Cover Letter Tips For Fresher CV Resume Job Application: How To Write an Impressive Cover Letter?
What’s a Cover Letter and How Is It Different from a Resume?
There is a lot of confusion among job seekers about the difference between a resume and a cover letter. In this article we discuss resume and cover letter in detail, so that you know exactly what they are and the purpose they solve.
What is a Resume?
A resume is a document that provides a prospective employer a better understanding of who you are and your qualifications for the job.
A resume is a summarized version or adaptation of a CV or curriculum vitae. It is a single sheet of paper that contains an outline of your educational qualifications, work experience, aptitude, capacities and achievements. It contains the best highlights of your career in as few words as possible.
You should write your resume by taking out the most important events from your CV, and by compiling and summarizing them into a single page. A resume is sent prior to an interview. A good resume can create a great impression and get you the interview call that you were waiting for. A bad resume would do the opposite.
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a more detailed document which allows the prospective employer to connect the dots and see how your previous work experiences are relevant to the position that you are applying for.
A cover letter is a report that is sent along with the resume. It adds to the information already contained in the resume by going into detail about your abilities and experience. A Cover letter should be included with every resume. It expands the points made in the resume and explains how you meet the requirements for the job that you’re applying for.
Cover letters are sent with the resume before an interview. They are used by businesses to screen candidates before an interview, and to figure out who among the applicants is fit enough to be called for the interview.
It is a more personal document than a resume. You should send both your resume and cover letter together when applying for a job.
Explaining the Difference between Resume and Cover Letter
The resume and cover letter give the interviewer a valuable insight into the individual’s skills, experience and abilities. Their purpose is to prove that the candidate has what it takes to succeed at the job that they are applying for, to be called for the interview.
But they are not the same. Cover letter and resume should be seen as unique pair of documents that are also complementary to each other.
The resume must be sent with every job application, but there may not be a compulsion to send the cover letter as well. The cover letter increases your chances of getting called for the interview, but it is not a must.
The resume summarizes your employment history, education, skills, certifications and other critical information about your background. It contains an “experience” section with job titles, positions and period of employment, and an “education” section, with information on your educational qualifications and certifications.
The cover letter goes into detail about the qualifications you have for the job that you’re applying for. It gives additional detail on the points covered by the resume, explaining why you are the right candidate for the job. The cover letter is written in a letter format. It contains a salutation and closing, with several paragraphs in between.
The cover letter is written with the assumption that the employer will have already read your resume and would be referencing it to match the statements made in the cover letter regarding your qualifications. It allows the employers to get a better idea of your background and how your educational qualifications and work experience make you eligible for the position that is on offer.
Why do you need a Cover Letter?
A cover letter allows you to introduce yourself to an employer, present your qualifications and explain why you should be hired for the job. When written well, it helps you stand out from the rest of the candidates and ensures that you get shortlisted for the interview.
How to Write an Impressive Cover Letter? Job Application
Writing an effective cover letter that gets shortlisted for a job opportunity takes time, but it is something that simply has to be done. You must make it a point to personalize your cover letter depending on the position that you are applying for. Doing so would indicate your seriousness and level of interest. We discuss this and more tips on how to write an impressive cover letter below.
#1: Don’t bore the reader with too many details. The HR staff in charge of the hiring typically read dozens of resumes and cover letters in just a few minutes. So they can only spend a few seconds on your cover letter. Don’t make the mistake of boring them with too many details. Keep the cover letter brief and to the point, never longer than a full page.
#2: Be precise with the opening lines. Don’t use clichés or lengthy opening statements. Get to the point very quickly. Don’t waste the reader’s time. Don’t be verbose or wordy. Avoid flowery language and stick to the point.
#3: Give them a good reason to shortlist you for the interview. Mention your educational and professional background and connect them to the job position that you are applying for, so that there’s no confusion as to why you are suitable for the job. Just pick out a few points from your resume that are relevant to the job description and show how they can help you fulfill the responsibilities or perform the tasks that are expected from you.
#4: Don’t just repeat or paraphrase what’s on the resume. The cover letter is a distinct document and should contain information about yourself which is not present in the resume. If there are things that are relevant to the job description, but which you cannot write in the resume, include them in the cover letter. The cover letter adds to the resume, it should not simply repeat what’s already there in the resume.
#5: Read the company’s mission statement, values and objectives. Understand what the company stands for. Mention your skills and why they are relevant to the position you are applying for. Explain why the job is important to you and why you would be a good fit for the company.
#6: Use numbers and facts to good effect. Quote numbers and facts about your past achievement that show why you are such a good fit for the organization. Using numbers shows that you are result-oriented and have a good idea of what the employer is looking for.
#7: Proofread and edit the cover letter as much as possible before sending it to the employer. Hire a professional proofreader on a freelancing website such as Elance.com or Upwork.com to check the document for grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. The cover letter must be 100% error free.
Use the tips given here to write an impressive cover letter. Just remember to be honest in the cover letter. Recruiting managers are very experienced at separating truth from fiction. Just be yourself and put your best foot forward. You will surely get the interview call that you are waiting for.
Let’s Discuss Once Again on How to Write a Perfect Cover Letter That Grabs Attention?
Not too many people understand the difference between a cover letter and a resume. A resume is a crisp document that tells a prospective employer who you are and lists your qualifications, work experiences and career objectives.
A cover letter, on the other hand, is a more detailed document that shows who your previous work experiences are in a way related to the position that you are applying for. It gives a fuller picture and is more comprehensive than a resume. Typically, both cover letter and resume are sent together when applying for a job.
The question is, does anyone read cover letters? Are they really important? Yes, they are important and hiring managers always read cover letters. You should use your cover letter to show why you are a better fit for the position that you are applying for than the other candidates.
Next, let’s discuss how to write the perfect cover letter that grabs attention.
Tip #1: Don’t just repeat what’s in the resume
The cover letter should not just repeat what’s already in the resume. Instead it should have additional details that couldn’t be included in the resume for want of space. Explain in detail what you learned from each work experience, the valuable skills that you learned from them and how they molded you into a better professional. Show why you are such a great fit for the company.
Tip #2: Explain what you have to contribute
The cover letter should not just tell the hiring manager why you would be grateful for the job opportunity and how proud you would be to be a part of the company. Instead, it should show what you bring to the table, such as valuables skills and work experience. It should show why the employer can trust you to deliver the goods on a consistent basis. Essentially, a cover letter should not be about what the company can do for you, but what you can do for the company.
Tip #3: Focus on your skills, not just on your education
What are the valuable skills that you bring to the table? This can prove to be very important if your past work experiences don’t fit well with the position that you are applying for. The problem with many recent graduates, in particular, is that they emphasize their educational background at the cost of everything else. Well, here’s what you should know – hiring managers really care about your work experience and skills. Your education gets you a look-in, but that shouldn’t be the primary focus of the cover letter. Now, if you have any internship experience with a big company, that could prove to be important.
Tip #4: Maintain a relentlessly positive attitude
There shouldn’t be even the slightest negativity in the cover letter. You shouldn’t, for example, apologize for what you don’t have. Don’t draw attention to your weaknesses by saying things such as “In spite of not having much experience in C++, I gave it all to the project” That’s not good! Focus on the skills you have, the skills that allowed you to complete a project and show how those skills are relevant to the new position that you are applying for.
#5: Connect your story with facts and numbers
It is not enough to say that you have held a certain position in the past and to talk about your responsibilities in that role. You should use facts and numbers to back up every single detail. Hiring managers love facts, so if worked as a salesperson in your previous job, don’t just talk about the responsibilities held by you, talk about how you made a difference. How many business laptops, for example, were you able to sell in your 2 years as a salesperson? Ultimately, your employers are looking for results and you should show that you are a result oriented person.
#6: Customize your cover letter
Don’t just send the same standard cover letter to every company or position that you apply for. Put some thought and originality into each one. Customize it to fit a particular company or a position. Hiring managers hate getting stock cover letters that have been obviously distributed to every company in the industry. That shows that you don’t care enough and are not really serious about the opportunity on offer.
Hope you liked the tips given here on writing a perfect cover letter. The important thing with any cover letter is to connect the dots with what’s written on the resume, talk about your skills and work experiences, and use facts and numbers to back them up.
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