Difference Between Resume vs Cover Letter

Difference Between Resume vs Cover Letter

When you are going for a job interview, it is crucial that you dress properly so you make a great first impression. But what’s even more important than that is the need for a well-prepared document that can tell your potential employee who you are, what you can do, and what qualifies you as suitable for the position you are applying for.

In this post, we will take a look at the differences between resume vs cover letter to see how these two differ. From basic knowledge, you most probably know that both types of documents describe the personality and qualifications of a job applicant, but there are other things about them that make them different from one another. Knowing these differences as a job seeker would help you prepare better for any and every interview that comes your way.

Definition of Resume

A resume is defined as a summary of a job applicant with contents that focus on specific information like your name, contacts, educational history, applicable skills, work experience, a summary of qualifications, and professional membership. It is usually very well-arranged in legible and easy to read sections that can sell the strengths of the candidate to the interviewer in the shortest time possible.

The goal of this document is to introduce a job seeker as a legible candidate for a particular position in an itemized, informative, and short manner. There are different formats for writing this job application document.

One outstanding difference between cover letter and resume is that the former is a direct statement of a candidate’s career history and qualifications while the latter is more like a business letter.

Definition of Cover Letter

A cover letter is a business letter written by a job applicant telling an interviewer why he or she should be employed. It typically comes with the resume underneath, and the letter above such that the HR can take a look at it first before looking at the documents that follow.

When it is well-crafted, it gives a candidate more leverage and a better chance of being employed. It encourages HR to take his or her time to go through the resume to learn more about the applicant.

One difference between resume and cover letter that we would like to point out is how the latter provides the applicant with an opportunity to express himself or herself, unlike in the case of the former where they do not get such opportunities. Note that this is a business letter, and anything that must be discussed throughout the letter has to do with specific items listed in the job description.

Main Differences Between Resume vs Cover Letter

At this point, you should have an idea of the basic difference between these two different types of job application documents. In this section, we will take a look at some other factors that differentiate them and their properties.

Basis of ComparisonResumeCover Letter
DefinitionA summary of a job applicant shedding light on factors like your name, contacts, educational history, applicable skills, work experience, summary of qualifications, and professional membershipA business letter written by a job applicant telling an interviewer why he or she should be employed
PurposeA summary of your work history and qualificationsA selling strategy that explains why and how an applicant would be a great fit
FormatWritten in specific sections with a subheading for each section and bullet points showing more informationTypical letter format with at least three paragraphs divided into opening, body, and closing
ToneMore professional toned letter usually written in the third personProfessional with a touch of personality usually written in the first person

Difference Between Resume and Cover Letter: Conclusion

With these few points, we hope you can now tell the cover letter vs resume differences. Before we call it a wrap, here are some similarities between these two. Except when stated, applicants are expected to present both of these documents on A4 sized paper. You are also expected to send it in a pdf format. If you are sending it as an email, your cover letter should be the cover of your email.