Resumes, cover letters and references

Resumes, cover letters, and references are designed to demonstrate how you, your experiences, strengths, and skills fit the needs of a particular opportunity. Explore the information below to learn the best practices when tackling these documents.

Resume Building Tools

Resume Builder Tool by Lightcast

Create an effective resume with guided skill suggestions.

Big Interview

This online tool will help you develop a resume and practice interviewing skills. It includes how-to videos and a resume creator tool. Just log on with your WSU Access ID.

Resume Examples & Templates

Resume Examples for Every Job and Experience Level

The 3 Best Resume Formats to Use in 2023 (Examples)

Applicant Tracking System Resume Templates: Complete Guide and Free Templates

Resume Education

What is an Applicant Tracking System? -  website Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

How to write a resume (For college students) 

How to write a resume with little or no work experience - resume template 

How to write a good cover letter for a job application with no work experience

How to write a cover letter with no experience (How to write a great cover letter) 

How to customize your resume to get past the applicant tracking system 

General resume information

Your resume is often the first impression an employer has of you. For this reason, you must write this document in a clear, concise, and informative manner that accurately portrays your education, work history, and involvement.

Five tips as you begin working on your resume

  1. Find a job posting BEFORE you try and write your resume. The posting tells you what to talk about.
  2. One page is typically appropriate for undergraduates, and two pages are acceptable for graduate or engineering students with many projects.
  3. Use font size 10-12 for text. Margins can be from .5 - 1" if they are all the same (top, bottom, left, right).
  4. Be sure your format is conservative, consistent, and easy to read, and avoid using too many elements (bold, underline, italics, capitalization).
  5. Your resume should be formatted for an applicant tracking system
  6. Use bullet points for descriptions and utilize action verbs to begin each bullet point. Be sure to incorporate skills, keywords, and competency phrases from the job posting if you have those skills/competencies.

Resume Resources

Power Phrases & Key Words for Resumes

Resume Rubric

6 Resume Trends That You Should Follow in 2023

12 Best Resume Do's and Don'ts in 2023

Best resume examples for 2022-2023: How to build a strong resume

How to Tailor Your Resume to a Specific Job Description

Resume action words

Resumes and cover letters -

44 resume writing tips

Writing your Resume to Pass Applicant Tracking Systems

How to Write an ATS-Friendly Resume in 2023

Beat the Robots: How to Get Your Resume Past the System and Into Human Hands

Cover letters

With the exception of career fairs, every time you submit a resume, you should include a tailored cover letter. This document allows you to explain your qualifications for the position and demonstrate your unique abilities that will add value to the organization. The cover letter will also give the employer a sample of your writing.

Cover Letter Writing Guide 2023: Examples and Tips

Cover Letter Guide

Cover Letter Rubric

Seven elements of a successful cover letter

Sample cover letters

Vault cover letter information

E-mail cover letter etiquette

A strategy for writing the dreaded cover letter

Your References

Most employers and job applications will ask for 3-5 references. References are the contact information of people in your network who can vouch for how well you work.

Three reference guidelines

  1. Always ask your references if it is ok to list them on your documents before giving their information to an employer.
  2. Inquire about which addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers your references want you to list.
  3. Send your resume, cover letter, and job description to your references so that when a potential employer contacts them, it will be easier for the references to speak about you.

Additional info on resume etiquette

The Right Way to Submit References During Your Job Search (Template Included)

Should you include references on your resume?   

How to format your references