Apr 05, 2019 - 12:29 PM
A cover letter opening must be tailored to showcase your knowledge and experience in the field, how you can benefit the company, and what your most impressive and relevant accomplishments are. A resume summary can be a bit more generic, as well as a bit shorter. Your resume summary is essentially your elevator pitch; your cover letter opening—a direct pitch for why and how you are the right person for a particular job.
Here is an example of a cover letter opening: "I'm excited to submit my application for the role of Head Engineer at X Company, which I learned about on LinkedIn, and which I truly believe is a position made for me. In the last two years in my current role, I’ve led projects that have brought in nearly $1 million in additional revenue because of my product development ideas. I’m eager to further develop my skills through projects and initiatives with a company whose mission and values I stand firmly behind."
Here is an example of a resume summary: "Highly experienced environmental engineer with 10 + years' experience leading projects at local and federal levels. Areas of expertise include data analysis and project management."
Aug 07, 2018 - 12:27 PM
A lot of people want to know if a cover letter opening and a resume summary is the same thing. Simply put, the answer is no. For starters, you write a resume summary in third person and aim to be as succinct as possible. You should write your cover letter opening in the first person and in a way that makes the person reading the document want to meet with you. A cover letter opening is like the first few lines of a book—if it's not interesting, the reader will set it aside.
Your cover letter opening should do three things: convey who you are, what you do, and why you're qualified for the open position. Yes, your resume does all of those things as well, but it does so in a formal manner. Your cover letter should be relatively informal, honest, and, well, normal. Try to achieve a tone that is in line with how you would talk to an acquaintance (not friend, as that tone may be too informal).
The Muse provides dozens of other tips and tidbits for how to write an engaging cover letter. Refer to its article for tips on how to write an attention-grabbing intro and carry that tone throughout.