Resumes and Cover Letters

Resumes and Cover Letters

Cover Letters

When should a cover letter be sent? Always! There are few exceptions, like when you are applying online and there is no method for submitting a cover letter. Another might be at Career Fairs. However, even then, including a cover letter with your resume proves to the employer that you've done your homework (it is customized for them after all) and that you are enthusiastic about the possibility of working for them.


When applying for positions with the government, a multiple page resume is acceptable. Human Resources professionals in the business world, however, prefer a one page resume. To accomplish this, start by creating a master resume with as many pages as needed, then copy and revise the copy to correspond with a specific job posting. Revisions involve developing an objective that matches the position desired, and changing the order and content of your resume based on this objective. Most relevant information should be moved near the top.

When applying for positions in higher education, a CV, or curriculum vitae, is provided in place of a resume. It is more detailed and contains research, publications, presentations and more. When applying for work outside the U.S., a CV may be expected as well. 

Resume Resources:

The Angel group "Brandywine Career Services" contains resume snippets specifically for Penn State students. Simply click on "find a group" under My Groups to find this group and choose "enroll no pin."

Executives offer advice to students


Listen to more advice from executives

The Resume and Cover letter webpage contains Curriculum Vitae tips (CV) and other types of letters to employers.

Vault Career Insider - Subscription resource free to Penn State students containing guides such as:
Vault Guide to Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews
Vault Guide to Law Resumes

(Students must create an account using their Penn State email address in order to be able to download guides.)

Thank You Notes