Many job seekers do not know the difference between a résumé and a cover letter. While not all employers require a cover letter to decide who they are going to hire, many do and it is always good to be prepared just in case.
Let’s use an everyday example to illustrate the difference between a résumé and cover letter.
When you are at the supermarket and you don’t know very much about a particular product, it is natural to read its label and description. A label provides all the technical information about a product. This is very similar to a résumé. The skills and work experience listed in your résumé is the technical information about you.
However, reading the technical information of a product alone might not be enough to understand how it works and how it will benefit the buyer. For that reason, companies advertise their products using examples of how that product will make your life better (through TV commercials, online ads etc.).
The cover letter works in the same way. A cover letter is an opportunity to promote yourself to the employer, explaining how the experience and skills listed in your resume fit well with the position and how you will benefit the employer in this role. You can show your benefits by customizing each cover letter to reference the specific skills and experience listed in the job posting.
Cover letters also give you an opportunity to explain what interests you about the job. This allows the employer to learn a little bit more about you and your passion for the type of work. Your passion and interest in the work is another important benefit employers look for.
The key to remember is that your résumé includes the technical information about you and your cover letter explains how you will benefit the employer.
If you need assistance in creating your résumé or cover letter, please visit your nearest Lutherwood Employment location (Kitchener, Cambridge, Guelph) and an Employment Advisor will be happy to help!