Resumes & Cover Letters

Check out Career Works guides on resumes, cover letters, statements of purpose, and curriculum vitae (CVs) to get started.


A resume is a one-page document that introduces you and your accomplishments to employers, graduate school recruiters, scholarship committees, and others you will meet as you make your future plans. It is one of the most important tools you have in your job search and is worth investing lots of time in developing.

Cover Letters

A cover letter is a one-page document where you express interest in a specific opportunity by detailing your relevant experience and skills. The cover letter is formatted like a professional letter. It should be descriptive and targeted to the specific opportunity; it’s your best chance to tell your story.

Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vita (CV) is a document that is similar to, but not identical to, a resume. It’s similar because it communicates 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 an academic audience. The CV is a document that showcases your experiences as a scholar and is used for applying for grad programs, academic jobs, and fellowships.

Applying Abroad

In order to create your best application materials, you should learn about the standards for resumes, cover letters, and CVs. These can vary by country and culture. To gain country-specific advice, check out Interstride. Explore the country and city guides, which includes directions on creating portfolio materials, finding jobs, interviewing and more.

Statements of Purpose

A statement of purpose, sometimes called a personal statement, is a narrative essay that is often required in applications for graduate school, fellowships, scholarships, or service year programs. Successful personal statements share why you’re passionate about 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, positive references can help you to share more about your background and skills. While anyone can be a reference for you, you should pick the right person for the application. For professional and academic references, ask professors or major advisors who know you well and former or current supervisors. For personal references, ask former teachers, faith community leaders, and family friends.

Questions about your portfolio?

We can help you develop your best documents. Make an appointment with us to get started!

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