Resumes and Cover Letters

A resume and sometimes a cover letter are the written application materials that are required as you apply for internships, co-ops and full-time positions. These documents are important, and we encourage you to visit Career Services for a one-on-one appointment with a career advisor for help with your resume and cover letters, but we’re also providing a number of valuable guides and examples of “best practices.”


You want to create a powerful, marketing document that highlights your skills and experience—especially those that employers are looking for, such as: industry or field related experience, academic success and teamwork, interpersonal and communication skills. You also want to make your document clean, clear and concise in a format that invites potential employers to read it.

Cover Letters

You may be asked for a cover letter when applying for a specific position. Companies are looking to learn about your communication skills, including your ability to write a professional and proper standard business letter, and your personal desire to obtain the position you’re applying for. Your cover letter should be tailored for each job application with a focus on matching your skills and experience with their needs. A good cover letter sets the stage for the reader to accept your resume and candidacy as something worth serious attention.

  • Cover Letter—step by step guide and examples to help you write a cover letter

Please note: If you are not asked, do not include a cover letter—carefully and accurately follow all application instructions. Also, there’s no need to bring a cover letter to a career fair. Your presence and your 60-second infomercial is what replaces a cover letter at a networking event.


Gather a list of references, no more than 5 and no less than 3 and create a separate reference page with their contact information. These references should be people who know your work and your character and will speak highly of you when asked—using past employers, professors or advisors is ideal. Make sure you contact your choices to ask their permission to list them as a reference. It’s a great idea to send your references your resume, so they’re up to speed with what you’re doing now.