We all know the importance of resume cover letters to the job search process. After several weeks of the job hunt, you’ve finally gotten an opportunity to apply and showcase your skills. But first, you have to attract your employers’ attention by writing an outstanding resume. By definition, a resume cover letter is a document that contains your past experience records, professional achievements as well as academic certifications. It acts as a bridge between you and your prospective employer. In many cases, people get panic on how to write a resume cover letter that will land them in an interview for the position they are about to apply. In this article, we’ll walk you through the guidelines you need to use so as to write an effective resume cover letters.
Resume Cover Letter VS Curriculum Vitae
Many people tend to confuse resume to curriculum vitae. However, the two are often different in every aspect. While the resume provides a summary of an individual’s work history, skills and education, a curriculum vitae (CV) provides a holistic outlook of an individual’s career without any limitation. In other words, the resume is precise. In the flip side, a CV isn’t restricted by length.
The other main difference is that a resume is often tweaked and customized according to the specific job position. In the other hand, a CV provides every past qualifications or achievement a person holds.
According to statistics, a resume is the most requested document by employers. This is closely followed by a cover letter then a Curriculum Vitae.
Most Common Types of Resume Cover Letter
There are different formats that can be used when writing a resume cover letter. A resume format simply refers to the manner in which information will be laid out in your letter. A professional resume writer will tell you that there are three different types of a resume format, i.e. chronological, functional and combination formats. Each of these formats emphasizes different elements such as employment history, level of skill, and experience, among others.
A chronological resume is one of the most commonly used by many job applicants. Just as the name suggests, it attempts to list items in chronological order, with the most recent positions being at the top and the oldest positions coming later. This type of format is best suitable for those having a rich professional work history as it puts emphasis on work history above anything else.
Unlike the chronological resumes, the Functional formats tend to put major emphasis on the relevance of an individual’s experience. In other words, it focuses on a person’s skills and how they can contribute to something positive within the applied job position. Due to this nature, this format is the best for candidates eyeing for entry-level jobs or those with gaps in their work history.
This resume format uses a combination of both the chronological and the functional formats. It emphasizes both the transferrable skills as well as the level of experience a person has. Therefore, it can be used by a variety of job lookers. According to experts, this format presents a better way of winning your employers attention as compared to the aforementioned.
How to write a Resume Cover Letter
Writing a perfect resume requires key writing skills, proper guidance and practice. If you are worrying about where to start with your resume cover letter, don’t worry anymore. We have provided you with a step by step guide that will help you write a compelling resume letter.
Header and contact information
At the very top of your resume document, you need to include a header which contains your name and contact information. In as much as it seems obvious, some people do forget putting important details in this part, therefore, denying them chance towards a successful application. Therefore, make sure you countercheck if there is your name, your phone number, location address, email address and LinkedIn profile (optional).
As a golden tip, it’s advisable to make your name highly visible by writing it in bold or larger fonts than the rest of the document.
This section provides a brief explanation of who you are, your most relevant skills, qualifications and accomplishments. Here, you need to use an active and compelling language to convince your potential recruiter how best you fit the role. Plus, you can mention your career objectives and goals. Put in simple terms; the professional summary should highlight the value you are bringing to the potential recruiter.
Skill section is one that the majority of recruiters are beginning to pay utmost attention. In order to clearly present your skilled background, it’s recommended that you put them in bullet or numbering form. You can start by adding your soft skills, hard skills (technical) and transferrable skills. Some of the most common skills include communication skills, computer literacy, presentation skills etc.
Other than the skills section, this is another significant part most employers tend to look at. Therefore, it’s important that you make this part as compelling as possible. Use bullet forms to list down the companies you’ve worked, their locations, employment dates, roles and titles. At the same time, you can include the accomplishments you made if there is any. Last but not least, let the reader know some of the experiences you learned while working there.
Your resume cover letter should contain your academic credentials and other relevant training. Remember that most employers want to hire individuals with a certain level of education. Therefore, be sure to mention the school you went to ad degree you attained.
Even though it’s optional, you can still choose to add this section at will. Here, you can add other achievements, honors, volunteers, awards, or interests.
Cover Letter Samples & Examples
Factors to Consider When Writing a Cover Letter
- The resume letter should be brief, approximately one page long.
- The margins of your resume cover letter should be 0.61 inches on the sides and 0.9 inches at the top.
- The fonts of your resume letter should be easy to read and may include times New Romans, Calibri or Arial. The most recommended font size is 12-point.
- Use an active and official language when writing the resume.
- Always tailor your resume to match the specified job description.