Resumes | Cover Letters | CVs
Resumes, cover letters, and Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) are often an employer’s first impression of your skills and your value-added factor. As you craft each of these documents, you are creating a personal brand that will precede your face-to-face interaction with an employer.
As you draft these documents, keep the job description at the forefront of your mind. Make sure you emphasize experiences in your resume and examples in your cover letter that are consistent with the desired skills to fulfill the company's next hire.
The quality of your documents can help determine whether you get to the next step – the interview.
Get Expert Virtual Help
Continue to get feedback on your documents even while our in-person service is closed.
Email email@example.com with your documents and get feedback within 3 business days.
There is an abundance of information about writing a good resume. There are different styles of resumes, different industry standards, and individual preferences, but no real clear-cut rules. Regardless of the design or format you choose, there are a few key guidelines you will definitely want to follow.
Write resumes specifically for the position to which you are applying. In other words, do not mass produce your resume. Someone with no knowledge of the job you are applying for should be able to look at your resume and guess the type of role you are after.
Each entry on your resume must showcase your value-added, as opposed to duties or tasks. Ask yourself, What do I want the reader to know about me based on this experience? The goal is to quantify or qualify your contributions using accomplishment statements.
Aesthetically Pleasing & Error Free
The average time spent screening a resume is 30 seconds. Your document must be nice to look at and easy to read. You want to stand out from other candidates in a positive way.
Download Real Resume Examples
Alumni applying to Porter Airlines with a unique travel section
PhD with international and field-specific experience
Undergraduate with management experience applying to retail industry
Grouping experiences by relevant skills
Undergraduate with strong summary section
Alumni with strong profile statement
Undergraduate< who highlights relevant skills in a unique way
Graduate student who includes past relevant experience well
Skill headings and relevant accomplishment statements done well
Undergraduate with no work experience markets academic experience
One-page business resume
PhD uses hybrid resume/ cv with unique headings
People often wonder if they need to create a cover letter for every position they apply to. If indicated as a requirement, then definitely include one. You should create a cover letter that is just as strong as your resume. To create a competitive cover letter, you should:
- Address the letter to a specific person by name and title
- Match the font style and size to your resume
- Show that you have taken time to research the company and the position
- Highlight your specific experiences or skills that match what the employer is seeking - telling your story in a way that hasn’t been captured by your resume
- Focus on how you can benefit the company, not how they can benefit you
- Proofread your letter and ask someone else to read it as well. Use your cover letter as an example of your written communication skills.
Download Real Cover Letter Examples
PhD student applying to the Ontario Science Centre
Undergraduate student applying to major retail outlet
Undergraduate Medical Sciences student applying for summer position
Undergraduate student applying to Deloitte
Undergraduate student applying to Sun Life
PhD graduate applying for academic position
Graduate student applying to Ministry of Transportation
Undergraduate student applying to major retail outlet
Master's student applying to COWI
Undergraduate student applying for administrative role
Student applying for summer position
Undergraduate student applying to part-time position
Curriculum Vitae, derived from Latin and meaning “course of life”, is often referred to simply as a CV or vita. Like a resume, it is a summary of your skills, experience, and education, however, it contains more detail and is often longer than two pages. CVs are often the required documents to apply for graduate school, and scientific research and academic positions. There are no specific guidelines for how you should organize your experiences or the information you choose to include. In fact, many students today are exercising their creativity and developing their own CV styles to differentiate themselves from other candidates.
A few extra points to consider:
- The basics of resume writing still apply to your CV
- Examine CVs from individuals just above your stage of professional development
- Other countries may prefer certain formats and may require additional information
Download Real CV Examples
PhD highlighting research, teaching, & communication experience
Traditional style CV used for professional role in academia
Two-page CV highlighting skills and academic experience
PhD highlighting field-specific experience
Undergraduate student applying for Master's program
Application for academic summer internship
Undergrad applying for summer research position
Having good references can “make or break” your opportunity for a job offer or admission to grad school. Choose your references carefully, considering who can best verify your skills and qualifications. Confirm your references in advance so they’re ready when needed. References may be requested in either written or verbal form.
Here's some information on how to ask your professor for a recommendation.