What Is a Resume Cover Page?
A resume cover page, which is more typically referred to as a cover letter or covering letter, is a letter sent along with your resume when applying for jobs. Your resume cover page provides additional information on your skills and experience to the prospective employer and highlights the qualifications on your resume.
Why Is a Resume Cover Page Necessary?
A resume cover page (cover letter) provides detailed information on why are you are qualified for and a good match for the job you are applying for.
Don't think of the letter as a summary of your resume. Well written cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the company and showcase the skills and experiences that qualify you for the job, rather than just repeating bullet points from your resume. A strong cover page makes a persuasive case for your candidacy for the job.
Remember that your cover letter will create a vital first impression with a hiring manager. If it is poorly written, lacks adequate detail, or is filled with grammatical or spelling errors, the hiring manager may not bother to even look at your resume, having concluded that you are sloppy and careless. Thus, close proofreading and careful formatting are essential.
A resume cover page can be emailed or sent through regular mail.
Cover Page Format
The format of a resume cover page varies slightly depending on whether you are emailing your resume or sending it through the mail.
Here is a look at the format of a cover letter:
Your Contact Information
City, State, Zip Code
Employer Contact Information (if you have it) (options for when you don't have a contact person)
City, State, Zip Code
Salutation: Dear Mr./Ms. Name: (begin here if you are sending the cover page through email)
Provide information on how you found out about the job and why you are applying. Mention the precise job title.
This section of the cover letter can be one paragraph or several paragraphs if necessary. Use this space to describe your experience, with a focus on how it shows that you are a good match for the position and have the necessary qualifications. Again, be sure to avoid summarizing the information that's on your resume.
Wrap up your cover page letter here by thanking readers for their consideration, and providing information on how you will follow up.
Handwritten Signature (for a hard copy letter)
If you are sending the covering letter through email, you will simply type your name at the close of the email, followed by your contact information (email and telephone number). Your subject line should include your name and the role you are seeking.
How to Write a Successful Cover Page
A successful cover letter will lead to an interview for the position. What's the difference between a stellar and so-so covering page? Often, it's specificity.
If you write a generic letter and use it for every job application, just switching out the job title in the first paragraph, it will show. It will send a signal that you are not that interested in the position — after all, you haven't taken the time to tailor your note.
It can sound overwhelming and time-consuming to personalize each cover page. But actually, this groundwork will be quite helpful if you do get an interview since you'll be well informed about the position and company. Research the company to get a sense of the company and its needs for candidates.
Then, spend some time reviewing the job advertisement. A close examination of the ad will reveal what's important to hiring managers — if, for instance, the posting mentions the need for organization and time management several times, then you'll want to mention in your cover letter how you are deadline-driven.
Or, if the position called for leadership skills, you'd mention in your cover page teams or projects that you had overseen.