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Professional Portfolio

We encourage you to bring a draft of any of these documents to the Liberal Arts in Practice Center for feedback, but also share it with your advisor, peers, and others connected to your field of interest. Soliciting feedback from a variety of sources will only make your documents stronger.

Our resume, CV, and cover letter guides can help you start the writing process.  Additional resources are available on the Toolbox.


A resume is a one page document which allows you to introduce yourself and your accomplishments to potential employers, graduate school recruiters, scholarship committees, and other individuals you will meet as you make career and academic plans. It is one of the most important tools you have in your job search and is worth investing significant time and care in developing. 

Cover Letters

A cover letter is a one page document that allows you to express interest in a specific opportunity by showcasing your relevant experience and expertise. The cover letter takes the form of a professional letter, in both formatting and writing style. Cover letters should be descriptive and targeted to the specific opportunity; it is your best chance to demonstrate your qualifications.

Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a document that is similar to, but not identical to, a resume. It is similar because it is a tool that you use to communicate your relevant accomplishments to an audience. It is different in its audience, content, and structure. A CV is a long-form description of your academic research and other relevant academic experience, intended for a primarily academic audience. The CV is a document that showcases your experiences as a scholar and is most often used for applying for academic positions or opportunities.

Statement of Purpose

A statement of purpose, sometimes called a personal statement, is an opportunity to provide a narrative to a graduate school, competitive fellowship, scholarship, or an employer about your career trajectory. Successful personal statements share why you are interested in your field, what experiences you have both inside and outside of the classroom, and how this opportunity will help you to develop further in your career.


As you begin applying for opportunities, people who can act as positive references can help you to share more about your background and skills. While anyone can be a reference for you, good references are often mentors or advisors. Consider asking professors or major advisors who know you well and former or current supervisors as professional or academic references and former teachers, faith community leaders, and family friends as personal references.