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.

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Watch a Previous Workshop

Learn how to create resumes and cover letters that will effectively communicate your skills. Find out the "rules of resumes" and get a chance to practice putting your accomplishments in writing.

Interactive Module

Get an in-depth look at how to create an awesome resume through this short, interactive module.


The Basics of a Good Resume

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.


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.

Easy-to-Read & Error Free

The average time spent screening a resume is 30 seconds. Your information on your document must be simply, logically & clearly presented and allow the reader to most 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.

Download Real Resume Examples

Download Icon Accounting Position

Alumni applying to Porter Airlines with a unique travel section

Download Icon Engineer-in-Training

PhD with international and field-specific experience

Download Icon Team Leader

Undergraduate with management experience applying to retail industry

Download Icon Financial Customer Service Rep

Grouping experiences by relevant skills

Download Icon Microsoft Intern

Undergraduate with strong summary section

Download Icon Nurse

Alumni with strong profile statement

Download Icon Pharmaceutical Sales

Undergraduate< who highlights relevant skills in a unique way

Download Icon Senior Scientist

Graduate student who includes past relevant experience well

Download Icon Social Services Worker

Skill headings and relevant accomplishment statements done well

Download Icon Software Developer

Undergraduate with no work experience markets academic experience

Download Icon Technology Consultant

One-page business resume

Download Icon Young Professionals Program - World Bank 

PhD uses hybrid resume/ cv with unique headings

The Basics of a Good 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 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

Download Icon Senior Scientist

PhD student applying to the Ontario Science Centre

Download Icon Summer Internship

Undergraduate student applying to major retail outlet

Download Icon Business Analyst

Undergraduate Medical Sciences student applying for summer position

Download Icon Business Technology Analyst

Undergraduate student applying to Deloitte

Download Icon Actuarial Program

Undergraduate student applying to Sun Life

Download Icon Assistant Professor

PhD graduate applying for academic position

Download Icon Engineer-in-Training

Graduate student applying to Ministry of Transportation

Download Icon Team Leader

Undergraduate student applying to major retail outlet

Download Icon Junior Engineer

Master's student applying to COWI

Download Icon Office Assistant

Undergraduate student applying for administrative role

Download Icon Quality Assurance Intern

Student applying for summer position

Download Icon Sales Associate

Undergraduate student applying to part-time position

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

Download Real CV Examples

Download Icon Academic Position

PhD highlighting research, teaching, & communication experience

Download Icon Professional Position

Traditional style CV used for professional role in academia

Download Icon Non-Academic Role

Two-page CV  highlighting skills and academic experience

Download Icon Assistant Professor

PhD highlighting field-specific experience

Download Icon Master's Application

Undergraduate student applying for Master's program

Download Icon Summer Field Internship

Application for academic summer internship

Download Icon Summer Research Assistant

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.