CVs, Résumés and Cover Letters

Are you looking for a job? The Job Hunter's Bible, JobStar and the Purdue OWL are three excellent resources for you!

Job Hunter's Bible provides very practical advice on finding jobs. It is written and maintained solely by Dick Bolles, a trainer of career counselors and coaches. READ THIS FIRST to save lots of time and frustration in your overall job search! Included on the website are the following articles:

Job Hunter's Bible


JobStar is a website that was developed and updated from 1996 to 2011 and has good sample résumés & cover letters for various types of jobs. The samples are free to download and modify, which can help you save time in the writing process (which is just part of the entire job search process - see Two Ways to Hunt for a Job).

Purdue OWL

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides detailed help for writing résumés & cover letters.

  • Résumé Workshop - This page provides detailed explanations, as well step-by-step processes, for creating an effective resumé.
  • Résumé Design - This page offers advice making informed design choices in creating a resumé. We also have a sample resumé that uses these design principles available in the media section above.
  • Résumés 1:Introduction to Résumés - Before beginning to write your resumé, it is a good idea to understand what you are writing, why you are writing it, and what is expected as you write it. This basic introduction will aid both new resumé writers and those who may have forgotten certain details about resumé writing.
  • Résumés 2: Resumé Sections - When writing a resumé, you need to understand the specific needs of each section. This part, with information about the contact information, education, and work experience sections, will help explain what each section requires.
  • Résumés 3: When to Use Two Pages or More - You have probably heard the saying, "Keep your resumé to a page." Although this is true for most cases, many employers are accepting longer resumé certain instances. Use this resource to gain more understanding about what constitutes the page length of a resumé.
  • Writing the Curriculum Vitae - This handout provides an overview of strategies for writing an effective curriculum vitae. This topic is particularly important for graduate students who are entering the academic job market for the first time.
  • Example Employment Documents - These annotated employment documents provide examples of resumés, CVs, and cover letters for a variety of disciplines.
  • Cover Letters 1: Quick Tips - This page provides a guide to writing cover letters. Here you will find brief answers and lists of what you should include in a cover letter, how to order and format such a letter, and what to do before sending it out.
  • Cover Letters 2: Preparing to Write a Cover Letter - Before you start to write a cover letter, you should gather information about yourself, the company, and the job. This page will help you learn what kind of information to find, where to find it, and how and why to use that information to "sell yourself" in a cover letter.
  • Cover Letters 3: Writing Your Cover Letter - This part offers a series of short documents that walks you through the creation of a cover letter.
  • Letters Concerning Employment - This part covers writing additional correspondence beyond cover letters including reference requests, interview follow-up letters, inquiry letters, acceptance and rejection letters, request for further negotiations letters and thank you letters.
  • Academic Cover Letters - When you're applying for a faculty position with a college or university, the cover letter is your first chance to make a strong impression as a promising researcher and teacher.

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