Build a Great Resume and Cover Letter

Sample Résumés

Art & Design

These resumes act as a sample of both the student’s artistic ability and previous experience and accomplishments. While some design and color elements are appropriate, they should not detract from the information.

Business, STEM, & Agriculture

Resumes in this area are considered more “traditional” types of resumes. Employers generally want the resume to stay at one page and don’t want the resume to deviate from a more classical format.

Education & Health Professions

In addition to more traditional elements, resumes in this area often rely upon practicums, job shadowing, and hands-on class experience. Many employers in these industries will accept two-page resumes.

Sample Résumés

Social Sciences & Humanities

These resumes may best serve students interested in helping professions, nonprofits, and industries where a breadth of knowledge and skills are valuable. The focus is on finding connections amongst experiences that initially may appear dissimilar.


Certain backgrounds, experiences, skill levels, & application purposes require special considerations when creating the resume.

Applicant Tracking Systems

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are electronic application systems which scan resumes for keywords that match the job description and then rate and rank you in comparison to other candidates. Companies and organizations of all sizes, geographic locations, and career fields may employ an ATS to help navigate and narrow their applicant pool. If you are submitting your resume to a company that uses an ATS, there are additional considerations to keep in mind. Read our ATS guide to learn more.

ATS Information

Resume Purpose

A resume is a short document highlighting your most relevant accomplishments, skills, and experiences; it also demonstrates communication skills. Typically the goal of a resume is to grab an employer’s attention in the hope they invite you for an interview. A resume is not necessarily a recitation of everything you’ve ever done, but it should clearly and specifically highlight your background in a way that relates to the position or opportunity for which you’re applying.

Potential Headings

Additional Skills
Campus Involvement
Community Involvement & Service
Computer Languages & Skills
Honors & Awards
Internship Experience
Military Service
Professional Development & Training
Professional Experience
Related Coursework & Projects
Skills Summary
Study Abroad
Travel Abroad
Volunteer Activities

Additional Resources

Resume Checklist & Rubric
Action Verbs List
Reference Page Template

Sample CVs

Additional Resources

CV Purpose

In the United States, a resume is a short (usually one page) summary of education and work experience, whereas a Curriculum Vitae, also known as a CV, is a longer document with more academic and professional details. Oftentimes a CV refers to an academic resume. However, in Europe and in some other countries, resume and CV are used interchangeably.

Potential Headings

Academic Employment
Campus Activities & Involvement
Community Involvement & Service
Conference Presentations
Honors & Awards
Professional Activities
Professional Memberships
Professional Service
Research Experience
Study Abroad
Teaching & Advising

Personal Statement

The personal statement should provide concrete evidence of your potential as an academic community member and eventual graduate of the program. Discuss what you’ll bring to your academic career beyond the knowledge you’ve gained in the classroom as well as what studying at this specific institution will do for you as a future professional. Include anything (without getting too personal) that can give reviewers a sense of you as a person, particularly experiences that show your promise, initiative, and ability to persevere despite obstacles. This is also a good place to display your communication skills. If part of your academic record is not the best reflection of your ability, the personal statement is where you can explain that and direct reviewers’ attention to evidence of your promise for higher education.

Tips & Structure

The purpose of a cover letter and resume package is to motivate the employer to take action and invite you for an interview. This may mean that you include similar information on both documents, but the way you talk about that experience and background should be different. Write a new and unique cover letter for each job description, and target your cover letter to a specific person at the company, if possible. Use information from the job description as well as industry keywords as you describe your qualifications. Identify and highlight 3-5 skills to show the employer how you are an exact match for their needs; outline how you learned or honed those skills in previous positions or academic endeavors plus how you can use them in the employer’s organization.

Email Cover Letters

If you are asked to email a resume attachment without a cover letter, use the body of the email as a cover letter. You may copy and paste the information from a word processing document as long as you do not have to attach a cover letter with the resume. If, however, you are required to submit both a resume and cover letter, your email should be different. In those situations, your email should be a short, concise version of your cover letter, outlining the position for which you are applying and why as well as 2-3 brief reasons why you are a good fit for the job or internship. Remember to indicate that there are attachments to the email and end by thanking the person for their time.

Draft competitive resumes and cover letters by providing suggestions on content, formatting, and use of keys words that align with job descriptions, so your resume stands out from a crowd.

Using prompts is the primary way to interact with ChatGPT. A prompt is a piece of text that you provide ChatGPT to request specific information or start a conversation. Use the following prompts in the "Send a message" field to gain career insights:

Resume Prompts:

  • What are action verbs to be used in a resume or job application?
  • What is the best resume type for [POSITION]?
  • What skills should I include in a resume or job application for [POSITION]
  • What recommendations can you provide to improve this resume: [RESUME]
  • Write a resume for a [TITLE] based on this job description. [Copy/paste the job description.]
  • Tailor my resume to this job description for a [JOB TITLE] role at [COMPANY]. [Copy/paste your current resume and the job description]
  • Using the resume and job description below, showcase 10 relevant skills I should highlight. [Copy/paste your current resume and the job description.]
  • Here's my current resume. How would you rewrite it if you were applying to this [TITLE] role at [COMPANY]? Include metrics in the achievements. [Copy/paste your resume and the job description.]
  • Write 3 bullet points demonstrating my ability to [RELEVANT SKILL OR ACHIEVEMENT].
  • Write a professional summary for my resume and keep it under 100 words. [Copy/paste your existing resume]
  • Create a professional summary under 500 characters that showcases my skills and experiences relevant to a [TITLE] role in [INDUSTRY]. [Copy/paste your resume.]
  • Act as a professional resume writer and provide quantifiable outcomes using these bullet points from my resume. Here is the job title and bullet points: <paste in your last job title and bullet points from one of your roles on your resume>.
  • I'll provide you with my resume - I need help assessing two things. The first is what roles I could apply for. The second is what industries would match my experience. In general, what are your career recommendations for me? Is that alright?
  • Based on my resume, I want to continue growing in the same industry, yet look at alternative roles to what I'm doing at the moment. Ideally, my new role should match my [skill set] yet require [new responsibilities and help me learn new know-how]. I basically need [a change of pace]. If I paste in my resume, would you be able to assess what my alternative career opportunities within [BUSINESS] are?

Cover Letter Prompts:

  • Draft a persuasive cover letter in 150 words or less highlighting my qualifications and enthusiasm for the [job title] at [company] using my resume achievements below. [Press "Shift" + "Enter," then copy and paste your resume achievements under the prompt.]
  • Write a cover letter for [job title] role at [company] and include the five most important keywords from the job description below. [Press "Shift" + "Enter," then copy and paste the job description under the prompt.]
  • I want you to act as a job seeker. Please write a conversational, 200-word or less cover letter for a marketing role in the tech industry. Please highlight my skills in social media marketing, specifically how I increased the LinkedIn followers for my previous company by 60% in less than six months.
  • Write a personalized cover letter for a [job title] role at [company] based on this job description and the experience in my resume. Don't worry about including the address or date at the top. [Press "Shift" + "Enter," then copy and paste the job description and your resume under the prompt.]
  • Below is my current cover letter. How does it stand up to current best practices for cover letters? What should I do to improve it?" [Press "Shift" + "Enter," then copy and paste your cover letter.]
  • Below is my current cover letter. I'm concerned it may not be attention-grabbing enough to stand out from other applicants applying for the [job title] role at [company]. Give me some suggestions on how to start my letter in a way that immediately captures attention and sets me apart from the competition. I've also included the job description for reference." [Press "Shift" + "Enter," then copy and paste your cover letter and the job description.]

AI-generated content is intended to be informative and helpful; however, it should not be considered as professional advice or a substitute for consulting with qualified experts in career services. We encourage users to independently verify and cross-reference the information provided by the AI model with other reliable sources before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the content. The AI-generated content should be used as a draft for written documents and a starting point for career research and exploration, but it is essential to exercise critical thinking and judgment when editing, interpreting and applying the information for your own career or job search needs.

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