Job candidates tend to treat their cover letters and résumés as entities with zero overlap. Linking the two, however, can bolster your job application in ways that make it truly stand out.
That linkage starts with formatting. People often spend lots of time giving their résumé a distinctive look, one that (hopefully) reflects their professionalism and personality. They tend to devote less effort to cover letters, which they may view as more of a formality, forgetting that hiring managers scan their cover letter and résumé in quick succession. Creating a visual consistency between the two documents can show (however subtly) that the candidate is a detail-oriented thinker who pays attention to quality.
The linkages shouldn’t end with aesthetics: Make sure that your cover letter is not only tailored to the position, but that it contains references to your job history that deepen whatever’s present in the résumé. The cover letter is also a good place to go into detail about skills and experiences that might not fit on more than a line of the résumé. By creating these links, you strengthen both documents.
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