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How To Make Your Cover Letter and Resume Work Together

Aug 17, 2007
A cover letter and resume are not two unrelated entities. They are a team that together can help you land the interviews to the jobs you want to have.

While you may be applying to a number of jobs, it is important to take the time to tailor both resume and cover letter to the company and position you are applying for. This gives the person hiring or conducting the interview the impression that you did your research and took the time to carefully prepare; it means you are serious about getting the position.

A cover letter should compliment a resume. It should list the position being applied for where the position was noticed, for example, a newspaper or company website. Take into consideration what the company is looking for when it comes to the qualifications of the position. Then pull the parts of your resume that correlate directly with those qualifications. This is the information that goes into the body of your cover letter. It is a way of providing the most pertinent information of your resume to the employer first. It also gives the employer the opportunity to know that you meet the minimum qualifications for the job. Once they know that they are usually more willing to take a look at what else you can bring to their company.

The cover letter and resume should compliment each other to make a package that is a full presentation for the position you are applying for. Make sure that the writing and language skills, fonts, and other formatting are a match. For example, if you use Times New Roman for your resume, use it on your cover letter as well. This helps to provide a professional and consistent appearance.

Remember to keep both documents concise and to the point. A cover letter should never exceed a page and if possible, a resume should not either. Remember that both a cover letter and resume are designed to sell you and your skills to a particular position.

The language of both should be active voice rather than passive. Since you are customizing the cover letter and resume to the position you are looking at make sure they match. Having a cover letter that does not match with the information on your resume is something that will definitely affect your chances negatively. This is more important if you are applying for a large number of jobs that are similar.

The most important thing when it comes to making sure that your resume and your cover letter work together is to make sure that formatting, style, language and content match. This allows you to form a complete set of documents for the purpose of selling you and your skills to a potential employer.

It is also important to make sure that both resume and cover letter is customized to the information that you have available about the company and the position that you are applying for.
About the Author
Michael Murray is an author of career articles and owner of Cover Letters Report, a site containing cover letter tips, including sample cover letters.
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