Cover letters and CVs are both used when applying for a job; however there is a difference between the two.
- The purpose of a cover letter, as its name suggests, is to provide a brief introduction to your resume explains Peter Decaprio. A CV on the other hand provides more in-depth information about yourself and your experience. It also includes details such as personal interests and hobbies to make you stand out from other applicants. This article will review how to write each one as well as their uses and limitations within the job application process.
Use Formatting Conventions Cover Letters:
- Using capitalization sparingly; no underlining or bolding text; indentation of first line after header; use standard formatting rules (e.g., ten-point font for traditional font, 12-point font for serif font and ten-point font for san serif) Curriculum Vitae: use formatting conventions that hold true to your country of origin. Some examples include using a chronological or reverse chronological format.
- Preparation Time Generally, a cover letter takes less time to prepare than a CV because it has fewer details. It is important not to rush when writing your introduction as the first impression you give your potential employer may be the deciding factor in whether or not you are asked to interview.
- Length One page One to two pages (2+ pages if including publications/research projects/awards)
- Features a cover letter should be between three paragraphs and four paragraphs long depending on the position you are applying to and your own experience. Introductory Paragraph: This paragraph includes a brief statement of purpose and where you found the information about the company/position. Second Paragraph: This is an elaboration of your skills, knowledge base, experiences, qualifications etc., that correlate with what the employer is seeking in their next employee Third Paragraph: Here you summarize how your goals fit into what they are looking for as well as express confidence that you will be able to fulfill these expectations by way of examples from past experience says Peter Decaprio.
- Uses To introduce yourself to prospective employers through email or online submissions To introduce yourself to prospective employers over the phone When applying to positions without an option for submitting a resume or CV (e.g., walk-in applications) When applying to positions that require you to mail in your materials
- Limitations A cover letter can only be used when applying for a specific position. It cannot substitute for the company website information or job postings listed on their site because it lacks many of the necessary details needed for someone without inside knowledge of the company, e.g., hours per week, salary expectations etc. A cover letter is not usually sent with physical materials (e.g., resumes/CVs are mailed while cover letters are emailed). This means that they mostly exist in electronic form which makes them easily alterable and allows the hiring managers to edit it before adding their own comments about your experience within their file. Because of this, some employers will disregard all email submissions where the email did not come directly from the applicant, e.g., through an agency or recruiter. Some hiring managers might find your cover letter resume lacking if it doesn’t look professional, does not have all of the necessary contact information or is written in poor English.
- Types A traditional cover letter is made up of three paragraphs that are either single-spaced or given sufficient space. To separate one paragraph from another with a blank line between them; each paragraph should be no more than four sentences. Long and contain no more than ten words per sentence (for easy reading). The first paragraph should include a statement about the position you are applying to. And where you found out about it. It should include who you are and why you’re writing.
This should acknowledge the response you expect from the person reading it. And if your experience matches what they are looking for explains Peter Decaprio. This paragraph should be no more than two sentences long as to leave a good final impression. A creative cover letter is make up of three paragraphs that can either be single-space or give sufficient space. To separate one paragraph from another with a blank line between them; each paragraph should be no more than four sentences long and contain. No more than ten words per sentence (for easy reading). The first paragraph should include a statement about the position. You are applying to and where you found out about it.
We emphasize once again that it is important not to rush through this process. And be sure to check out all of the other articles on our blog. Where we discuss how to make a cover letter, resume writing, job interviews and more.