What Is a Resume Cover Page?

Woman looking over letter
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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.

What is a Resume Cover Page?

A resume cover page (cover letter) provides detailed information on why you are qualified for and a good match for the job to which you are applying.

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.

Review these cover letter examples, then use them as templates for your own (being sure to customize them to reflect your qualifications and the specific job you are targeting).

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 along with your attached resume.

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 organization 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 skills several times, then you'll want to mention in your cover letter how you are deadline-driven. Or, if the position called for leadership competencies, you'd mention in your cover page teams or projects that you have overseen. 

How to Format a Cover Page

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
Name
Address
City, State Zip Code
Phone Number
Email Address

Date

Employer Contact Information (if you have it) (options for when you don't have a contact person)
Name
Title
Company
Address
City, State Zip Code

Salutation: Dear Mr./Ms. Name: (begin here if you are sending the cover page through email)

First Paragraph
Provide information on how you found out about the job and why you are applying. Mention the precise job title. 

Middle Paragraphs
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.

Final Paragraph
Wrap up your cover page letter here by thanking readers for their consideration, and providing information on how you will follow up. 

Respectfully yours,

Signature

Handwritten Signature (for a hard copy letter)

Typed Signature

Sample Cover Page for a Resume

Below is a sample cover page to use to send with a resume to apply for a job.

Sheila Johnson
1234 Dogwood Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37914
(123) 456-7890
sheila_johnson@email.com

July 2, 2019

Ms. Alexandra Eliot
Hiring Manager
ABC Company
3457 Neyland Street
Knoxville, TN 37913

Dear Ms. Eliot:

It was with much interest that I learned, through your recent June 30 posting on Indeed.com, that ABC Company is searching for a new Administrative Assistant. Please accept the attached resume as a sign of my deep interest in this position.

As a recent graduate from Pellissippi State Community College’s Administrative Professional Technology Program, I can offer you advanced skills in the use of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher) and QuickBooks accounting software. I am well-versed in traditional administrative tasks such as database management, data entry (typing 83 WPM), filing, and appointment scheduling.

You specify in your job posting that you are particularly looking for someone with strong web design and social media management experience. Concurrent with my education at Pellissippi State, I also worked part-time as a Social Media Assistant for the Riverside Creative Agency, in which capacity I helped to create and manage new social media accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn for many local businesses. I’m sure that the skills I gained in social media design, SEO, and AdWords will allow me to contribute substantially to your in-house management of your website and social media tools.

My training, practical experience, attention to detail, and dedication to excellence (I graduated with a 3.98 GPA) will ensure that I “hit the ground running” as your next Administrative Assistant. ABC Company is widely respected as one of Knoxville’s best workplaces, and I would love to launch my career with your organization.

Thank you for your time and consideration. My resume is enclosed; I will call within the next week to see if we might arrange a time to speak together.

Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide.

Sincerely,

Sheila Johnson

Sending an Email Cover Letter

If you are sending the cover 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 Get Your Letter Noticed

THINK OF YOUR COVER LETTER AS A SALES TOOL: Your cover letter makes your valuable first impression, and should “pitch” your candidacy so convincingly that hiring managers will be persuaded to give the attached resume their full attention.

FOCUS UPON THE EMPLOYER’S NEEDS: Don’t summarize your resume in your cover letter. Instead, research the company, identify their needs, and use your cover letter to explain how your experience, skillset, and achievements make you the perfect candidate for the job.

PROOFREAD: And then, proofread again. Cover letters with spelling, grammatical, and formatting errors suggest that you lack attention to detail and may be equally careless in your work habits. A poorly-written cover letter is a good way of ensuring your resume will be filed, unread, in a busy hiring manager’s delete box or trash can.