Resume and Cover Letter Help

Sebastian is taking advantage of our phenomenal drop-in coaching staff to have his resume critiqued!
There are multiple ways that Toppel can assist you with drafting an effective resume/CV or cover letter. Choose the option or options that are best for you!


Your resume is a snapshot of your professional persona, so it’s important that this document speaks 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.
  • ChatGPT Prompt Guide: Use our ChatGPT Prompt Guide to help you build and tailor your resume for each opportunity.
  • Coaching: We also offer virtual drop-in assistance with no appointment necessary, Monday-Friday from 10:00 am-4:00 pm.
  • Resume Templates: We have created several basic templates that you can download to create your own resume.
  • Jobscan ATS Resume ScannerOptimize your resume for your next job application by using this resume scanning tool, which offers you tips for increasing your match rate for a job opportunity by scanning the content on your resume and a job description. 
  • Resume Samples: Below, we offer samples of multiple types of resumes to be used as a guide. Additionally, Live Career provides a variety of industry-specific resume samples to review.
Advertising Engineering Nursing
Architecture First-Year Student Psychology
Business Marine Science Science - Pre-Health
Communication Marketing Studio Art
Education Music Visual Journalism/Photography 

Not sure which key skills to market on your resume?
Use the Job Market Data tool to search for an occupation and access a list of hard skills and core competencies associated with a given career. Tips for adding skills to your resume: List hard skills (technical and language skills) under a skills section and plug in essential skills/core competencies throughout your accomplishment statements.

Uploading your resume to Handshake:

You’ll need to upload your resume to Handshake in order to 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 Toppel career coaching 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.

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.
  • ChatGPT Prompt Guide: Use our ChatGPT Prompt Guide to help you create a cover letter that highlights your most relevant qualifications.
  • Live Career also provides a variety of industry-specific cover letter samples to review.
  • Samples: Utilize this sample or this other sample to begin writing your own cover letter. 

Curriculum Vitae

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a detailed document used to showcase your professional and academic history. This document helps highlight your scholarly identity within fields like academia and medicine. CVs often include information like professional work experience, achievements and awards, presentations, research, publications, and fellowships you've received. This document serves as an overview of one's entire career.  


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. Here are a few options for free online portfolios: