Before an applicant can be considered for a job interview, the individual must first submit a cover letter and resume to the prospective company. Writing this letter and a resume is a critical life long skill that must be developed over time.
It is the first page of a resume. As the name suggests, it is a brief introduction of oneself. A balance between personal and professional content is the key to a well-composed cover letter. It is recommended that it does not exceed more than one page or 4 paragraphs. It is crucial to keep in mind that a recruiter may go through hundreds of resumes on a daily basis. Therefore, keeping the content short, simple and direct is the best way to go about writing it.
A resume starts where a cover letter ends. The content found in a resume is a detailed description of an individual’s work experience, educational background, academic achievements, extracurricular activities and awards (if applicable). While it is important to be as detailed as possible, many people make the mistake of writing a lengthy resume. Regardless of the amount of work experience, a resume should only be 2-3 pages long. It is vital to keep the most important information such as contact and work experience in the first page. Other details such as skills and seminars, which support your credibility as a possible employee, should be placed in the last page.
Both documents are submitted together for a reason. A recruiter should be able to read through your cover letter and fill in the missing gaps of information with the details from your resume. This is one way a recruiter will be able to spot inconsistency.
Side by side, a cover letter and resume should fit together seamlessly. In order to achieve this, one must avoid repeating details that can found in both documents. Next, write the contents of the cover letter in chronological order, similar to a timeline. This is the same order your resume should be written. Start with the most current or latest work experience, followed by your employment prior to that and so on. This order should also be used for the other parts of the resume.
To conclude, it is essential to spend the same amount of time and effort when writing a cover letter and resume. Keep in mind this could be your only chance to make a significant first impression towards a potential employer.