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Resumes, CVs & Cover Letters


A resume is a snapshot of your professional experiences and skills that will evolve as you focus on your career goals and gain more experience. Check out these top three resources to help build a strong resume:

Action Words

Skills by Category

Strong Bullet Points

An exceptional resume is key to the professional realm and you can submit yours to the annual Whitman Resume Challenge!

The average recruiter or hiring manager spends 6 seconds reviewing a resume. Check out this resume guide that goes more in depth into how to meet criteria to make your resume as compelling as possible. 

The top 6 factors in determining whether your resume moves to the next step in the process are:

  • Formatting – organization and clarity are crucial in communicating your fit for the position 
  • Appropriateness for Role – study the job description to identify relevant skills and requirements that you can use to convey your strengths 
  • Evidence of Impact – take the opportunity to present relevant skills through accomplishments aligning to the role and any impactful involvement you have outside of class 
  • Job History – consider your job history and create a connection of experiences to explain the alignment of your career past with the position
  • Content – ensure that content relates to the job and effectively communicates impact
  • Complimentary Online Presence –  sync your resume with your LinkedIn profile to show engagement and consistency in efforts. Use online presence to share additional content that may not be focused for your paper resume but does demonstrate your abilities. 

Source: Glassdoor, August 2, 2017 “This is Exactly What Hiring Managers and Recruiters Look for When Scanning Resumes”

If you do not yet have a resume, or want to start from scratch, we have built out three templates which you may download and personalize to fit your needs and experience: 

These additional resources and tools can help you build strong resumes, cover letters, and CVs:

Do you have language skills that you want to include on your resume or CV? View the Interagency Language Roundtable webpage to assess your level of proficiency on the scale used by government agencies, including the Peace Corps, the State Department, and many more. If applicable, use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CERF) webpage to assess your level of proficiency on the scale used by the Council of Europe.

Experience-Specific Examples

From athletics to Greek life to thesis research, if you have had a specific experience that you would like to highlight on your resume, check out these examples. More examples coming soon...

Athletic Leadership & Involvement

Common Summer Jobs

Community Engagement


On-Campus Leadership

On-Campus Media

Outdoor Leadership

Research, Thesis & Presentations

Student Government

Tutoring, Mentoring & Advising

Cover Letters

A cover letter often serves multiple purposes, mainly to tell your professional story and provide a more detailed explanation of your skills and experiences.

A great cover letter is both informative and interesting to the reader. Do not send one generic cover letter to multiple employers. If you want to catch the attention of their hiring team, you must take the time to tailor your cover letter to each organization you are applying.

Remember: proofread, proofread, proofread. Your cover letter demonstrates your writing skills; make sure it is grammatically sound and free of spelling mistakes. Schedule a Cover Letter review with the CCEC Career team via Handshake.

Here are some helpful resources to help you write a cover letter:

Curriculum Vitae

Also called a CV or vita, in the United States the curriculum vitae is used almost exclusively for academic professions and applying to graduate school.  For in-person guidance regarding your CV, make an appointment with a Center staff member via Handshake.

"The most noticeable difference between CVs and most resumes is the length. Entry-level resumes are usually limited to a page. CVs, however, often run to three or more pages. (However... you should try to present your information concisely.)... While the goal of a resume is to establish a professional identity, the goal of a CV is to create a scholarly one. Thus your CV will need to reflect your abilities as a teacher, researcher, and publishing scholar within your discipline."

-Source: Purdue OWL (10.28.2010)

When an employer does request references, include them on a separate piece of paper with current contact information of three to five persons who have agreed to provide recommendations for you. Visit this resource for more information on reference pages.

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