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What's the Difference Between a Cover Letter and a Resume?

Cover letter and resume

February 21 2020 - The average person works a little over 4 years per employer. That gives you just enough time to forget about the frustrations involved with the job search process. If it's been a few years since you've applied for a new position, you may feel out of touch with all the details.

Do you fill out an application in-person or online? Do you call the employer to check on your application or is that seen as wasting their time? Do you submit a resume vs cover letter or both?

Are you wondering what's the difference between a cover letter and a resume? If yes, keep reading to learn the difference so you can land that job interview.

What Is a Cover Letter?

In basic terms, a cover letter is an introduction letter to your potential employer. 

A cover letter consists of a brief introduction, followed by an explanation of why you're interested in the job. Then, you can address your qualifications and experience. Finish the letter with a brief conclusion and contact information.

To really stand out from the crowd, search the job posting for keywords, such as "proficient in SEO" or "data-driven results." These are the skills that your potential employer is looking for. By adding these phrases into your cover letter, you'll display your attention to detail and show that you're qualified.

If you're still a little confused, search for free cover letter templates. These will have all the components of a good cover letter written out for you and you can just fill in the blanks. Make sure to personalize the template enough so that it's not obvious to the potential employer that you're using a form letter.

What Is a Resume?

A resume is a chronological listing of your education, experience, and skills. This is a document that can be quickly scanned by your potential employer to make sure you're qualified for the position.

Make your career history the focal point of your resume. Instead of just listing the company you worked for and the position you held, add in your daily responsibilities and achievements. Choose a format and follow this for all your relevant career experiences.

You'll also want to do the same chronological listing with your education. Don't forget to add on a section for your appropriate skills and certifications. Other important sections include contact information and references.

So, What's the Difference Between a Cover Letter and a Resume?

After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of what's the difference between a cover letter and a resume.

While both documents have similar information and are used to help during the job search process, they have their differences. A cover letter is an introduction of yourself that also tells a potential employer why you want the specific job. On the other hand, a resume is a listing of all your experience and skills that qualify you for the position.

You'll need both of these documents in order to get hired for your dream job. For more help, head to the Jobs/Careers section of this site for more in-depth content.


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