Creating Application Materials

Learn how to create effective application materials. The purpose of your resume and cover letter is to secure an interview, NOT a job! Selling work experience and skills to employers is like selling a product. Communicate this through your application materials.


On average, employers spend around 7-10 seconds pre-screening a resume. Make an impact and stand out as fast as you can.

Cover Letters

The cover letter is an introduction to the resume, generating interest and leading the employer to want to learn more about you.

Professional References

Many jobs will ask you for professional references. Here are resources about what information to include and best practices when asking for a reference.

Writing a Diversity Statement

Diversity statements are becoming more expected in job application materials. Learn more about how to write a diversity statement through these resources. 

Additional Application Materials

Many industries might ask for additional applications materials. Open each topic below for more information and resources!

A CV is a document that contains information from your resume plus other related academic accomplishments (i.e., teaching experience, research experience, publications, awards, presentations, honors, and other additional details). CVs are not normally used except in academic/faculty positions, scientific, or research positions. International employers may use CVs. Many employers use CV and resume interchangeably, but most entry-level positions are looking for a resume. If you are not sure if you need a CV or resume, consult with faculty in your field or the CDC to determine what is appropriate for your field.

A portfolio is a collection of work samples that highlights your skills, projects, training, and education. This provides evidence of work that you've created, showcases your skills and abilities, and illustrates the quality of your work.

A work philosophy is a statement about how you view and value your profession. Work philiosophies give employers an insight to what you think about your profession and what is important to you.

Writing samples are used by employers to evaluate your writing skills, tone and style, and written communication skills. If you are applying for positions that require a lot of writing, you might be asked to submit a writing sample.