Are Cover Letter And Application Letter The Same? (Career Advice)

There is a lot of confusion about the cover letter and application letter. The two are not the same and need to be written differently. Here we will try to clear this confusion by providing you with a concise definition of each one along with their features so that you can write more effectively for your job hunt.

Difference Between Cover Letter and CV
Understanding the difference between cover letters and application letters is important for job seekers
A cover letter is typically used to introduce the job seeker to a potential employer, while an application letter is used to apply for a specific job opening
Both cover letters and application letters should be personalized and targeted for the job in question
It’s important to read the job posting carefully to determine what type of letter is required
Including both a cover letter and an application letter may not always be necessary, depending on the employer’s requirements

Cover Letter And Application Letter Are Not The Same

When you’re trying to land a job, it can be confusing to figure out what kind of letter you should write. Are application letters and cover letters the same thing? Are they different? What’s the difference between them?

The answer is that a cover letter and an application letter are not the same. They may have similar goals but they serve different purposes. Let’s start with what these two types of letters are not:

A cover letter isn’t an application or resume at all; it’s just a marketing tool used to introduce your business venture to potential clients or employers. A cover letter helps sell yourself and make your services seem more appealing than other candidates. 

It will put you above other applicants because it shows that you’ve taken extra steps like taking time to explain why your company is better than others

Also, since this is an informal document (unlike an official business letter), there aren’t any set rules about how long it should be

Who should sign on behalf of the company/person writing them generally speaking people use these documents when applying for jobs so if someone else signs off on their behalf then that means something significant has changed since their last conversation/interaction/meeting etcetera…

A well-crafted cover letter can be the difference between landing an interview and being overlooked. As our guide on are cover letters important explains, taking the time to create a personalized and targeted cover letter can greatly increase your chances of success.

Concise Definition Of An Application Letter

An application letter is a formal letter sent with your CV to apply for a job. It should be short, stating the reason why you fit the job description and why you want to work at this particular company.

Application letters are used when applying for jobs that require some sort of writing samples, such as those in journalism or publishing. They differ from cover letters because they’re limited to one page, whereas cover letters can be longer if need be but they still must follow the same rules as their longer counterpart!

If you have any questions about whether or not your document constitutes an application letter (or what kind), please don’t hesitate to contact us here at WriteFix!

What Is A Cover Letter?

A cover letter is an introductory letter that accompanies your resume and is sent to an employer to introduce yourself and to convince the employer to call you for an interview. A cover letter can be used for applying for more than one job opportunity, but it should always have a different version tailored specifically for each company.

Why Are Cover Letters Important?

Cover letters are important because they provide an opportunity to present yourself professionally and highlight your skills and achievements.

A good cover letter is essential for your resume, as it provides the employer more information about you than the resume can show. A well-written cover letter will make sure that your application stands out amongst those of other applicants.

A good cover letter gives the employer a glimpse into who you are as a person and shows them why you would be perfect for the job position at hand. It allows you to demonstrate how much research has gone into preparing for this interview by explaining why exactly you think this company would be interested in hiring someone like yourself.

It’s important to remember that when writing a cover letter it should reflect who YOU are as an individual; therefore making it easy for an employer (or potential employer) to connect based on personal experiences similar between themselves and us!

In today’s competitive job market, it’s more important than ever to make a good first impression. That’s where a strong cover letter comes in. Our guide on are cover letters necessary explores the reasons why a well-crafted cover letter is essential for job seekers.

Considerations To Make Before Sending A Cover Letter?

What to include in the cover letter

Before you send a cover letter and resume, take a look at the job description for the position. First, determine if this is a role you’re qualified for. 

Does your work experience align with what they’re seeking? If so, begin outlining how you can contribute to and succeed in that role based on what they want. 

For example, if they say they need someone who has extensive experience with Excel spreadsheets and pivot tables, make sure those are highlighted in your application materials. 

You don’t want to waste anyone’s time or get passed over because there was no match between their needs and what you were offering so make sure there is one!

What not to include in the cover letter

The main thing that should be avoided when writing a cover letter is talking about all of your accomplishments no employer wants an essay! Keep it brief (a paragraph or two at most) and focus on why this company would be lucky enough to have you join its ranks if given an opportunity.

How To Send A Formal Letter?

Address the cover letter to the correct person. If you don’t know who will be reading your letter, address it as “Dear Sir/Madam”.

Use the correct format. Use a simple and clear structure that matches that of your application letter (see above).

Use the correct salutation. Always use “Dear Mr or Ms … “, where appropriate, depending on whether you are writing to an individual or an organization.

Close with a friendly sign-off: “Yours sincerely,” “Yours faithfully,” etc., depending on how close your relationship is with this person and whether or not they are likely to see you again soon after receiving this letter. 

For example, if this is someone who has invited you for an interview at their company then there’s no need to thank them again because they already know that you’re grateful for their time so just sign off with something more informal like “Cheers” instead!

How To Address A Cover Letter?

Dear [name],

I’m writing to apply for the position of [job title] at your company. I am a recent graduate in [field of study] from [your university]. I believe that my skills and experience would be an asset to your organization and would like to discuss how we could work together.

Job seekers often mistake addressing their cover letter “To Whom It May Concern” or simply leave it blank. While these options do technically convey the idea that you don’t know exactly who will receive your application, they lack both personality and professionalism. 

The person responsible for hiring new employees will see right through them; after all, they only have one job opening, so why wouldn’t they know exactly whom they’re looking for?

Instead of using one of these generic phrases, use “Dear Sir/Madam,” which is considered polite enough without being overly formal or stuffy; it’s also appropriate if you don’t know anyone’s name at the company where you’re sending your resume (this is particularly common when sending out applications via email).

In the digital age, it’s becoming increasingly common for job seekers to submit their cover letters as emails. But how do you make sure your email cover letter stands out? Our guide on can a cover letter be an email offers tips and best practices for crafting a professional and effective email cover letter.

How To Structure Your Cover Letter?

So how do you make your letter stand out from the crowd? Here are a few tips on how to structure your cover letter:

Make sure you have a good opening. Your first paragraph needs to grab the attention of the person who will be reading it and show why they should keep reading. Using an anecdote that relates directly to the company and position is always a good idea, as well as including some keywords from their job description in the first couple of sentences.

Include a paragraph or two about why you are a good fit for the job, highlighting relevant skills and experience (without making anything up). This will also show them that their requirements were important enough for you to spend time preparing this section!

Make sure you have a good closing, thanking both individually & collectively for taking time out of their day to consider your application – even if it turns out not to be exactly what was advertised originally!

When Should You Send A Cover Letter, Especially For Unsolicited Positions?

If you are applying for an unsolicited position (one that is not advertised), then you must write a cover letter. This is because, with this type of application, the employer will be able to decide who they hire based only on your CV and cover letter. 

With solicited applications though (ones where the company has asked for candidates), it’s still important to have a resume ready so that if there are any questions about what kind of experience or skillset you have then they can look at this document instead of just relying solely on what was written in the job ad.

What Does The Employer Want To See In Your Cover Letter?

When you’re writing a cover letter, it’s important to keep the following points in mind:

The company wants to see that you are interested in the job. This is obvious, but it’s worth saying. If you aren’t interested in the job, why would they be interested in hiring you?

The company wants to see that you can do the job. This means that if there are specific skills required for the position (e.g., “must have 3 years experience with Excel”), 

Then your cover letter should demonstrate that knowledge and ability by referencing projects where these skills were used (e.g., “I used this skill on project X” or “My experience includes training users on how to use Excel”).

The company wants to see that you are a good fit for its culture and values, as well as for its core competencies (i.e., what makes them unique). In other words, they want someone who will fit into their organization seamlessly and be excited about doing so!

The Most Common Mistakes In Writing Cover Letters

Using the wrong tone. The tone of your cover letter should be friendly and conversational, but not too casual or informal. The best way to get a feel for this is by reading other people’s cover letters and noting what works and what doesn’t. Try to avoid being overly formal a cover letter is not an academic essay!

Using the wrong format. A cover letter should consist of three paragraphs: an introduction paragraph that includes your name, address, and phone number; an explanatory paragraph that explains why you’re applying for the job; 

And a closing paragraph that provides contact information again (preferably including social media accounts) and asks if you can send additional materials such as résumés or portfolios.

How Should You Start Writing Your Cover Letter?

The first sentence is a chance to make a great impression. You can’t afford to start your cover letter with an apology (that’s what the body of your cover letter is for), but you don’t want to come off as too formal either. You’ll want to write:

“Dear Mr./Ms.” or “Dear Hiring Manager,” followed by the hiring manager’s name and title, if it’s available. If you aren’t sure of their name, simply use “Dear Hiring Manager.”

After that opening line, introduce yourself; briefly describe why you’re interested in the job; mention how long you’ve been in this field or industry; if possible, include relevant experience for this position—and then ask for an interview!

Sending a resume without a cover letter is like showing up to a job interview without pants. Our guide on can you send a cover letter with a resume explains why submitting a cover letter along with your resume is a must-do for job seekers.

How Can You Stop Writing Your Cover Letter?

Avoid starting your cover letter with “I.” A cover letter is not the time to talk about yourself, but rather it should be a quick introduction to who you are and what industry you’re interested in.

Don’t write a cover letter that’s too long or too short. If they love your idea, they’ll read the whole thing! And if not, maybe they’ll at least glance through it before deciding whether or not to keep reading.

Make sure that the content of your cover letter is specific enough for them to understand what exactly you want from them and why exactly it would benefit them as well!

Be personal! If this person has ever written anything else about themselves online (like their bio on LinkedIn), try finding those places where their name appears so that you can use some of those details in your application materials (e.g., asking questions like “What was one of your favorite projects at XYZ?”).

What Should I Avoid In My Cover Letter?

While it’s important to be yourself in your cover letter, there are some things you want to avoid. You don’t want the reader of your letter to be distracted by typos or grammatical errors. You also want them to understand what you’re trying to say without having them Google everything you write or visit Urban Dictionary for an explanation of a slang word they might not understand.

Here are some tips on what not to do:

Avoid using slang or jargon that isn’t widely used outside of your industry (or at least within the field that makes up most of your experience).

Avoid using abbreviations unless they’re widely accepted abbreviations (e.g., Dr., Mr., Ms., etc.). Some companies even have strict policies about whether their employees are allowed to use abbreviations like “Mr.” and “Ms.” in any communications with clients and customers! So check first with whoever is hiring before assuming this one rule won’t apply here too!

Don’t use emoticons or smiley faces because these can come across as unprofessional since they’re typically associated with children text messaging each other rather than adults writing professional documents like cover letters and application letters.”

More Mistakes People Make While Writing The Application Letters

There are some things you can do to your application letter to make it better, but there are also some mistakes that people tend to make. The most common mistake is using the same cover letter for multiple job applications.

Another common mistake is using generic cover letters. You want your application letters to be as specific as possible, so don’t use generic content that could apply to any job and send it everywhere!

Another mistake is making your cover letter too long or too short—you want a balance between having enough information and being concise. Make sure you give all of the information needed about yourself but don’t write five pages about who you are or what makes you special; this will bore the reader instead of impressing them!

Making a career change can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. With a well-crafted cover letter, you can showcase your transferable skills and prove to potential employers that you’re the right fit for the job. Check out our guide on changing fields cover letter for tips and strategies on writing a successful cover letter when changing careers.


We hope this article has been helpful to you in understanding what a cover letter is and how you should go about writing one. It is not difficult to write a good one, but it does take some time and effort. You can rest assured that your efforts will be worth it as long as the letter meets all the requirements of the job posting, including length and formatting requirements.

Further Reading

Application Letter vs Cover Letter: The Difference Explained – This article from Indeed provides a clear explanation of the difference between application letters and cover letters, including when to use each one.

Difference Between a Cover Letter and an Application Letter – Career Point Kenya offers a detailed comparison of cover letters and application letters, including sample templates and examples of each.

Cover Letter vs. Application Letter: What’s the Difference? – This article from CakeResume breaks down the differences between cover letters and application letters, including tips for writing both types of letters effectively.


What is an application letter?

An application letter is a document that a job seeker submits to an employer as part of the job application process. It typically includes information about the applicant’s qualifications, experience, and interest in the job.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a document that a job seeker submits along with their resume to introduce themselves to a potential employer. It should highlight the applicant’s skills and experience and explain why they are a good fit for the job.

What is the difference between a cover letter and an application letter?

The main difference between a cover letter and an application letter is their purpose. A cover letter is typically used to introduce the job seeker to a potential employer and highlight their qualifications, while an application letter is used to apply for a specific job opening.

Do I need to include both a cover letter and an application letter when applying for a job?

Not necessarily. Some employers may only require a cover letter or an application letter, while others may ask for both. It’s important to read the job posting carefully to determine what is required.

Can I use the terms “cover letter” and “application letter” interchangeably?

No, the terms “cover letter” and “application letter” are not interchangeable. They refer to two different types of letters that are used for different purposes.