Difference between Resume and Cover Letter (Job Application)

Both resume and a cover letter are important documents which are required to apply for a job. If you are seeking for a job then you must learn how to prepare these documents and most importantly, you must understand the differences between a resume and cover letter. A lot of people don’t know the difference which is why they end up preparing a poor document.

The purpose of both cover letter and resume is the same that you have the skills & capabilities to do the job you’re applying for. However, there is a difference in the intent of these documents. There isn’t any compulsion to attach a cover letter, but some employers do ask for a job application along with resume. Attaching a cover letter can increase your chance of getting selected for an interview.

Difference between a Resume and Job Application Letter

Now let’s understand the differences between a cover and resume through this table.

ResumeCover Letter
A resume summarizes the work experience you have.A cover letter summarizes the work experience who you’ve related to the job you are applying.
A resume is a document which includes your personal details, qualification details, employment history, certification, skills, and other relevant information.A cover letter highlights the skills and qualification you have for the job you are applying for. Job application tells the employer why you’re a fit candidate for a particular position.
Usually, a resume is written in the third person.A cover letter is written in the first person. A job application is written in a letter format which means you have to include the salutation, add paragraphs, there should be a proper closing.

Not every employer ask for a cover letter. But, attaching one with a resume makes your job profile stronger and increases the chances of selection.

Learn Here: How to write a cover letter or job application letter (writing tips)

What to Include in a Resume?

As mentioned, a resume provides employer all the details of your qualification, work experience, certifications, skills etc. Following are the things which are included in a resume.

  • Contact details.
  • Opening statement.
  • Mention your key skills.
  • Mention your technical & software skills.
  • Give a career overview.
  • Qualification details.
  • Mention the employment history/volunteering/work placements.
  • References/referees.

Quick Tip: Provide information in bulleted lists. It will help the employer to read it quickly.

What to Include in a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is basically written to show off why you are an appropriate candidate for a job or position. Following are the things which are included in a cover letter.

  • firstly, introduce yourself
  • mention the job you’re applying for
  • mention your skills, qualification, and experience which match the job requirement
  • encourage an employer to read your resume
  • finish with a call to action (for example, asking for an interview or a meeting).


These are the difference between a resume and a cover letter. Both these document are extremely important when it comes to applying for a job. As a job seeker, you must learn how to prepare these two document. Read the guides below to learn how to make a resume and a cover letter:

  • Learn how to Build a Strong Resume
  • Learn How to Write a Cover letter or Job application letter