Cover Letter

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a document that summarizes and synthesizes an applicant’s resume, skills related to the job, and reasons for applying.


A resume may cover your past roles, but a good Cover Letter can offer additional context and provide the whole story about why a company should hire you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is a Cover Letter the same as a resumé? While a Cover Letter and a resumé are almost always paired together, the two are not interchangeable. A resumé is a very objective, “just the facts” overview of your job history, experience, relevant skills, and education, and is meant to offer employers an at-a-glance understanding of your career.A Cover Letter is meant to introduce yourself as an individual and a worker, written in your voice, typically detailing who you are, why you’re interested in this organization or role, and what traits not detailed in your resumé makes you a good fit for the job.
  • How long should a Cover Letter Be?The best Cover Letters are never more than a single page. Most employers have mountains of applications to sift through, and writing a one-page Cover Letter shows both your respect for their time as well as your ability to sell yourself in a short and succinct document. It can be hard, but if you go over one page, it’s worth it to edit it down – the end result is often truly showing your best self with no extraneous details.
  • What makes a good Cover Letter?In addition to keeping a Cover Letter to just one page, a good Cover Letter is not just a written overview of your resumé – the two will often be read together, and simply detailing your work experience will feel needlessly redundant. A Cover Letter is a place to show your personality (professionally, of course), add context that isn’t immediately apparent in your resumé, and detail how exactly your on-paper experience would translate to the role for which you’re applying.
  • Do all job applications require a Cover Letter? Not all job applications require a Cover Letter. Many applications or hiring processes will not formally request one and some Candidate Portals may not even have an obvious place to include one. However, unless an application explicitly says not to, it’s almost always advantageous to include a Cover Letter – either in the form of a separate document, as the body of an emailed application, or in an essay prompt in an application process.


The workplace is evolving faster than ever before thanks to new HR solutions, rapidly developing technology, ever-present digital security threats, and more, and you need a partner that will help your organization stay agile and on top of the moment.

From strategic talent management to the best onboarding technology, Rival offers secure platforms that enable people to thrive in a changing workplace. Contact Rival today to talk to an expert to see how we can help you attract the best talent and keep them on board and performing up to your expectations.


Rival goes beyond traditional talent management to help our clients attract, retain, and align people to their business.