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 staff. A well-written CV can put you in a 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
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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 between 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, Salutations, 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.

The distinction between a cover letter and a curriculum vitae -Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letter

So, you want to know the distinction between a cover letter and a curriculum vitae. It’s understandable if you see parallels between the two documents; after all, both are designed to persuade an employer that you’re the best candidate to fill a specific role by showcasing your previous work and academic history.

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Although they both aim to do the same thing and complement one another very well, their formats and subject matter are quite distinct.

Many employers require a CV, but cover letters are sometimes discretionary. However, according to 51% of recruiters, your chances of success will increase significantly if you include a cover letter with your application.

This brief comparison of a curriculum vitae and a cover letter will serve as a reminder of the essentials. Take control of your job search by using the advice below to draft a winning resume and cover letter. Read our other articles on the subject for even more help with your resume.

What distinguishes a cover letter from a curriculum vitae?

Even though a curriculum vitae (CV) and a cover letter share some similarities, it’s important to understand their distinct functions to improve your job search results.

A resume/CV is a synopsis of your professional and academic accomplishments and experiences over the past 10–15 years. It provides a concise summary of your most relevant professional experiences and accomplishments that demonstrate why you should be considered for the position being advertised. Everything you include in your application materials should be focused on getting you the job you’re applying for.

Common divisions in a CV include a profile, a career overview, and an education and certifications segment. The details you provide to highlight your skills and experience should be presented in the form of concise bullet points, headed by active verbs and supported by hard data.

The CV is the equivalent of an American resume. They both serve the same purpose of introducing you to a manager in human resources and contain the same information.

The cover letter stands apart. In most cases, they are meant to supplement your resume by providing additional information and elaborating on your value. The purpose of your cover letter is to convince the HR Manager that you are the best candidate for the job and should be invited in for an interview.

A CV includes the following

Identifying information (name, job title, phone number): The HR Manager needs to be able to identify you and get in touch with you, so make sure your information is correct and presented in the right format.

Your profile should be a succinct paragraph that explains who you are, what you can bring to the table, and where you want to take your career.

Work history and experience: Describe your duties in previous positions. More importantly, you should add to it to highlight your major achievements, which will show the value you can bring to the new position.

Your impressive professional skill set is bolstered by your education and qualifications, which provide additional evidence of your expertise in specific areas.

To accommodate recruiters who are often inundated with hundreds of resumes at once and have limited time to read each one, CVs are formatted with clear headings and bullet points to keep them concise and easy to read.

While the list above contains the contents of a CV, a cover letter includes the following

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Unlike the typical letter, a cover letter is an exception. A cover letter typically accompanies your CV and consists of three to four paragraphs. There are four main topics covered:

In what capacity are you interested in working?

Share some details about your most notable and applicable experiences and abilities.

To what end do you believe these skills will serve your potential employer?

Interview request

It follows the standard letter format, complete with a greeting, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

However, the rules for cover letters are shifting in the digital age, as many CVs are now emailed directly to potential employers. Instead of attaching a separate cover letter when sending a CV via email, use the body of your message as your cover letter.

Cover letters sent via email are typically shorter, ranging from 100 to 400 words. But the four major themes discussed above are still present in these examples.

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a document used to present information clearly and concisely. In contrast, a cover letter allows you to expand on your strengths and share more about your career goals and objectives.

But that’s not all. Recruiters will have a chance to learn more about you thanks to your cover letter. Consider including some subjective details in your application to help recruiters get to know the real you, such as your writing style, tone of voice, interest in the position, and personal values and motivations.

What makes a cover letter and curriculum vitae distinct? Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letter

The curriculum vitae (CV) usually takes the lead in the dance across the recruiter’s desk, just as it takes two to tango on the dance floor. But without an accompanying cover letter, it’s just a single dancer in a void.

The resume lists your qualifications and experience, while the cover letter provides convincing examples of how you’ve used those qualifications in the past.

The final product is an in-depth analysis of your skills and character as an employee.

And consider this: the more information the recruiter has about you upfront, the more likely they are to believe that you are the ideal candidate for the position even before you walk through the door for an interview.

A cover letter is a letter that is sent alongside a curriculum vitae or resumes to provide additional information about the applicant.

When applying for a job, a cover letter is much more effective than a curriculum vitae because it can showcase your skills and personality in a more compelling light.

When sent together, a tailored resume and cover letter make the greatest impression.

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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