Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letter -2 key differences between Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letter

The central idea of both a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a Cover letter is the same, they are both aimed at giving an applicant a better chance at a job in a company or a role in an organisation. One might feel that they are the same document and it is not so much of a surprise because both of them go hand in hand.

The truth remains that they are different. So you might want to ask, what then is the difference between a CV and a Cover Letter? The answers can be seen in this article, but first, let us understand what a CV is.

A CV is a summary of an Applicant’s Professional, Academic and Personal Life, written to entice an employer in order to secure a possible role in the company. A CV is a Career summary that highlights the achievements and qualifications of a person with an intention of persuading a hiring manager for a vacant role in their organisation.

A Curriculum Vitae includes the following information in Chronological Order

  1. Contact details

This is where you have your name, contact address including email, etc.

  1. Profile

You always have your Career Objective in this section.

  1. Educational Qualifications

Here, you share details of your Academic qualifications with dates. If you have professional qualifications too, they can come under this section as well.

  1. Professional Qualifications/Work Experience

Your Job history comes at this point, with roles, responsibilities and dates.

  1. Skills and Abilities

I’m this section, you add your relevant personal abilities, things you possess that make you unique

  1. Interests and Hobbies

Add social interests, especially those that are relevant to the intended job

  1. References

You can include your Referees in this section.

All these details are so important and are vital information for any company looking to hire a staff. A well-written CV can put you in pole position for a Job. That brings us to another question; if the CV can give you all this information about a person, what then is a Cover letter and why is it still needed? All these questions will be answered in this article.

A Cover letter is a letter written and submitted to a company together with a CV. It is a letter that narrows down an applicant’s qualification, with special recognition to the desired role and personal skills and experiences the applicant possesses in relation to that particular job. A Cover letter serves these purposes

  1. Introduces the Applicant more Personally
  2. Makes mention of the Intended Job
  3. Talks about personal skills of the applicant and experience in previous roles
  4. Tries to relate to the company, and how those skills will be beneficial, especially in the desired role
  5. States to the employer, personal views and other relevant information
  6. Contains contact information, requesting an interview

Having outlined and explained the two documents in question, we can see clearly that they share some similarities. They are both geared towards the same goal; landing a job or a role in a company or organisation and both of them contain personal information and achievements. The differences in these documents though are distinct.

What are the Differences -Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letter

There are not many differences between the Curriculum Vitae and A Cover Letter. The differences, however, can be summarised into two points; the Outline and the Purpose.

  1. Outline

The two documents are not arranged the same way, they have different formats. First, the CV is written in parts and subheadings, with the Applicant’s name boldly written as the Title of the document, and then the rest of the information is arranged in order. The Cover letter on the other hand is, of course, a letter and as such takes that form, having Addresses, Salutation, body and closing. Also, the CV contains at least 2-3 pages of an A4 Paper while the Cover letter is not more than a page of the same paper. The CV contains referees while the Cover Letter does not need them at all.

  1. Purpose

We have stated earlier that the two documents are geared towards the same goal, securing an appointment, they however do not serve the same purpose in the process. The CV is written to outline to the company who the applicant is, his educational qualifications and professional achievements so far, with some personal details added as further information.

Whereas, the Cover letter is an explanation of a person’s qualifications in relation to the job he or she seeks. While the CV has its limits, the Cover letter goes beyond the CV to explain the personal qualities the applicant possesses and its relevance to the vacant position.

The importance of the Cover letter is the reason why most companies request both of them together. The CV can go without the Cover letter but the Cover letter needs the CV to be relevant. The Cover letter is an opportunity to sell the applicant better to the hiring manager as he can talk about his wealth of experience in his desired role or another similar role.

A well-written CV gives you an advantage for a position, a Cover Letter enhances those chances, especially if it is well written. Cover letters are not always needed to attain job openings, however, when requested, it is important to pay attention to your key abilities and sell yourself in a bright manner, so that your employer will find you worthy of the vacant position.

In Conclusion, always remember to seek professional help when writing your CV and your Cover Letter, be sure to use a good format for your CV as a poorly written CV is the beginning of a failed application. For the Cover letter, use Concise English and make sure you do not exaggerate the details in your letter just to sound fanciful. Always read them again and again for errors and you are good to go.

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