Application letter – Cover Letter – Resume -Curriculum Vitae (CV) Diffrence

SixkoboThe most important document(s) that you need to write after leaving school are Application letter, Resume, Cover letter and a Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Do you know the difference between them? Its simple as knowing the difference between Ram and Sheep or Donkey and Horse.

All are vital in job pursuit and being able to write good application will keep being important during throughout your working life.

I will be writing on how to differentiate and when to use the right one so you don’t end up sending Resume as Cover letter or CV.

Employers always insist on hiring people who can communicate clearly, handle personal interactions and analyse complex situations.

Using your application skill to demonstrate and show that you have these qualities before they meet you is very vital.

Before knowing the difference and where to use them properly, keep this 3 points handy when writing any of them.

  • Keep the Employers interests in mind

Research well enough about the company or organization to recognize what the employers will be looking for.

Then the focus of your documents will be where you fit and what you can contribute. Knowing the above will also determine your choice of word and emphasis.

Example: its unprofessional to mention you have had four years experience rather tell them “Your experiences will help you do X or Y”).

  • Write Briefly

There’s no space available for word play or spinning. You can do that in your Love letter. Cultivate your style by following good writing guide.

  • Balance your facts and claims

Your documents will be boring and meaningless if they just contain list of facts.

They will be empty and no employer will believe it if they are just grand claims about yourself.

Use each of the two or three paragraphs in the body of your letter to make a few vital self interpreting sentence.

Example: When you mentioned “I enjoy selling aggressively,” Back it up with some examples and achievement like “achieved highest sales figure of 10 employees for first quarter of 2004”.

Now Let us differentiate between CV, Cover letter, Application Letter and Resume and also know how to us them.


Application letter and Cover letter are sometimes used interchangeably but let us understand the difference between the two.

An application letter can stand on its own, it can be the only document submitted you submit to show interest in job opening whereas a cover letter generally can’t be the only document you submit.

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Application letters begin with an introductory paragraph that states the position yoi are  applying to, reveals how yoi meet the minimum qualifications for the position.

Next paragraph, you should highlight the top reasons your  applicantion should be accepted.

If yoi are experienced person,  these paragraphs should highlight your past work experience and achievements.

But if you are less experienced applicants and new graduates, these paragraph might highlight your academic experience, such as classes taken that would be useful in the position or any other.

An application letter should also include a concluding paragraph that express appreciation to the receiver for taking the time to consider the application.

The final sentence should convey that the applicant looks toward the future by asking for a formal interview in person, online or by phone interview.

For more detail information on also check How To Write an outstanding Application Letter , you will get a deep knowledge and format.

Specific Points to Consider while Writing Application Letter

  1. Write a letter for each application and tailor it for the specific job opening. Don’t just Forward same letter to all employees.
  2. Use standard Formal Letter format, with internal addresses and salutations. Endeavour to spell names and address correctly.
  3. Use specific names or position titles whenever possible, you can call the company or check its Website for that.
  4. Avoid the obsolete “Dear Sir and Madam” “To whom it may concern” is weak. You can use an “Attention” line or a “Subject” line instead of a salutation if you need to.
  5. Most application letters for entry-level jobs are not more than a page in length – and it should be a substantial page rather than a skimpy one.
  6. Start very bold, strong and clear. For advertised position, name the job and and also where you saw the adverts. But for a speculative letter, name a specific function you can offer and relate it to something you know about the organization.
  7. Write cohesively and use paragraphs to lead the employer from one self interpretive point to another.
  8. End strongly by requesting an interview. It is now standard to say that you will call soon to set a time. Old Phrases like “thank you for your time” are unnecessary and outdated.


A Resume is a summary or a brief account of your  education, qualifications, and previous experience, typically sent with a job application.

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A resume provides a high level overview of your educational background, skills, past accomplishments, professional associations, past work experience, job duties, and other relevant information.

It should also include your name address, and recent contact information, all degrees obtained, position titles held before , and dates of previous employment(s).

When writing a resume, use headings to list your educational and work experiences, especially if you have different qualifications or held previous job positions.

This helps employers to quickly review your resume Bulleted lists are the easiest way to outline your skills and job duties for each position held from the previous job. 

Check How To Construct a Good Resume to know more about writing a very good one.

Specific Points to Consider when Writing a Good Resume

  1. Prepare more than one at hand, noting different aspects of your qualifications, aims or career part so you can update and revise them quickly when such opportunities arise.
  2. Endeavour to make your resume easy to read by using headings, bullets & numbering, and lots of space.
  3. Be very careful of using format found online as many others might have seen and use it too which has become obsolete in the employers eye.
  4. The two choice to chose from is  between the traditional chronological organization and the functional. Traditional chronological one is when the main sections Education and Experience comes first.
  5. Try to get the benefits of both by creating a one line or two line introductory section know as Profile or Objective to sum up your main point. 
  6. Also use Achievement subsections to emphasize your most important qualifications. These may include a horizontal list of keywords in noun form to serve in electronic scanning for information.
  7. List facts in reverse chronological order, with the most recent ones first. Shorten some lists by combining related entries.


Cover Letter is letter that you sent along, and explaining the contents of, another document or a parcel of goods.

It  is your first contact with potential employers and should be presentable.

Because it  complements your resume by introducing yourself, answering a job advertisement, and requesting an interview.

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This is a document that will market you before you finally meet with the employers, “write it right”.

Cover letters are expected to build a connection with the employer and emphasize what you will bring when employed.

You can Check How to Write a Good and Catchy Cover Letter to learn a detailed explanation on it.

Things to Consider when writhing a Cover Letter

  1. A Cover letter should contain between four and six paragraphs in business letter format,
  2. Include the applicant’s and employer’s contact information, salutation, introduction, body paragraphs, and closing.
  3. You should focused on how you fit perfectly into the employer’s need for the position, with less emphasis on being eye-catching.
  4. It should be scannable and more emphasis on quality content in paragraph form.
  5. Cover letters serve as a great indicator of your overall writing ability and persuasiveness, which is very important.
  6. Don’t repeat information’s that are already in your Resume as it will turn out to be boring for the employee.
  7. In cover letter, give detail and specific examples if need be, of how you made difference at previous job position.


A CV is slightly different from a resume as it is an essential document in applications for academic employment.

When applying for teaching, research, and some administrative positions, you are to send a CV with a letter of application.

As a professionals or educator when seeking for employment in school administration or other educational. related career.

CV is more like a resume but longer and more detailed, it ranges from two to twelve pages in length.

Depending on the factors or the extent of your research or qualification or higher education possess.

Generally speaking, Academic Institutions are the only employers who want to see a CV. Other employers in private business and government strongly prefer a short, one page resume.

Read more about How To Construct a Good CV


I believe we have been able to understand the difference between  Resume, Cover Letter, Application Letter and Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Also known How, When and Where to use them so we don’t end up riding a Donkey instead a Horse.

If you need to know more about this topic or require any more help, please let us know by commenting.

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  1. apeiron

    Make sense……This is what some people are learning with thousands….make sense….nice post

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