When you apply for a job, you have a brief window of opportunity to wow a recruiter. These professionals receive mountains of resumes and it’s important to make sure that your application stands out from the rest. While a resume is vital, it’s hard to fit all of your best qualities into such a short document.
This is where a resume cover page comes in. Also known as a cover letter, a resume cover page is a great way to flesh out your application and introduce yourself to your next employer. It offers a little extra space to list your accomplishments and describe why you’re the best choice for the position.
In this blog, we’ll cover a few topics, including:
What is a resume cover page?
Why include a cover page with your resume?
How to create a killer resume cover page
A resume cover page example
What is a resume cover page?
A resume cover page is a short letter that many job candidates include as part of their application. It acts as an introduction to the resume and gives applicants the opportunity to include details that wouldn’t fit otherwise. Many people refer to these documents as cover letters or cover sheets.
While a cover letter isn’t always necessary, it might be worth considering, especially if you’re applying for competitive positions. It allows you to introduce yourself to a recruiter, making you more than simply another piece of paper on their desk.
While you have some flexibility when writing a cover page, it’s usually best to include several core items. These are some of the elements of a good cover page:
A professional introduction
A statement of purpose
An explanation of why you’re applying
A header with contact information
Mentions of your key accomplishments
A brief overview of your professional background
A description of why you’re the best choice for the open position
A call to action
Why use a resume cover page?
Adding a cover page to your resume is a fantastic way to make your application stand out from the multitudes. It shows that you put time and effort into your application, which can indicate a greater desire for the job.
A cover page is also a great way to loosen up a little bit and show who you are. Resumes are very formulaic and use formal language. Cover letters let you write in a more fluid style, allowing you to demonstrate your personality while still remaining professional.
Finally, a cover sheet is a great place to add all the things that don’t fit neatly into your resume. If you have a unique set of skills or experiences that are perfect for a certain position, you can include them. You can also flesh out the information in your resume with real-life anecdotes and examples, making your skills more credible.
10 Steps to create a killer resume cover page
Creating an outstanding cover page may seem daunting, but it’s simple with a little bit of know-how. Here are a few tips to help you write your own:
1. Use the proper format
A cover letter is a professional document, and as such, it should use a particular format. This starts with a header in the top left corner of the page. This should include your name, followed by your phone number, email address, city, and state. If you want, you can also include a link to your website or portfolio. It’s best to keep your letter to one page, and three to four paragraphs are usually adequate. Make sure to only use standard fonts in black as these are the most professional. If you need a guide for formatting your cover page, many word processors have ready-to-use business letter templates.
2. Address the letter appropriately
Once your header is in place, you can open your letter with a salutation. Place this on a separate line above the first paragraph, followed by a comma. Before you start writing, try to find the name of the recruiter that will view your resume. This may be included somewhere in the job listing that you’re responding to.
Remember to get a new name for each letter if you’re making applications. This will make your cover page much more personal and shows that you did your research. Once you have a name, you can greet the recruiter using “Dear” followed by their name. If you can’t find a name, you can use one of the following salutations:
Dear [company name],
Dear recruiting/hiring team,
Dear [company name] recruiting team,
3. Introduce yourself
Now you’re ready to launch into the main body of the letter. Most cover pages begin with an introduction and a statement of intent. The introduction is pretty self-explanatory. Simply mention your first and last name, along with a phrase describing your background, if desired.
A statement of intent is simply a description of why you’re writing the letter. In most cases, you can simply say “I am writing to apply for the position of . . .”, although you could also mention where you heard about the job.
4. Describe your qualifications
In the main body of your letter, it’s important to make a case for yourself. Remember that your cover letter is an opportunity to describe every talent, skill, experience, or accomplishment that didn’t fit on your resume. Focus on specific experiences that apply to the job at hand as this can demonstrate real-world experience. You can also mention any awards or instances of recognition that you’ve received. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself!
Make each letter unique.
If you’re applying to multiple positions, try to have a different cover letter for each one. This allows you to address each recruiter by name and gives you the opportunity to tailor your keywords.
Each employer is looking for something slightly different, so reflect this on your cover page. If you use a boilerplate letter, it’s less likely to make an impression. Remember that recruiters review applications all day and it’s hard to fool them!
5. Demonstrate enthusiasm
Throughout your letter, it’s important to show that you really want the job. One of the best aspects of a cover letter is that it lets you escape the dry, repetitive language of a resume. Remain professional, but express your interest in the company and your gratitude for the chance to apply.
6. Include keywords
In most cases, you’ll have a written job description to refer to when writing your cover letter. These adverts usually include a list of key skills and responsibilities for applicants. Before you write your letter, review your job listing carefully and find out what the recruiter’s top priorities are.
While you’re looking over the listing, identify common keywords and look for ways to incorporate them naturally into your letter. If the company is using a software program to scan resumes, this may help you get past the first round of eliminations. You can also think of ways to relate your past experiences to the skills and duties listed in the job description.
7. Do your research
While it’s great to review the job description, it’s also important to do a little research into the company. Find its website and try to find out more about its values, corporate culture, and primary operations. This can give you a better idea of how to approach the recruiter and can show that you’re actually invested in getting the job.
8. Keep it short
Don’t get too carried away while describing all of your magnificent traits. Recruiters generally prefer shorter resumes. Similarly, your cover letter should fit on a single page. Try to fit everything into three or four paragraphs and focus on the experiences and skills that are most relevant to the position you want.
9. Provide a call to action
The main purpose of a cover letter is to inspire further action on the part of the recruiter. Hopefully, this will include a follow-up message and an invitation to an interview. One way to encourage this is by including a quick call to action (CTA) at the end of your letter.
Try to phrase your CTA as a suggestion rather than a direct request. Encourage the recruiter to contact you and express your interest and gratitude for the opportunity. Here are some examples:
Thank you so much for your time and consideration, I look forward to speaking further with you and your team.
I look forward to taking the next steps with you. I am available to speak any time this week.
10. Edit and proofread your resume cover page
Nothing looks less professional than little grammar errors, like mixing up “to” and “too.” Make sure to go over your letter with a fine-tooth comb and find any misspelled words, grammatical mistakes, or formatting errors. If you need help, ask a friendly wordsmith or use a spell-checking app. This last step may seem tedious, but it’s essential if you want to present yourself in the best light.
Resume cover page example
Here’s an example of a well-structured resume cover letter that you can download and use as a template for your own cover letter!
My name is Kelly Giardino and I’m a registered nurse with 12 years of experience in busy hospital settings. I was delighted to hear that Charity Methodist is hiring for the position of head nurse and I’m writing to submit my resume for consideration. Before moving to Amarillo, I held the position of head nurse at Slattery Adventist in Corpus Christi for nine years. The opportunity to assist others in achieving positive patient outcomes is what has kept me in this profession for so long.
In my last position, I oversaw a nursing staff of 70 individuals and was responsible for scheduling, hiring, training, and maintaining high standards of care. During my tenure, the turnover rate for nurses decreased by almost 30% and the hospital was recognized repeated;y for outstanding patient care in several local publications.
After reviewing your requirements in detail, I believe that my skills and experience would make me an ideal candidate for this position. I was referred to this position by several former employees who spoke very highly of your hospital and its staff, and I would love to work alongside you in the near future. Thank you so much for your time and consideration, and I hope to discuss next steps with you soon.
A cover page is a short letter that you can submit alongside your resume.
Writing a cover page is a great way to expand on your resume and connect with recruiters.
Make sure to keep your letter short and to the point and use standard business letter formatting.
Create unique cover sheets for each job and integrate important keywords.
Include a call to action at the end of your cover page to encourage follow-up.