Cover Letter Tips for Short-Term & Seasonal Positions

LiveCareer Staff Writer
by LiveCareer Staff Writer

Sure, the job matches your skill sets and your pay requirements. But most importantly, it lines up with another important quality: The job won’t last long. This is a short-term, seasonal job that will disappear within a few months.

Ideally, you’ll be able to leverage this job into another seasonal position or a full-time position later on. But first you have to make it over an initial hurdle: Getting hired.

Here are few cover letter moves that can help you step into that revolving door before you step out.

1. Align your expectations with the company’s expectations. The quickest way to be eliminated from a temporary candidate pool is to demonstrate that you want or expect full-time work. Or that you want a position that lasts only a week, while this one lasts for two months. If these employers are looking for a two-month commitment—no more, no less—clearly state that a two-month schedule is ideal for you.

2. Determine the company’s need. If these employers want one thing—high energy, friendly talker, computer literacy, etc.—figure out what that trait might be. And then bring that trait to the center of your candidacy. If the job involves warehouse inventory management, for example, focus your cover letter and resume on your history with the details of warehouse management, from your experience, to your fluency with inventory management software programs.

3. Let your other credentials fall into the background. You may have earned excellent grades in school, and you may be a great public speaker, and you may be a natural with customer service. But let these qualities play second fiddle to your warehouse management abilities. For short-term positions, employers like candidates who are pleasant, smart, and ambitious. But they love candidates who can handle the work at hand.

4. Prove that you’re qualified. Emphasize the formal training you’ve already had, and therefore won’t need. During short-term positions, employers pay extensive hiring costs, and they want make the most of the limited time and resources they receive for these costs. If they don’t have to invest heavily in training a new hire, that leaves them with a higher profit margin at the end of the established employment period.

5. Stay focused and lean. Be clear about what you have to offer, and cut out the fluff and filler. Sure, you’re a great person, a go-getter, and a natural leader. But stick to the point.

6. Don’t make a single mistake . One typo, one accidental insulting remark, or one crucial omission can mean the end of your consideration for a short-term job. There’s really no margin for error, since short-term employers can’t usually afford to invest weeks in the selection process or hours in the careful review of a single application.

7. Show enthusiasm and self-direction. Again, you aren’t forming a long-term relationship based on trust, commitment, and deep mutual understanding. If you can show up on-time every day, and you don’t need much coaching or hand holding, say so. Demonstrate that you can get on your feet quickly and stay there without moment-to-moment personal attention.

Showcase What You Have to Offer

Keep your cover letter clear and brief, and within the space of a single page, demonstrate that you have plenty to offer and don’t need much in return. Then, use LiveCareer’s Cover Letter Builder to write a standout cover letter and help you make your case.

About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.


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