and companies and employees need to keep up. With all that change constantly happening, that means companies are looking for great communicators who can keep teams informed and on-point. It also means that companies aren’t looking for long-winded communicators. Now more than ever you’ll be expected to communicate in a concise and effective manner. Some companies also prefer the more conversational style that is found online–so make sure you do your research into the company culture and if they want conversational or a more brief but formal style of communication. 

Let Your Resume Do the Heavy Lifting

Just like Twitter can be a teaser to get someone to click on a link to a story, blog or website, your cover letter is like the teaser to your resume. Use your cover letter to pique the interest of the hiring manager and then let your resume do the heavy lifting. Back in the day cover letters were lengthy endeavors to show off your skills and accomplishments, but now it’s your resume that does that alone.

Writing a Tight but Informative Cover Letter

We just spoke on the importance of piquing the interest of the company through your cover letter. So what exactly could that look like? Here’s an example outline of a cover letter that can command attention. Don’t forget to let your personality shine in your cover letter as a way to introduce yourself. 

  1. Acknowledge a challenge that the company or industry faces.
  2. Tie the solution to you (i.e. how you are uniquely qualified to help–consider giving a brief example of a challenge you’ve overcome in the past that is relevant or briefly summarize three reasons why your skills fit the requirements).
  3. State why you are interested in the company (or why it’s your “dream job).
  4. Close with a call to action and let them know you’ll follow up and even offer to show concrete examples of what you can do when you meet.