Cover Letter Vs. Resume: Everything You Need to Know
Job seekers are often recommended to pair their resumes with cover letters to increase their chances of getting to the interview phase. Some job applications even make cover letters a requirement, adding to the stress and worry of the applicant. The recruitment process is already a hassle, and applicants often ask, “Aren’t cover letters and resumes the same thing? Or, “Can I hire a resume-writing service to write a cover letter for me?”
No, they are entirely different documents constructing one strong job application. This blog will discuss the difference and importance of a resume and cover letter and their significance in your application.
Resume Vs. Cover Letters: What's the Difference?
As the hiring process is becoming more competitive day by day, it is also opening different opportunities for applicants to unleash their full potential. The hiring process comprises several steps, and the first and foremost step is to make a positive impression on the recruiter through a resume and cover letter. They are the first point of contact between a recruiter and the applicant, a marketing copy of your professional prowess.
Although these documents differ in format and content, they act in synergy to make a good impression on the recruiter. A resume gives an overview of your qualifications for a job, while a cover letter relates and discusses in length these qualifications with the job description.
This section will explain the use and importance of cover letters and resumes. We will also discuss their significance, goal, and structural differences.
Resume – A Brief Professional Statement
It is a concise document that conveys your qualifications as a potential job candidate. It is neatly formatted and edited to remove fluff and enhance its readability. It includes relevant professional experience, objective summary, skills, and education. An ideal length for a resume is one page and is formatted based on experience and education level.
The following are some of the key sections included in a resume:
Contact details are the first thing that a resume contains after your name. They usually include contact information, email address, phone number, and sometimes a LinkedIn/GitHub profile link. The reason for putting it first is both evident and crucial since a recruiter cannot contact you without an email or a phone number.
You can also add your commuting location or address to show you live near or that the distance is commutable.
Headline or Summary
This section is where you officially introduce yourself to the recruiter. It starts with an action statement that describes your professional qualifications and accomplishments. It is the perfect opportunity to entice the recruiter and persuade them to give you a callback. You can write different headlines and summaries based on your experience level and job requirements.
This is the selling point of your resume, and recruiters always prefer field people with relevant experience. List your previous work experiences, job titles, and company names in this section in bullet format to make it easier to read. You can follow the format below to fill in the work experience section:
- Job Title
- Company Name
- City and state
- Month and year of employment
With each job entry, add three to five bullets describing your achievements and key responsibilities of the role.
In this section, you can list your hard and soft skills, such as public speaking, teamwork, computing, and other technological skills. Prioritizing skills that are the most relevant to the job portrays you as a well-rounded candidate with the potential to work under challenging circumstances.
This section contains your most recent to oldest academic qualification with school name, degree name, location, and duration. Applicants with a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree don’t need to include their early education and can utilize the space for other relevant qualifications. You can also add your academic honors, coursework, majors, and minors in the section.
Here, you can include information outside your professional background, such as memberships, volunteer experience, personal projects, and hobbies.
Cover Letter - A Detailed Professional Statement
A cover letter describes your professional prowess and how it relates to the job you are applying for. It acts as a supporting role to your resume, validating your claims with persuasive words.
Unlike a resume, where you can use different formats, a cover letter has one uniform format and is written in first-person.
A cover letter explains the bullets and pointers from your resume with both an objective and subjective perspective. The ideal length for a cover letter is 300-500 words, giving enough room to explain why you are the best candidate. A cover letter includes the following sections:
Like any other official letter, the header provides information related to the sender. In this case, the applicant is the sender, and the person being addressed is the recruiter. It includes the applicant’s name, date, address, and the recipient’s contact details in bold letters.
The second section is where you greet the hiring manager. The best way to do it is by writing,
“Dear, (Mr., Mrs., Miss or XYZ) (hiring manager’s name).”
Addressing an employer with their name gives a good impression and portrays you as someone who has done their homework about the company. In general, you can address them as “dear hiring manager.” However, addressing them as “to whom it may concern” isn’t recommended since it sounds too stiff and formal.
In this section, you will introduce yourself again and tell the recruiter how you found this job. Show them you can be a resourceful candidate by providing a professional introduction containing your qualifications and skills.
The cover letter discusses your potential regarding the job description in the body section. It connects your work history, education, and skill set with the job description. For this, you can create objectives and propose solutions that align with company aims and objectives.
Here, an applicant shows their enthusiasm for moving to the interview phase. We recommend setting up an interview by suggesting a suitable date and time and thanking the recruiter for their interest.
Simply write “sincerely” and finish by writing your name below it.
Resume or Cover Letter: Which is More Important?
Have you ever heard of a company hiring an employee without a resume nowadays?
Companies give immense importance to a resume when hiring an employee. Many firms require a complimentary cover letter with it, while some hire even without it. It implies that your first and foremost priority should be your resume than a cover letter. Thus, it is best to hire resume writing services to curate a job-winning resume.
Cover letters, on the other hand, also have a primary value in specific companies, and many recruiters hire employees based on the information and writing style in the cover letter. Unlike the resume, it has an entirely different structure and format.
You can send a single resume to more than one place, but you cannot send a cover letter to multiple recipients. Writing a cover letter for every job can be time-consuming; therefore, hiring professional cover letter writing services can ease your burden. If you are looking for experienced writers for your job application, Finest Resume Writing Services can help you pass the recruitment process with flying colors.