Difference between CV (Curriculum Vitae) and Cover Letter


A CV (Curriculum vitae) is the detailed document whereas a cover letter is a more concise document. While a CV (Curriculum vitae), which includes the detailed information about a person’s educational background and work experience, on the other hand, a cover letter is a more concise document that expressing interest in the job being applied to.

A cover letter is an introduction to yourself with regard to the job opening you are applying for. Cover letters are generally one page at most in length, divided into a header, introduction, body, and closing.

Curriculum Vitae may include a cover letter along with other details which are important when applying for international jobs, fellowships, grants, research, scientific and academic positions. The CV is used to screen applicants, often followed by an interview, when seeking employment.

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A cover letter includes general details about a person like a name, contact information, educational and professional qualification, work experience and career goal or what a person is looking for in terms of a job profile. A cover letter should not be confused with a resume as it does not include all the details of a resume. The cover letter should have enough details so that it complements the Curriculum Vitae and also interests the person reading it.

On the basis of above, some key points to remember are as:-

 Points Cover Letter Curriculum Vitae
Length Less than one page Two pages or a little more
Contents Brief information about the person, work experience, Job profile looking for, a career goal. Name, contact information, education, work experience, and relevant work-related skills. Includes a summary of academic background as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations and other details
Commonly written as Cover letter CV
Purpose To complement the CV or resume, briefly introduce yourself and explain your interest and fit for the job. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, employers expect a CV. In the U.S., a CV is used primarily when applying for academic, education, scientific or research positions.

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