Cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the organisation or institution and identify your most relevant skills or experiences. They should express a high level of interest and knowledge about the position you are applying for. A cover letter should complement, not duplicate your resume. Its purpose is to interpret the data-oriented, factual resume and add a personal touch. It is often one's earliest written contact with a potential employer, creating a critical first impression.
What resume and curriculum vitae are concerned, there are several differences between the two:

A curriculum vitae is a longer (two or more pages), more detailed synopsis of your background and skills.
The resume, the shorter version, is brief and concise and should only include the following:

  • name
  • contact information
  • education
  • skills
  • experience

    A curriculum vitae should additionally include:
  • research and teaching experience
  • publications
  • grants and fellowships
  • professional associations and licenses
  • awards and honors
  • affiliations and other information

    In the United States a curriculum vitae is used primarily when applying for academic, education, scientific or research positions or for fellowships and grants. People applying for jobs in Europe, Middle East, Africa or Asia are expected to submit CV's rather than resumes.

    Sample: Cover Letter

    Ms. First Name Last Name
    Street Address
    City, State, Zip


    Ms. First Name Last Name
    Street Address
    City, State, Zip

    I would like to express my interest in an entry-level analyst position with Company. Throughout my job search and conversations with investment advisors I have come to respect the professionalism that characterizes your firm and its employees. I am confident that the Company team’s values and objectives would highly compliment my own strengths and enthusiasm. I would like to be considered for your Investment Banking Analyst Program, or another position that requires refined analytical and communication skills. I was impressed to learn of Company’s recent acquisition of Hambrecht Group, a tactic which I see as indicative of Company’s commitment to achieving growth and success in the future. Innovative and exciting approaches such as this, coupled with Company’s highly regarded Analyst Program, convinced me that Company is the ideal environment to begin my business career.

    Evidence of my leadership and analytical skills can be seen in my responsibilities as analyst intern at Company, and my commitment to my academics. My educational background in government and business, combined with my internship experiences, has been excellent preparation for a career with Company.

    Please review the enclosed resume and references and consider my application for your Investment Banking Analyst program. I would appreciate the opportunity to come to New York to meet with you and explore the environment, as well as possible job opportunities at Company. I will call your office next week to discuss these possibilities. I look forward to exchanging ideas with you concerning a career at Company and the positive contributions I would offer as a member of your organization.



    FirstName LastName

    As a German applicant you might be used to attaching school reports or certificates. This, however, is neither common in the USA nor the UK. Instead you name teachers, employers or professors who are willing to write letters of reference on request. As a foreigner who applies for a job in an English speaking country it might be useful to at least enclose your school-leaving certificate with an English translation.

    Sample: Curriculum Vitae

    Eric Roy Newman
    4636 Edwards Ave
    Yuba City, Ca. 95991
    Phone: (916) 748-7997

    To obtain a place at davis Law School


  • High School
  • University of Cico (Economics and Political Science)
  • Graduated with with Highest Honors (1987) in Economics and Political Science with an overall grade point average of 3.9
  • Regent's Scholar (top undergraduate award given by the University of California
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (1985-87)
  • Outstanding Freshman Award (1983-84)
  • Yuba-Sutter Bar Association Scholarship (1983)

    Community Activities:
  • Student Coordinator Bob White for City Council Campaign (Winter 1986)
  • Deputy Voter Registrar for Yolo County (1985-86)
  • Model Lease Revision Work Group (1986-87) - revising and developing a truly progressive and more tenant's rights-oriented 'model' lease used by Chico landlords
  • Oxford Circle Citizen's Committee (1987) - (enhancing parking facilities, lighting and parks in the Oxford Circle area of Chico)
  • Eagle Boy Scout
  • Red Cross Water Safety Instructor and Cancer Society

    Professional Experience:
  • Special Research Assistant for the League of California cities (Summer 1987)
  • Associated Student UC Chico City Student Lobby Director (1986-87) and Assistant Director (Spring 1986)
  • Assistant Supervisor for Chico Community Pool ( worked as a swimming instructor, lifeguard, pool maintenance person)
  • Legislative intern for state Senator John Soderbergh (Winter 1986)
  • Wada Ranch: ranch hand (Summer 1981)

  • Swimming, jogging, football
  • Traveling: four months of extensive travel in Europe (Oct-Feb 1987-88); several trips throughout California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Western Canada (summer 1983-87); two-month-trip across the USA (Summer 1979)

    Furnished upon request

    Personal Qualities:
  • Work well independently and in a team
  • Good communication skills
  • Well motivated and eager to learn new skills

    Sample: Resume

    Name: Emma Barnton
    Address: 58, Riverside Ave
    West Molesey
    HT6 2PT
    Phone: (020) 1873-648734
    Date of birth: 02/04/81
    Nationality: British

    Personal Profile:
  • Well motivated and hard-working graduate in computer science and German.
  • A good communicator with excellent ability to work in a team
  • Work independently and enjoy taking up responsibility

    1998-2002 University of Manchester BA (Hon) in Computer Science and German
    1991-98 Bootham School, York
    3 A'levels (Maths, Physics, German)
    2 AS'levels (Geography, History)
    8 GCSEs

    Employment to date:
    Oct 2002-July 2002:
  • Web designer in a marketing company
  • Full-time assistant at a travel agency making computerized bookings and reservations, record-keeping, sending out booking confirmations
    July 2002-Present:
    Working at a German travel agent in Frankfurt a.M. offering holiday homes in Britain

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