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Difference between Offline and Online Cover Letters
While sending a cover letter for a job application, you usually have two options in front of you to forward the cover letter. The first one is to send it through post, which is the offline mode and the second one is to send it through email or submitting it online, through online mode. However, when it comes to the format and structure of the cover letter, an online cover letter is different from an offline cover letter. Therefore, you need to take care of the cover letter depending on the mode you choose to send it to the concerned authority or the hiring manager of a company.
Here are some of the differences between online and offline Cover Letters, which you might keep in mind while writing one for your job application:
- Structure: The first difference between an online and offline cover letter is the structure of it. Online Cover Letters are less structured than offline ones and one gets an opportunity to give an impactful intro with this kind of cover letter.
- Lucidity and Conciseness: This is the most important factor for an online cover letter. On the other hand, you can elaborate when you are writing a cover letter for offline job application. When you send your cover letter online, you need to be as short and to-the-point as possible.
- Length of the Cover Letter: Offline Cover Letters include several details so their length is more than online Cover Letters. Online Cover Letters are rather short because of the limit of words that can be used for writing the letters online.
- Limitation of Words: When writing a cover letter for an offline job application, you can put in a number of details about your skills and qualifications, as well as achievements. However, when sending a cover letter through email you might have to face restriction of words. Therefore, you will have to look after the word limit while writing a cover letter online. Some companies ask you to attach a cover letter with your email, in such a case, you can follow the full format including salutation, addresses and even signature to end off the letter.
- Formatting and Error Check: One of the other differences between an offline and online cover letter is that when writing a cover letter online, you can use the formatting tool to format the letter and can also use spell check feature while writing it online. This does away the efforts of manually proofreading your cover letter before sending it through post. Sometimes manual proofreading does not detect small mistakes like punctuations, but this will not happen when writing online, as the mistakes are highlighted immediately.
- Online Templates: Another difference and in another way an advantage of writing or submitting a cover letter online is that you have access to a number of templates that you can use for writing a cover letter and then submit it online. These templates enable a jobseeker to customize their cover letter as per the requirements of the job and to match it with the post they want to apply to. On the other hand, when you write an offline cover letter, you will have to decide the structure and the format of the cover letter yourself. This can be an intimidating task, especially if you are not aware of how to write a cover letter. Online templates, can help in such a situation, and can give you a structure beforehand to use it as a base of the cover letter.
- Immediate Submission: Another point on which an offline cover letter and an online cover letter differ is the time within which the addressee receives it. When submitting a cover letter online, it straight forward goes to the addressee’s mailbox, whereas you have to wait for a few days for your cover letter to reach the addressee through traditional post or mail.
- Difference according to websites: Cover Letters that are to be sent online might also differ with different kinds of websites. In some websites, one can copy and simply paste a cover letter in the text box given in the website, similarly, on some websites jobseekers have to answer some questions, which ultimately helps in structuring the cover letter online.
- Some important points to note: as compared to writing a traditional cover letter on a page, you need to take care of some points while writing an online cover letter. These include character limits as well as email fields, and different boxes that you need to fill to submit a cover letter online.
- Drafting in word processing software: contrary to offline Cover Letters, one can use word processing software programs for editing and creating a cover letter for online job applications or submission. In place of filling boxes to submit a cover letter online, it is best to write a cover letter with the help of word processing software program like MS Word, and then just paste it or attach it with your email. This minimizes the scope of making a mistake while writing the cover letter. Remember that you can make many mistakes while filling boxes on websites, and cannot correct it once you submit it. However, if you draft a cover letter with MS Word, you can format and edit it easily and can check it effortlessly for any grammar or formatting error.
Apart from all these differences, there are some things in common in offline and online Cover Letters. The very first thing is the professional format of the cover letter. No matter what mode of writing a cover letter you choose, it should be completely professional. Remember that the hiring manager will read your cover letter at the end, and will judge it on its professionalism and preciseness rather than the method by which it is sent. The format should be correct, and error free and it should highlight your major skills at the same time, as this will grab the attention of the employer. It is equally important to avoid personal expressions in the cover letter and keep the language simple yet attention grabbing. Keep the information brief and use bullet points to put across different points in the cover letter, as this covers more points in lesser number of words. One can also use different structures and format to highlight their writing skills even when writing a cover letter for online job application. Nowadays, majority of companies have started to hire online and they also ask for online Cover Letters, which candidates have to submit online or mail it to an email address. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have an impressive online cover letter ready with you to impress the employer along with your resume. If you want to take advantage of online job applications and several other opportunities that are available online, you must design and write a good cover letter, and for this, you must first understand the difference between offline and online Cover Letters, and then write it accordingly. You just need to take care of structure and the length while writing an online cover letter, and make sure that there are no faults in the letter.