A cover letter can be a very difficult thing to create, especially when you consider how much weight a prospective employer might put into it. Some employers, for example, use the cover letter as the first round of dismissals. If they don’t find what they are looking for in the cover letter, they dismiss the candidate-resume and all. This said, of course applicants have a lot of questions as to what can and cannot be in a cover letter, and how to best format and create one that will get them positive results. One of the most common questions applicants have is can I repeat what’s in my resume in my cover letter? Below, we answer that question, and tell you why.
So, can you just repeat in a shorter version, the information in your resume, in your cover letter? Of course you can, and many people do; but is it effective in getting attention from an employer. Probably not. There are two reasons why this kind of restating of the contents of your resume can present problems as regards your application for employment.
First, your cover letter is supposed to contain highlights of your career experience-as listed in your resume-and not the entire history. Remember, that you only have 3-4 paragraphs of content in a cover letter; and you need to be able to not only include the career experience and qualifications of your resume, but also your career goals, explanations for employments gaps-if there are any, and a compelling reason why you are the person for the job. You very well can’t restate all that is in your resume in a cover letter, and also include the other necessary variables required of a cover letter. And to get a job, they are definitely required.
Second, though your cover letter-as a summary of your resume and nothing else-may impress employers at first; and they may go onto your resume to fill in the information gaps; and find duplicate content. So, while you might get a potential employer to go from the cover letter to the resume, they will then realize that you duplicated the information and not only be bored and unimpressed; but also, a bit annoyed that you were lazy and unprofessional in this manner.