Cover letter Samples & Templates Resume Samples & Templates

Cover Letter Vs. Resume: The Major Differences (With Samples)

The recruiting process offers numerous chances for you to demonstrate your personality, academic credentials, and experience to a prospective employer. For example, your cover letter vs. resume frequently creates the first impression on a prospective employer. A cover letter vs. resume, on the other hand, serves distinct functions.

In this blog post, we’ll go over what to include in a cover letter and resume, as well as the distinctions between these two pieces of paperwork and examples of each.

Cover Letter Vs. Resume: What exactly is a resume?

A resume is a short document that outlines your qualifications for a job. Many resumes include the following components:

Educational background

List your highest qualifications, as well as those that are most applicable to the job for which you are applying. If you want to work as a biologist, you could enumerate your post-secondary degrees, such as a master’s and a Doctoral degree. Provide when you began taking classes and your projected completion date if you’re in high school or advancing a degree.

Relevant skills

This demonstrates to prospective employers your skills as they correspond to the job. If you’re searching for a position as an executive assistant, provide your speed and accuracy and note that you’re familiar with various word processors or clerical work software.

Qualifications overview

This segment must include any formal certificates or accomplishments from the workplace. For example, you could state that you are a licensed electrical engineer or that you increased customer loyalty by 28% in twenty months. Recruitment managers and employers ought to be able to check your qualification overview.

Professional Affiliations

Include any groups or associations that could be beneficial to you in a future role. For instance, if you are interviewing for a position as a clinic advisor, you can mention your membership status in the American Psychological Association.

Cover Letter Vs. Resume: What exactly is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a comprehensive document that demonstrates your interest in a specific job to prospective employees. It is a chance to show more of your public persona than your resume allows. You can explain particular information from the position description and how your experience and abilities fit those prerequisites in the letter.

Because cover letters are mostly voluntary, submitting one along with your resume can demonstrate your enthusiasm to secure the job. When you include a cover letter whenever a manufacturer does not demand one, it shows your potential employer that you want to surpass their expectations, which may make you a more attractive applicant. If the application specifically states that a cover letter is not required, you must obey the employer’s instructions.

Include the following elements in your cover letter:


Like other official letters, the heading of your cover letter must contain your name, date, address, and contact details for the person receiving it.


A professional greeting should be used to begin the letter. If you know the purpose receiver’s surname, you could use a title such as “Mr.,” “Ms.,” or “Dr.,” accompanied by their surname. If an organization contact is not specified in the job advertisement, you could use “Dear Interview Panel” or “Dear Recruiter.”

How did you discover the job?

Allowing your prospective employer to know where you discovered the job will aid them in current and future staffing efforts. For example, if the organization used a hiring webpage, referencing the advertising in your cover letter will demonstrate to them that they can discover eligible applicants using that resource.

What you will bring to the company

Enumerating your objectives for the job demonstrates to your prospective employer that you comprehend the expected responsibilities. To show your ability to become an important member of the team, attempt to formulate goals that correspond with the company’s vision statement.

Your objectives for future calls

Declaring your desire to schedule an interview shows the receiver that you are eager to move forward in the recruiting process.

The distinctions between a cover letter vs. resume

A cover letter and a resume are both important documents used in the job application process, but they serve different purposes and have distinct formats. Here’s a comparison of the two:


  1. Purpose: The primary purpose of a resume is to provide a concise summary of your work experience, skills, education, and qualifications. It highlights your professional history and achievements.
  2. Format: Resumes are typically structured in a reverse-chronological or functional format. The reverse-chronological format lists your work history in chronological order, starting with the most recent job. The functional format emphasizes skills and qualifications over a chronological work history.
  3. Content: A resume includes sections such as contact information, a summary or objective statement, work experience, education, skills, and sometimes additional sections like certifications or volunteer work. It’s a document that showcases your qualifications.
  4. Length: Resumes are typically one to two pages long, with the length depending on your level of experience. Entry-level resumes are usually shorter, while experienced professionals may have longer ones.
  5. Customization: You may tailor your resume for specific job applications by emphasizing certain skills and experiences that are relevant to the position.
  6. Flexibility: Resumes are versatile and can be used for various job applications, industries, and career levels.

Cover Letter:

  1. Purpose: The primary purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself to the employer, explain your interest in the position, and provide context for your resume. It allows you to express your enthusiasm for the role and the organization.
  2. Format: A cover letter is typically a one-page document consisting of a formal introduction, body paragraphs, and a closing. It’s written in a narrative style.
  3. Content: A cover letter should include information about why you’re interested in the job, how your qualifications match the job requirements, and why you believe you’re a good fit for the company. It often highlights soft skills, motivations, and personality traits that may not be as prominent in the resume.
  4. Length: A cover letter is usually one page long and should be concise and focused on the employer’s needs and qualifications.
  5. Customization: Cover letters are highly customizable and should be tailored to each specific job application. They allow you to address the specific requirements and company culture of the organization you’re applying to.
  6. Personalization: Cover letters offer the opportunity to address the hiring manager by name and provide a more personal touch to your application.

In summary, while a resume provides a structured summary of your qualifications and work history, a cover letter complements it by offering a more personalized introduction, demonstrating your enthusiasm, and explaining how your skills align with the specific job and company. Both documents are essential components of a job application and should be carefully crafted to increase your chances of securing an interview.

1. Structure

Your cover letter must be organized into comprehensive paragraphs, whereas your resume must have segments with main points that communicate specific information such as dates of employment and work tasks.

2. Information

A resume is a summary of your academic and employment background. It can include a list of some or most of the pertinent qualifications and job experience that apply to your current job hunt. A cover letter must be tailored to the position you’re applying for. Although both documents may contain little information, a cover letter emphasizes current and prospective goals, whereas a resume signifies past employment and achievements.

3. Function

On one or two pages, your resume must communicate a broad range of facts. Hiring managers use resumes to quickly evaluate your skills and determine whether you are eligible for a position. Your cover letter allows you to present a detailed picture of yourself as a person and applicant.

Cover Letter Vs. Resume: Cover letter and resume samples

Observe the examples provided to get a sense of the distinctions between a cover letter vs. resume:

A copy editor’s resume

This is a straightforward one-page resume for a copy editor:

Diego Cesar 

231-000-0000 |


University of San Diego, Southern California

B.A, Communication systems

Qualifications Overview

  • Visual studio Certified Specialist Copywriter
  • Copywriter certification from the National Association for Publishers and Copyeditors

Work Experience

Manager of Information, November 2022–Present

  • Oak Advertising, Washington, OR
  • I oversaw a group of eight copywriters.
  • I wrote close to thirty blog posts for a famous luxury webpage each week.
  • Designed dashboards for many Leading multinational businesses’ websites.

October 2019-September 2022: Chief Copy Editor

San Antonio Ledger | Houston, Texas

  • Edited at least 20 media articles each day for the print magazine, making sure that all writing followed AP guidelines.
  • I was in charge of creating content for the news website.
  • Journalists were taught writing procedures such as precision, tonality, and style.

Gentrified Life Weekly | Sacramento, California

Copy editor/Proofreader, February 2015-July 2019

  • Feature publications were scanned for grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • Revisions were asked from writers by the publication’s type, content, and style guidelines.
  • Every month, I wrote short articles about small-town life.

Professional Associations

  • American Marketing League
  • Global Sales and Advertising Leaders

A lecturer’s cover letter

The following is a comprehensive cover letter for a university lecturer:

Jessica Xu

1002 Richmond Ave.

Seattle, SC, 40183

August 19, 2020

The Human Resources

Georgetown University,

Washington, DC, NC 27708

The Hiring Team:

I found out about the tenurial linguistics lecturer job at Georgetown University through your webpage and would be grateful if you’d consider me for it. I’ve long admired Georgetown’s dedication to brilliance and wish to be employed at a university that currently ranks among the nation’s top universities. I have eight years of university classroom experience, comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of genres and styles, and a sturdy ambition to assist students in improving their writing and critical-thinking abilities.

As a postdoctoral assistant professor at the University of Charleston, I taught five chapters of Emergence in Literary Works and three segments of Literary History. I’ve taught three classes each of European Literature from 750 BC to 1600 and African-American Literature as an emeritus teacher. I have worked to create my students’ enthusiasm for reading a diverse range of writers throughout my period as a teacher, and I plan to carry on this objective as a lecturer at Georgetown.

Your job advertisement mentions that you are looking for individuals with experience in a range of genres of literature and eras, and I am convinced that my time at UCLA has equipped me for this position. You also mentioned the need for a lecturer with comprehensive academic publication experience. My doctoral dissertation was published by Harvard University Press, and I currently have numerous articles forthcoming in scholarly journals.

As a lecturer at Georgetown, I would uphold your university’s dedication to its students’ mental growth. I am excited to join the English Department faculty and help my learners gain a passion for reading and researching literature. I’ve also attached my resume to this application. I’d like to discuss this role with you in detail. You can contact me at 555-718-3489 or I eagerly await your reply.

Best wishes,

Dr. Jessica Xu


In conclusion, the cover letter and resume are complementary elements of a successful job application. While the resume provides a structured and concise overview of your qualifications and experiences, the cover letter offers a unique opportunity to convey your enthusiasm, align your skills with the job’s requirements, and demonstrate your understanding of the company’s values and culture. Together, these documents form a powerful duo, allowing you to present a comprehensive and compelling case for why you are the ideal candidate for the position. By carefully crafting both your resume and cover letter, you enhance your chances of making a strong and memorable impression on prospective employers and advancing in the competitive job market.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cover Letter Vs. Resume

Here are five frequently asked questions about cover letters and resumes:

  • What is the main difference between a resume and a cover letter?

The main difference between a resume and a cover letter is their purpose and content. A resume provides a concise summary of your qualifications, work history, skills, and education, while a cover letter serves as an introduction, explaining your interest in a specific job, showcasing your enthusiasm, and aligning your qualifications with the job requirements.

  • Do I need both a resume and a cover letter for a job application?

It’s generally recommended to include both a resume and a cover letter in your job application, unless the job posting specifically states otherwise. These documents serve different purposes and together provide a comprehensive view of your qualifications and motivations.

  • Which document should I focus on when applying for a job?

You should focus on both the resume and the cover letter. Your resume provides a structured overview of your qualifications, while your cover letter allows you to personalize your application, showcase your interest in the position, and explain how your skills match the job requirements. A strong combination of both documents is often the most effective approach.

  • How long should a resume and a cover letter be?

Resumes are typically one to two pages in length, with the length influenced by your level of experience. Entry-level resumes are usually shorter, while experienced professionals may have longer ones. Cover letters are generally one page in length and should be concise, focusing on the most relevant information.

  • Should I include the same information in my resume and cover letter?

While there may be some overlap, it’s essential to avoid duplicating content between your resume and cover letter. Your resume should provide a comprehensive list of your qualifications, while your cover letter should emphasize your enthusiasm, motivations, and the specific ways in which your skills align with the job you’re applying for. Tailor each document to the job application by highlighting different aspects of your qualifications.

These frequently asked questions provide insights into the distinctions between resumes and cover letters and how they work together to create a strong job application package. Understanding their respective roles can help you craft compelling documents to improve your chances of landing the job you desire.

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