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Resume, CV, Cover Letter, & References


Thayer Career Services' Resume Guidelines can help you draft your first resume, or perfect an existing one. Check out our resume samples and powerful action verbs

Curriculum Vitae

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a summary of your educational and academic background used to outline your credentials for an academic position, fellowship, or grant. For more information, see Dartmouth Graduate Studies.

Cover Letter

A cover letter often accompanies your resume when applying for internships and jobs. Check out our Cover Letter advice to begin writing yours.

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Employers usually ask for a list of references -- faculty, supervisors, and mentors who can "sing your praises"-- in advance of making a hiring decision. Some employers ask for this list when they advertise a position; others wait until the interview, or until they have narrowed their choices to a short list of candidates. Since most employers will not hire anyone without references, the line "references available upon request" can be left off your resume. Those with a C.V., however, are often expected to include their list of references within the document, particularly if they are well-known for their contributions to your discipline.


What Employers Look for in a List of References
Before listing anyone as a reference, contact him/her first to ensure that he/she is comfortable with the prospect. Consider contacting those people who know your most recent work and/or research history. At a minimum, references should have a copy of your current resume, a brief description of your professional career goals, and samples of your work, especially if you are listing a professor or former supervisor as a reference. This way, he/she will be well-versed on "you," as well as your suitability for the position.

References should be laser-printed on heavy bond-stock paper that matches that of your resume. Place your name and contact information at the top of your document. Ideally, font size and title should match the information on your resume. List each reference on your page in the exact same manner. For example:

(Name:) Declan Stone
(Position Title:) Vice President, Design Engineering
(Current Employer:) CH2M Hill
(Address:) 9191 South Jamaica Street
(City, State Zip:) Englewood, Colorado 80112
Phone: 888.242.6445
E-mail address:

Note: Text enclosed in parenthesis does not need to be on list of references.