Resume, Cover Letter and References

Your job application materials are often times the first impression a prospective employer will have of you. So it's very important that your resume/CV, cover letter, and references are strategically crafted to be the best representation of who you are and what you have to offer. Before starting, spend time braining storming your experiences, goals, and unique strengths that will form the content of your application documents.


The purpose of a resume is to land you the interview. Knowing how to construct the perfect resume can be daunting. Hiring Managers typically spend 10-30 seconds reviewing a resume, so it is important to have a clean and consistent format, and to highlight your skills, abilities, education and accomplishments that make your resume stand out. You should view your resume as a marketing tool and you are the product. Always ask yourself the following before submitting your resume to any position, “Is my resume marketing me as the best candidate for this position”? If the answer is yes, proceed. If the answer is no, use the following handouts to assist you with building or revising your resume.

  • Resume Worksheet: Use this worksheet to brainstorm ideas in the gathering of appropriate relevant information to construct your resume.
  • Resume Guide: This handout serves as a guide for developing resumes.
  • Action Verb List: Use this handout to assist you with verb usage when crafting your accomplishment statements.

Cover Letter

A cover letter accompanies your resume and allows you to communicate and highlight your experience, qualifications, and abilities. It’s best not to repeat everything that your resume states, but to help the end user connect YOUR accomplishments, passion and interests to their job opportunity and company.


Most companies require you to provide at least 2-3 professional references when applying for a position. It’s typically part of the application form or a request from a HR person or Hiring Manager when they are close to selecting finalists. Professional references should always be someone who can attest to your qualifications, experience and skills.

Who to Ask: It is recommended that your professional references be a former supervisor, employer, client, colleague or instructor that can recommend you for the job. Remember: professional references are NOT your best friend or favorite aunt.

How to Format: Following the same format as your resume and cover letter, your references should be formatted in a professional manner, include contact information and be free of errors.


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