In 2020, the labor market has become pickier to candidates. The coronavirus influenced this due to a reduction in the number of jobs. A well-written cover letter is a way for a candidate to stand-out by showing their interest in the chosen position and will surely win you a spot over a candidate with an illiterate cover letter or none at all. Thus, recruiters are increasingly selecting new employees based on the cover letter, education, and experience.
Difference between cover letter and resume
Let’s start with the definition.
A resume is a document that describes your professional experience, skills, knowledge, education, and additional courses.
CV and resume are often confused with each other. A CV is longer than a resume and often used by scientists to show their scientific activities. It lists all areas of study, additional courses, jobs, positions, and responsibilities in chronological order.
While a resume is a short document that highlights the most important points of your professional career related to the particular position you are applying for. Thus, for different vacancies, you prepare different resumes, indicating the necessary hard (professional) and soft (personal) skills, qualifications, and a link to your portfolio (if you have one)
The resume is typically one page and, at most, two standard pages.
A Cover letter is a short letter with additional information to the resume. If you want to attract the recruiter’s attention to your resume, make a good impression on them, and increase the chance of getting a job offer, you need to write a competent cover letter.
Write a short cover letter that supplements the information in your resume and focuses on the vacancy requirements. It is an opportunity to express your interest in the company and the given position, highlighting your skills and personal qualities, and telling how they will be useful to the company. Finish it with a call to action. The entire document should be no longer than one page.
A cover letter is similar to a company business card, where there is a list of services, contacts, and a call to action. If a person is interested in the services provided, they will contact the company. In our case, if the recruiter is interested in a cover letter, they will read the resume and make an appointment to interview you.
Cover letter vs. resume
What should you send to a recruiter in 2020 – a cover letter or a resume? Do you send a cover letter and resume separately? What goes first, cover letter or resume? Employment experts are often asked these questions.
Even if the company vacancy does not require a cover letter, you should send one. According to Susan Heathfield, an employment expert, recruiters receive an average of 250 resumes per open position. And they always start by reading cover letters because it shows how much a person is interested in the given job. It makes it possible to immediately determine whether a candidate meets the requirements of the vacancy.
How to write a cover letter and resume
Writing a resume and cover letter is puzzling for many. To make things easier and avoid the most common mistakes, you can use specialized services, such as the online builder of resumes and cover letters GetCoverLetter.com generator.
There are 5 types of resumes:
- General. It has 5 – 10 fields, and each is filled in detail. Suitable for those who have extensive work experience and prestigious education.
- Functional. Suitable for students, former homemakers, and those who have been unemployed for a long time. The emphasis is on knowledge, ability, and merit.
- Chronological (CV). Achievements and work experience are sorted by time sequence, starting with the most recent.
- Target. The task of this type is to get a specific vacancy. Skills and education are specified precisely within the framework of the position that you want. Brevity and profile are the main advantages.
- Academic. Often used by scholars and scientists, the focus is on education and qualifications. About 60% of the document describes awards, scientific works, publications, and knowledge.
We’ll go over a general resume. The summary contains the following required fields:
- Document name
- Personal and contact information
- Desired position and salary
- Work experience
- Professional achievements and skills
- Personal qualities
- Additional information
In some countries and for certain positions, you should also attach a photo.
Personal and contact information
47486 NW 53rd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97026
Translator (Chinese and Korean languages)
7 500 USD
2011 – 2015
Bachelor of Science, University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Philology.
Translator at Hollywood Studios.
Responsible for translating texts and movies from Chinese and Korean into English.
2016 – 2017
Translator at the New York Times
Responsible for translating articles of Asian journalists
Accuracy, energy, quick learner, public speaking skills, good diction, perseverance, the ability to adapt to change, self-control, result orientation, ability to work in a team.
Fluent in French and Ukrainian
Expert in Office Suite, Google Documents, Microsoft Office Software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe Photoshop, HTML, and Google Software Analytics
According to resume and cover letter expert Svitlana Harkusha, in 2020, only 32% of applicants sent cover letters with a resume, while 79% of recruiters expect to receive a cover letter for an open position. This difference is explained by the fact that candidates do not know how to fill out an application correctly.
The format of the cover letter is free; there are no hard restrictions on what you must write. But the letter has a set structure. You can call it a letter plan.
The cover letter consists of:
- Opening paragraph – grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top accomplishments;
- The second paragraph – explain why you are the ideal candidate for the position;
- Third paragraph – Explain why you are a good fit for the company, what they get from hiring you;
- Closing – call to action and valediction.
Cover letter sample 1:
Dear HR Manager!
My name is Frodo Baggins. I wish to offer my candidacy to the “Elves of Rivendell” for the position of “marketing manager.”
I have 5 years of experience in marketing, trade marketing, planning, research, analytics, and strategic marketing. I gained valuable international experience in the FMCG sector in the automotive and construction business while working in countries such as Hungary, Ukraine, and France.
Moreover, studying at the Department of Marketing at Moscow State University gave me the necessary knowledge in marketing, which I can successfully use in your company.
My knowledge of foreign languages (I am fluent in Russian, English, and French (intermediate level)) and computer programs: SAP, SPSS, Microsoft Office Software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe Photoshop, HTML, and Google Software Analytics will be an added advantage to your company.
I have a successful experience in conducting presentations, developing plans for launching new products, analyzing business indicators (sales, stocks, prices, TM events), and organizing point-of-sales (POS) events. I have also conducted and analyzed marketing research, allowing me to develop my analytical skills and ability to work with large amounts of information.
Please contact me by phone if you are interested in my candidacy.
Thank you in advance for your attention to the resume.
email: [email protected]
phone number: +1-254-658-1253
Cover letter sample 2:
Dear HR Manager!
My name is Alexey Turner. I ask you to consider my resume for the vacant position “assistant editor,” which I saw on the website of your company “Unknown World.”
I am currently working in the “Valley” company as a research assistant and would like to start a career in publishing. I graduated from Moscow State Pedagogical University with a master’s degree in English language and literature. At the university, I gained a lot of experience working at the student newspaper as a journalist, so I am familiar with publishing.
I can work in stressful situations and love to work in a team. Besides, I am fluent in Spanish.
I would be delighted to have a personal meeting and am looking forward to your reply.
phone number: +1-254-658-1253
email: [email protected]
Now you know how to prepare a resume and cover letter in 2020 and what to put in a cover letter for a resume. You can use templates of any online service to create it. Getting your dream profession is not difficult, but it does take time and effort.