Resumes and Cover Letters

Revitalize your resume and polish your cover letter using the professional resume and cover letter critique services we offer to our enrolled students and alumni.


Critique Services

Enrolled Students - Free Smarthinking Critique Service

Free Smarthinking Critique Service

As an enrolled student, you get a comprehensive review of your resume and cover letter at no extra cost. A professional experienced e-structor will:

  • Provide a written critique of your overall resume/cover letter
  • Identify suggestions/edits
  • Focus on specific areas upon request
  • Suggest next steps
  • Refer you to additional Smarthinking resources
  • Return your document within 24 hours.

Request a Critique in 5 Easy Steps:

  1. Log in to your Smarthinking account and click on the Writing Center tab. (Don’t have a Smarthinking account? Register to create a free account.)
  2. In the Writing Center, select the Resume or Cover Letter radio button.
  3. Complete the brief submission form.
  4. Follow the instructions to upload your resume or cover letter.
  5. Review your request and submit it. You will receive a confirmation message.

Review the Critique – Ready Within 24 Hours

You will be emailed when your review is complete. To retrieve your critiqued document, log in to your Smarthinking account and go to your personal archive where all your submissions are maintained.



The resume & cover letter  resources below include tips, tutorials and samples – all designed to assist you in promoting your credentials with the most professional and positive presentation.

Types of Resumes

Chronological Resume

This format is characterized by one experience section that appears in reverse chronological order (most recent experience first, least recent last). Each experience will have a job title, employer, city, state, and dates. It is most effective when:

  • Your experience and education completely relate to the position for which you are applying.
  • You have no gaps in employment.
  • This format is required by the employer.

Sample Chronological Resume

Functional Resume

This format is used to display targeted, relevant skills and accomplishments that were developed over several experiences. Each skill would have its own section (“Communication”, “Management”, “Programming”, etc.). A functional resume is best used when:

  • You want to emphasize specific, transferable skills.
  • You are pursuing a career change or have gaps in your employment.
  • You want to condense an extensive work history.

Sample Functional Resume

Combination Resume

This format takes the best parts of the chronological and functional formats to create a document that showcases relevant skills first and followed by your employment history. This format is best used when:

  • When you have relevant experiences spread across your career, separated by less relevant experiences.
  • You want to condense an extensive work history.

Sample Combination Resume

Do not underestimate the amount of freedom you have in customizing your resume. Use that to your advantage and create a customized document that showcases your skills and experience in a way that employers will notice.

Resume samples from’s resume resources page.

How to Write a Resume,
Types of Resumes,
The 3 Main Types of Resumes,
Resume Formats,

General Resume Resources

Vault Resume Basics & Samples
Resume guides, videos, and examples.

Optimize your resume for a particular job.
Free version allows one resume scan

The Damn Good Resume Guide
Darn good resume writing tips.

The Balance
How to Write a Resume Summary Statement

The Muse
185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome


Resume Examples by Occupations / Industry,
Sample resumes from many different occupational fields. Links to resume tips and advice are also provided.

Job Star Resumes
Reviews the three main types of resumes; chronological, functional, and combination. Also, many samples provided.

Electronic Resume Resources

These days you need two versions of your resume – one for human eyes and one for computer eyes. Learn how to make sure your resume keeps working for you when it is entered into an employer database. Otherwise, a hiring manager may never see it! Get a reality check of the basics:

Information about all aspects of electronic resumes.

eResumes and Resources
Information about all aspects of electronic resumes.

Electronic Resume Guide, Susan Ireland Resumes
Information on the effective use of electronic resumes and all aspects of creating, posting, and emailing electronic resumes.

Does Your Resume Have the Electronic Edge? (PDF), Excelsior College

Cover Letter Resources

Vault Cover Letter Basics & Samples
Cover Letter guides, videos, and samples.

The Art of Writing Job Search Letters, NACE
Article filled with helpful tips and useful samples.

How to Write a Cover Letter, Hloom

Why Do You Need a Cover Letter?, Excelsior College
Effective writing tips and sample template.

Cover Letters: Types and Samples
Hard copy correspondence and e-mail samples from Virginia Tech