So you're wondering, what is the difference between a CV and a cover letter? However, whilst they share the same aim and strongly complement each other, they are different in format and content. For many employers, a CV is essential when applying for a job, but cover letters may be optional. That said, including a cover letter with your application can dramatically strengthen your chances of success, according to 51 per cent of recruiters.
This quick recap of a CV versus cover letter covers all the points you should look out for when developing each. Empower yourself by using the following information so you can write your CV and create a cover letter template for further use, if possible. For even more CV tips, click here. They may seem similar, but knowing the differences between a curriculum vitae CV and a cover letter is crucial to get the best results in your job search. Your CV is a summary of your qualifications, skills and experience from the last 10 to 15 years.
It offers a short-yet-targeted overview of your career highlights that proves you are a great candidate for the job at hand. To do this, each piece of information laid out should be tailored to the role you are applying for.
CVs are commonly split into distinct sections: a personal statement, a summary of your career, and a section on education and qualifications. Details are usually presented in snappy bullet points led by powerful verbs and bolstered with concrete statistics to show off your skill set and talent. CVs can be directly compared to the American resume. They contain the same information and serve the same function of introducing you to an HR manager.
Cover letters are different. They are primarily used to expand on your CV to add more context and further explain your value. Ultimately, your cover letter is sweet-talking the HR manager as you supply them with further evidence that proves you are an applicant worthy of an interview. Name, professional title and contact information details: It is essential that these details are accurate and properly formatted to ensure that an HR manager can both identify and get in touch with you.
Learn more here about how to add contact information to your CV. Personal profile: Your personal profile should detail who you are, what you can offer the company and your career goals in a tidy paragraph.
Experience and employment history: Your work experience should explain what you've done in your previous roles. Most importantly, it should then be expanded on to feature your key accomplishments to demonstrate the value you could bring to your new role, too. Education and qualifications: Your qualifications simply add finer details to prove that you are a qualified expert in certain areas, adding to your impressive professional skill set.
CVs are formatted with clear headings and bullet points to keep them concise and easy to read for time-poor recruiters who are typically swamped with hundreds of applications at a time. A cover letter is different. Usually, it's a three-to-four paragraph document that complements your CV. It typically discusses four key things:. It's formatted similarly to a traditional letter with a salutation, paragraphs and a close.
However, in the digital age where many CVs are sent directly to employers via email, the rules of cover letters are changing. If you are emailing your CV, treat the message in your email as your cover letter, rather than attaching it separately. Email cover letters are typically more concise and can be anywhere from to words.
They still tap into the four main talking points mentioned above though. A CV is used to state the facts and gives a succinct overview of your relevant experience and achievements. A cover letter, on the other hand, provides the opportunity to elaborate on your selling points and explain your qualities and potential in more detail. But it doesn't stop there. CV Format 1. Name and contact information 2. Summary 3. Professional history 4.
Education 5. Skills 6. Awards 7. You might also include professional references , coursework, fieldwork, descriptions of dissertations and a personal profile that lists your relevant skills and attributes. A resume is a document that summarizes your career history, skills and education. Resume Format 1. Summary or objective 3. Professional history a. Company name b. Dates of tenure c. Description of role and achievement 4.
If you have little or no professional work experience , you might list relevant internships, apprenticeships, volunteer work or personal projects instead. To determine which you should send, first consider the type of job. If you have a resume but not a CV or vice versa , it may be worthwhile to put one together.
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