Job Search Documents

Resumes, Cover Letters, & References

Application documents are your opportunity to showcase your qualifications and experience, highlight your personal brand, and showcase your ability to be career ready.

Consider your documents as the first “interview”–you want to make a good first impression with employers and recruiters. Download our Resume Template and follow along to get a headstart on your resume!

Build Your Resume

Create and perfect your resume using the information below. But remember, your resume is personal to you and your experiences.

Your resume begins with a header that includes:

  • Your full name
  • Contact information
  • Location
  • Any online profiles or portfolios you wish to direct potential employers to such as LinkedIn or personal websites 

Make sure you have selected a simple, professional-looking email address. Your student email address is a great choice.


Resume Header Example

resume header section example

Download a full sample resume.

Many jobs require specific levels of education, degrees, or coursework. This makes your Education section one of the most important components of your resume.

List your education section right after your header to ensure this qualification is noted by the reader.

Students who have degrees from multiple institutions should list them in reverse chronological order.

  • You do not need to list institutions from which you did not earn a degree. 

It is not necessary to include your high school education. It is fine to include positions you held in high school on your resume, but those will show up in your Experience section.  


Education Section Example

resume education section

Download a full sample resume.

Employers are looking for you to show that you are career ready in your experience section.

Experiences can be anything where you gained or showcased the skills you will need to be successful in the role you are applying to obtain:

  • Class projects
  • Leadership roles
  • Part time jobs
  • Internships
  • Volunteering opportunities

List in reverse chronological order, remembering that you do not need to list out everything you have ever done. Just experiences you want to showcase.  

As you describe your experiences, utilize action verb statements to focus on a strong transferable skill or related task. No need for personal pronouns in your bullet statements 

  • action verb + what you did + outcome/reason 
  • Ex.: "Championed + weekly project meetings + that led to an early launch of new product."
  • View a list of action verbs to boost your resume.


Experience Section Example

resume experience section

Download a full sample resume.

Use additional sections to show your holistic self; these should be unique to you and not based on a template.

Some common sections:

  • Extracurriculars/Activities
  • Languages
  • Technical Skills
  • Awards/Honors 


Optional Sections Example

Optional section showing Skills listed

Download a full sample resume.

magnolias in front of memorial tower

Resume Resources

Resume Examples

First-time Resumes

  • The First-time Resume Example helps you put your best foot forward while focusing on past experiences like involvement, volunteer, leisure, and paid and non-paid jobs.

  • Download our Resume Template to get a headstart on your resume!

More Resume Examples

Compare the bullet points below. Both applicants do the same job, but using compelling action verbs stands out more to the reader. Download the full resume template.

Weak Writing Examples

Olive Garden, Baton Rouge, LA

  • I take orders from customers and bring food to their tables
  • Being a waitress requires that I have strong communication and customer service skills
  • I developed leadership skills
  • Teamwork skills

Student Worker
Career Center, LSU

  • Answer phone calls
  • Check people in
  • Schedule in person appointments
  • Give direction


Strong Writing Examples

Olive Garden, Baton Rouge, LA

  • Ensure every customer is satisfied with their experience by providing a high level of customer service
  • Communicate with kitchen staff to effectively expedite food to customers
  • Manage a section of five tables with the potential for 25 guest at a time
  • Train new wait staff on proper technique and Olive Garden protocol

Front Desk Student Employee
LSU Olinde Career Center, LSU

  • Maintain professional levels of courtesy. when answering phone calls
  • Facilitate appointment scheduling between students and career coaches
  • Greet and check in students, alumni, and employers upon arrival in Career Center
  • Preserve a positive workflow by efficiently directing newcomers to appropriate staff or resource

Review this list of strong action verbs to tailor your resume and make it stand out.

strong action verbs list

Quinncia is a career preparation platform that provides automated feedback and analysis on your resume. Once you have built your resume, perfect it on Quinncia.  

Review Your Resume with Quinncia

Accompanying Documents

Your resume shouldn't be a standalone document. Cover letters, references, letters of recommendation, and personal statements give you more room to showcase who you are and how you work with a team. 

Cover Letters

Every time you apply for a position you need to write a new cover letter. If the job description changes, the reasons you are the best candidate changes.

A cover letter serves as a writing sample and gives you the opportunity to tell the hiring manager why you're a good fit for the position. 

You can talk about why you like a specific job and personal characteristics that aren't apparent in a resume.

But most importantly, it engages the reader and makes them want to look at your resume.

Don't know where the start? Here are a few tips and tricks to writing your next cover letter: 

  • Remember to match your skills, abilities, and experiences to the job description to show the employer you are the best candidate.
  • Cover letters can be more than three paragraphs, but never longer than one page.
  • If the contact person is not listed, use an introduction such as "Dear Hiring Manager" instead of "To Whom It May Concern."
  • Skip four lines between "Sincerely" and your typed name to allow enough from for your signature.
  • Use the company's language found in the job description. For example, if the job description says customers, use the word customers instead of clients, patrons, guests, etc. 

Use these cover letter templates to get started. 

Cover letter outline

sample cover letter

Think of a personal statement as a cover letter you need for professional or graduate school. From outlining your achievements to refining your writing style, we can help you create a memorable and impactful statement that sets you apart in any application process.

Personal Statement Resources


Writing Your Personal Statement

The best personal statements give the reader a window into who you are, usually by examples or stories. Ask yourself: 

  • Does this introduce me as a person and a future practitioner in the field?
  • Does it have elements that will impress the reader?
  • Would the reader want to meet me after reading my statement?

Even the best content will be lost if the ideas are presented in a jumbled, incoherent manner. Clear writing begins with an outline.

  • What is your message?Write that first.
  • How will your ideas logically progress to get to that conclusion?
  • Write your key sentences – do they flow in a logical order?
  • Does the final essay say what you want in a logical and compelling way? 

Poor grammar, spelling, and typographical errors can ruin your statement. Review your essay: 

  • Check guidelines for appropriate length
  • Avoid starting sentences with "I"
  • Use no exclamation points, except in dialogue.
  • Use active, rather than passive voice (e.g., "I found the book" vs. "The book was found by me.")
  • Write sentences no longer than approximately 30 words in length.
  • Shorten paragraphs so that the page doesn't look like a wall of type. 


References are a way for an employer to gain insight into your skills and work experience. It is always best to use professional references as opposed to family and friends.

Many employers will ask for a reference sheet during your application. This allows hiring managers to learn more about you from people who know you best.

This is an opportunity to have your professional contacts validate your skills and experience.

Don't know where to start? Here are a few tips and tricks to writing your reference sheet:

  • References can either be flush left or centered down the page. 
  • Use the same header that is on your resume.
  • Try to include as much information about your references as possible (name, title, company, address, phone number, and email).
  • Make sure to use professional references unless otherwise instructed by the company. Professional references can include supervisors, faculty members, student organization advisors, etc.
  • Always follow the lead of the company for references. Do not send them unless the company asks for them.

Use this template to get started. 

Sample reference sheet

Recommendation letters are required by many graduate programs and job opportunities. This document is written on your behalf, usually from a supervisor or professor, that can vouch for your professionalism and skill-sets. Your recommendation should come from someone you have a professional, working relationship with. 

Wondering how to ask for a letter of recommendation? See our templates to make the process easier.



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