Resumes | CVs | Cover Letters


Resumes, Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) and Cover Letters often provide an employer with their first impression of your skills and the value you can bring to their organization. As you craft each of these documents, you are creating a personal brand that will precede your face-to-face interaction with a recruiter or hiring manager.

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 demonstrate you possess the skills which will allow you to excel in the position to which you are applying.

The quality of your documents can help determine whether you get to the next step – the interview.

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Resume Workshop

Learn how to develop a strategic resume that demonstrates you possess the skills your target audience is looking for. Understand the key principles involved in crafting a strong resume and how you can best put your demonstrate you capabilities in writing.

Cover Letter Workshop

Learn how to create a compelling cover letter that highlights both your personal and professional fit and works with your resume to set you apart from other candidates. 


The Basics of a Strategic, Branded Resume

There is an abundance of information about writing resumes. There are different styles of resumes, different industry standards, and individual preferences - there is no "one size fits all" approach to developing a resume. Regardless of the design or format you choose, there are three key principles we suggest you follow to most strongly connect with your audience & demonstrate that you have the skills, traits and characteristics they seek.

Make it Relevant

Write a resume 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 to which you are applying.

Make it Compelling

Your resume must effectively showcase the value you can add to an organization, as opposed to simply highlighting past duties or tasks. Ask yourself, what do I want the reader to know about me? How can I articulate my past experiences to demonstrate what I accomplished and what I have the ability to do? The goal is to quantify or qualify your contributions using impactful statements which speak to your accomplishments.

Make it Easy-to-Review

It is reported that the average time spent initally screening a resume is 30 seconds. The information on your document must be error-free, clearly & logically presented and allow the reader to easily understand your value proposition (the value you will bring to the organization given your skills, capabilities & experiences). You want to stand out from other candidates in a positive way.

The Basics of a Compelling Cover Letter

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 compelling 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.

The Basics of a Good CV

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


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.