What is CV (Curriculum Vitae), Resume and Cover Letter?

What is CV, Resume and Cover Letter

So, you’ve just graduated from school, it could be high school or university, or you’re in your last semester from any school. You are trying to apply for a job, you’ve known or heard about this requirement called CV/Resume and Cover Letter for a while. Now you’re about to make a CV/Resume and Cover Letter, it’s the first time. You’re wondering what is actually a CV? What is a Resume? What is a Cover Letter?


CV is an abbreviation for Curriculum Vitae. CV is the description and short explanation of your experiences in life, mostly things that’s professional or have anything to do with your career. The CV usually need to consist of:

  • Personal Bio/Data.
  • Career Objective.
  • A professional photo.
  • Educational background.
  • Organization experience.
  • Work experience.
  • Academics and non-academics accomplishment.
  • Skill.
  • Hobby.
  • Reference.

The CV should scream your integrity and abilities, especially for the specific job you’re about to apply for, e.g. if you are applying for a project coordinator, it should highlight or emphasize your previous position that’s related to leadership and problem solver abilities.



There’s actually some difference in the usage of CV in different continents. In Europe it’s just 1 to 2 pages of your professional experiences, in North America (the United States and Canada) it’s for academic purposes that’s having more than two pages, could be up to 12 pages. In North America, it is called a resume that consists of 1 to 2 pages of your professional life. In most other regions or continents, they follow the Europe version of CV, they call it CV. Resume has the same content like CV in Europe and the rest of the world.

There’s also two kinds of CV or Resume, one that highlights or based on your position, another one that highlights or based on your skill. We usually use the based on position version of CV/Resume. CV/Resume that emphasizes your skill first explains your professional experience e.g. graphic design with score 5/5 with explanation of your design accomplishment, communication with score 5/5 with explanation of your public relations accomplishment.


Cover Letter

A Cover Letter is a letter that explains more about your work experience, your skill or ability and your personality that adjusts to the job you apply for. It’s more like telling a story in writing related to professional experience. A Cover Letter is written to convince the hiring committee on why you are a perfect candidate for the job. It consists of 3 to 4 paragraphs, always just 1 page.

Cover Letter contains 3 general parts, that is the opening, the main content, and the closing.
In the opening part, you write down the date when the cover letter will be sent, the location, and to whom the cover letter is for. It can be addressed to the head of company, the hiring committee. You can write down the name of the head of the company or the head of the hiring committee. Don’t forget to write down the location of the company.

The main content part is the most significant part, like the aforementioned before, this is the part where you tell the great things about yourself densely and clearly. Tell about your accomplishments related to the job you apply for, the motivation and the possible benefit you can give to the company if you have a chance to work there, but don’t write exaggerated promises.

In the closing part, usually you write down a thankful and regards to the head of company or to the hiring committee.


Difference between CV/Resume and Cover Letter

In Terms Of CV/Resume Cover Letter
Content Specific details General information
Format Lists and bullet points Paragraphs and sentences
Length May be several pages Usually 1 page
Content Facts and data Examples and ideas
Purpose Applying for jobs Providing additional background information

Chart Source: https://zety.com/blog/cv-cover-letter-difference

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