Resume and Cover Letter Help
Sebastian receiving a resume critique from Toppel Staff Sebastian receiving a resume critique from Toppel Staff
Sebastian is taking advantage of our phenomenal walk-in advising staff to have his resume critiqued!
There are multiple ways that Toppel can assist you with drafting an effective resume or cover letter. Choose the option or options that are best for you!


Your resume is a snapshot into your professional persona, so it’s important that this document speak to the skills and talents you possess. There is no “perfect” or “correct” format - it all depends on the position you are looking for and your past experiences. Think of your resume as a living document; update it frequently!

  • Resume and Cover Letter Guide: This guide provides you with recommendations for required and optional components of your resume.
  • Resume Samples: We offer samples of multiple types of resumes to be used as a guide.
  • Rules of a Resume in 2 Easy Steps: This virtual workshop presented by Toppel staff provides additional guidance for your resume development.
  • Walk-In Advising: We also offer in-person assistance with no appointment necessary, Monday-Friday from 9am-4:30pm. During the summer, we are closed on Fridays.

Uploading your resume to Handshake:

You’ll need to upload your resume to Handshake in order to participate in On-Campus Recruiting events or apply for jobs and internships that are posted in the system.

To upload your resume, log in to Handshake using your CaneID and Password. Once in the system:

  1. Click on “View Your Profile” in the column on the left hand side
  2. Click on “Documents” and then “New Document” in the top right corner

If this is your first time uploading a resume to Handshake, it will be critiqued by a Toppel staff member within 3-5 business days. Staff will provide you with individualized comments and the document will be approved. We strongly suggest that you make the recommended changes and re-upload your resume as soon as possible. Otherwise, recruiters will not see the best possible version of your resume!

Cover Letters

Cover letters accompany your resume and introduce you to potential employers. A good cover letter makes a hiring manager want to learn more about you, continue onto your resume, and possibly invite you for an interview.

You always want to tailor your cover letter toward a specific position or organization. We suggest that you always draft a new letter for each experience to avoid making mistakes or referencing the wrong position or organization.

Cover letters can also be uploaded to Handshake (as can other documents, such as transcripts and work samples) using the same method you used to upload your resume. Documents other than resumes will not be critiqued in the system and will simply be approved for use.

Make sure you utilize Walk-In Advising to ensure you are providing employers with the best possible cover letter. You can also get help with your writing by utilizing the Writing Center, located at LaGorce House, 170.

Toppel offers additional resources that are always accessible to you:

  • Resume and Cover Letter Guide: This guide provides you with recommendations for your cover letter as well as a sample.
  • Cover Letter Writing Virtual Workshop: This virtual workshop presented by Toppel staff provides valuable tips on how to stand out as an applicant.


A portfolio is a representation of who you are as a professional. It is a collection of items that showcases your accomplishments and presents who you are as a candidate. Portfolios provide evidence for your skills and qualifications. They can include resumes, professional licenses, certifications and awards, letters of recommendation, evidence of skills, work samples, links to relevant articles, and more. Each field will vary on what is recommended to include in one’s portfolio.

When should you use a portfolio?

Anytime that you want to visualize your qualifications and abilities. Portfolios may be used to market yourself during a job interview, apply for scholarships, document professional development, secure a promotion, and many other purposes.

Depending on your field of interest, either a physical or online portfolio may be best. A free online portfolio that you can access is Pathbrite ePortolios.