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The Difference Between Cv Resume And Cover Letter

Job seekers find writing resumes and cover letters difficult for many reasons, but one of the biggest is the strategy involved when deciding what to highlight and where to include it in your resume and cover letter. Where you include your information is not trivial, because hiring managers have expectations on where to find candidate information within his/her resume and cover letter. Too many job seekers simply rewrite the information on their resumes in paragraph form and call it their cover letter. This is unappealing to hiring managers who are trying to see a complete picture of a candidate and why he/she may or may not be good for the job. Avoid making this mistake by reading our tips below on the differences between resume and cover letter information.


Resumes should be about your work history, accomplishments, skills, education, what you have been doing and how you have been successful at it. Think of your resume as the document that highlights the best of professional you. You will want to make sure your information is in bulleted form, because it will overwhelm hiring managers if it’s in full sentences and paragraphs.

Cover Letters

Despite what others might think, a cover letter is not just a document that repeats your resume in paragraph form. Yes, cover letters are written in full sentences and paragraphs, but the information hiring managers are looking for when reading it is different from your resume. Hiring managers want to read cover letter because they are a quick introduction into you and what you can bring to the company. It is more of a “this is why I am applying and why I am qualified” document.

Writing the same information on resumes and cover letter if a huge mistake that many job seekers make. If you take the time to really think about the strategy behind resumes and cover letters, your application will better received by hiring managers.


Cover Letter is a document that highlights the job seeker’s credentials, and describes the content of another document, i.e. resume or curriculum vitae, with which it is sent. On the other hand, Curriculum Vitae or CV is a summary of the applicant’s educational and employment credential. It is a snapshot of the career history of the candidate, which is indeed the primary phase, in getting the attention of potential employer.

The two documents are of great importance, for every candidate who wants to get a job, in the world of extreme competition. A CV and a cover letter presents the applicant, before the employer and so it must be properly drafted and written. Most people assume that the two are one and the same thing, while they are not. Just take a read of this article to know about the differences between CV and cover letter.

Content: CV Vs Cover Letter

  1. Comparison Chart
  2. Definition
  3. Key Differences
  4. Conclusion

Comparison Chart

Basis for ComparisonCurriculum Vitae (CV)Cover Letter
MeaningA document containing the details of applicant's academic qualifications, professional experience and past history is known as Curriculum Vitae or CV.A letter attached to a CV or resume that gives a brief description of the applicant to the potential employer, is known as Cover Letter.
Document typeComprehensiveConcise
What it contains?CV includes every single detail about the candidate's career like his educational background, personal interests, work experience, etc.Cover Letter explains why a candidate is most appropriate for the vacancy.
SizeMore than two pages.Less than one page
ModificationsIt is same for all jobs.It can be changed according to the job.

Definition of Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A written snapshot of a person’s educational qualification, work experience, and some personal details is known as a Curriculum Vitae (CV). It is mainly used by the prospective employers to draw the career sketch of the job seekers and shortlist the deserving candidates before calling them for an interview. It contains the qualifications, skills, hobbies, experience, achievements, projects, awards, publications, extracurricular activities.

The term Curriculum Vitae is derived from a Latin word, which simply means ‘course of life’. It is used while applying for specific purposes like fellowships, advanced research, grants and so on.

Definition of Cover Letter

A letter which is attached to or sent with another document (i.e. CV or resume) and contains the summary of another document is known as Cover Letter. The cover letter is used while applying for the jobs. It complements the main document by outlining eligibility criteria fulfilled by the applicant. The document is of utmost importance; that decides whether the candidate will get a chance to meet personally or get an interview call for the said position.

Cover Letter gives a short introduction about the candidate qualifications, experience and accomplishments and interest that are required for the post applied.

Cover Letter contains the arguments that why the candidate is the best man for the job. It can be customized according to the job. It contains the details about name, contact details, educational qualifications, professional experience, prospects and so on.

Key Differences Between CV and Cover Letter

The major differences between CV and Cover Letter are explained below:

  1. Curriculum Vitae is a biography of a person’s career like his qualifications, skills, competencies, achievements, etc. Cover Letter is a letter which gives a short description of the applicant to the potential employer.
  2. CV is a detailed document, but Cover Letter is ‘to the point’ document.
  3. A CV includes the details about the educational and employment history of the applicant. Conversely, the cover letter expresses the interest of the candidate in the job applied.
  4. Normally, the size of CV is two or more than two pages. On the other hand, the length of a cover letter does not exceed one page.
  5. A CV cannot modify according to the job, it remains same for all jobs, whereas a cover letter can be modified according to the job.


CV and Cover Letter are complementary documents. Cover Letter gives an overview of the person’s accomplishments and shows the skills, competencies, experience and qualifications that fulfill the recruiter’s criteria. CV is the well-organized document which gives each and every detail about the background and skills of an individual. The content, format, and language used, in the two documents have a great impact on the reader’s mind. So, it would be beneficial, if the sender prepares the two documents in such a way that will impress the reader.

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