Key Differences Between a CV and a Cover Letter

What is a CV?

It all depends on where you are. A CV (also known as a curriculum vitae) is a very thorough document used by those pursuing a career in academia in the United States. It covers your job experience, talents, educational background, and other academic achievements.

A CV is a job application in much of the rest of the world, and it looks precisely like an American resume. You must know how to write a cv to get noticed. It includes details on your work experience, talents, and educational background in relation to the position you’re applying for.

A CV Includes:

  • Contact Information
  • Research Profile
  • Education Section
  • Publications
  • Awards and Honors
  • Grants and Fellowships
  • Conferences
  • Teaching Experience
  • Research Experience
  • Languages and Skills

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter does exactly what its name implies: it’s a letter that summarizes the important aspects of your experience and skill set that demonstrate why you’re a good fit for the position. Unlike the bulleted list seen on most CVs, the cover letter reads like a letter and allows you to go into detail about specific examples of your experience.

A Cover Letter Includes:

  • Cover letter header
  • Cover letter salutation
  • Cover letter introduction
  • Secondary paragraph that underlines your experience and expertise
  • Third paragraph that proves you’re a great fit to the company and role
  • Cover letter ending with a call to action
  • Professional sign-off

Comparison Chart

Point of ComparisonCVCover Letter
Length:It should be no more than one page long.Two pages or bit more is plenty.
Contents:Brief biographical details, work experience, desired job description, and career objective.Name, address, phone number, education, job experience and relevant work related abilities are required. A overview of academic background, teaching and research experience, publications presentations, awards, honors, connections and other information is included.
Purpose:Briefly identify yourself and explain your interest in suitability for the position to go along with your CV or resume.Employers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia require a CV. A CV is generally used in the United States when applying for academic, educational, scientific, or research development.

Difference Between CV and Cover Letter

A cover letter serves as an introduction to yourself in relation to the position for which you are seeking. A cover letter is typically one page in length, including a header, introduction, body, and conclusion.

When applying for foreign employment, fellowships, grants, research, scientific, and academic positions, a curriculum vitae may include a cover letter as well as additional data. When looking for work, a CV is typically used to assess applicants, followed by an interview.

A cover letter contains general information about a person, such as their name, contact information, educational and professional qualifications, work experience, and career objective, or what type of job they are searching for.

A cover letter differs from a resume in that it does not include all of the information found on a resume. The cover letter should include enough information to supplement the curriculum vitae while also interests the readers.

A CV is a document that states the facts and provides a concise summary of your relevant experience and accomplishments. A cover letter, on the other hand, gives you the chance to expand on your selling points and discuss your qualifications and potential in greater depth.

It doesn’t end there, though. Recruiters can learn more about you by reading your cover letter. Subjective factors like your writing style, tone of voice, enthusiasm in the job, and personal beliefs and motives give colour to your application and help recruiters warm to you.

On a job application, cover letters aren’t usually specified as a necessity. However, if you have a CV that demonstrates your aptitude and competence, as well as a cover letter that supports and sells your story, you’ll have a better chance of impressing your potential employer.


The CV and Cover Letter are two documents that function together. The Cover Letter summarizes the person’s achievements and demonstrates the abilities, skills, experience, and qualifications that meet the recruiter’s requirements.

A CV is a well-organized document that contains every detail about an individual’s background and talents. The two papers’ content, format, and language have a significant influence on the reader’s thinking.

As a result, it would be advantageous if the sender prepared the two documents in such a way that the reader would be impressed. So, depending on professional editors and proofreaders to eliminate any kind of error will be a wise thing to do.

-Isabell S.

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