Hello Job Seeker,
I just want to elaborate to you on the difference between a Cover letter and an Application letter.
There are subtle differences between application letters and cover letters. However, the terms cover and application are sometimes used interchangeably. An application letter is often intended to stand on its own, whereas a cover letter generally can’t be the applicant’s only document submitted to express interest in a job opening.
Cover Letter Versus Application Letter Introductions
Cover letters typically contain a brief introduction. The introduction in a cover letter consists of three to four sentences about the job seeker’s work experiences, education and accomplishments. On the other hand, an application letter might contain a more extensive introduction simply because this letter serves a purpose that’s similar to the resume.
Dear (Hiring Executive),
Please accept my enclosed application for the position of executive assistant to your Vice President of Operations. I’m pleased to say that my qualifications match your job requirements perfectly. In my current role with ABC Engineering, I handle all of the same duties and much more as executive assistant to the president and CEO for the past four years. My experience, education (bachelor’s degree), strong communication skills and ability to manage complex tasks and solve problems makes me an ideal candidate for your position.
Cover Letter Versus Application Letter Work History
An application letter generally contains a brief description of the job seeker’s work history or professional experience. An application letter often can substitute for a resume and, therefore, requires that the job seeker include specific information about her work history and professional competencies. A cover letter shouldn’t contain too much information about the job seeker’s work history because it’s merely an introduction to the resume. It’s acceptable for a cover letter to reference the job seeker’s work history in a sentence or two about her current or previous employer; however, it shouldn’t contain details about any professional experience.
Example of Cover Letter Work History:
Prior to working at ABC Engineering, I was executive secretary to the CEO at Vacorn Industrial Inc. and started my career as a receptionist/ secretary for the Sales Manager at XYZ Corp. 10 years ago in Mzuzu.
No need to add more to your work history in a cover letter as it is thoroughly covered in the accompanying resume.
Example of Application Letter Work History:
At ABC Engineering, I handle all of the duties required of your position and much more as executive assistant to the president and CEO for the past four years. In addition to providing secretarial and administrative support to the president, I train other secretaries to support other high-level executives and regularly speak at conventions and manage trade shows. My responsibilities also include creating presentations and proposals, arranging travel for all the executives, generating reports and taking responsibility for confidential company documents. I spearheaded modifications in IT that generated increased profitability for ABC and implemented a variety of upgrades in our accounting procedures dramatically cutting costs in that department.
After describing your duties in your present position, you would then briefly describe your duties in your two previous junior-intermediate level jobs.
Cover Letter Versus Application Letter Content
A cover letter is a teaser. Its intent is to capture the reader’s attention enough to make the recruiter or hiring manager want to review the resume. The cover letter should contain just enough information that it doesn’t give away everything about the applicant. An application letter, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive document. It describes the applicant’s educational background, certifications and licenses, and in some cases, salary history for job postings that require it.
When to Use an Application Letter
When an employer specifically requires a cover letter and resume, that’s what the job seeker should submit. It’s relatively rare that an employer will accept an application letter in lieu of a cover letter and resume. The two approaches are different and employers use application letters infrequently when compared to how they use cover letters and resumes. An application letter is more appropriate for unsolicited interest, or when there isn’t a job posting. For example, an application letter could be mailed to several employers that aren’t advertising specific job vacancies as a way to provide a more extensive introduction to prospective employers. However, in our in Malawi, employers can use application letters when their is a job opening.
Uses of Cover Letters and Application Letters
A cover letter is almost always used to express interest in employment. An application letter can be used for employment purposes; however, it can also be used for applying for a place in an academic program or an internship program. Employers don’t always require a cover letter, but it’s always a good idea to use a cover letter. On the other hand, an application letter might be the only requirement sought by schools or employers – with an application letter, it may not always be necessary to include a resume but instead, include a Curriculum Vitae.