Résumés & Cover Letters

This page is intended to be a starting point for students to begin constructing their professional materials before they seek out the advisement and help of a faculty member or make an appointment at Career Services.

This page gives general descriptions for a résumé, a curriculm vitae, a cover letter, a reference list, and some interviewing tips. Find examples of résumés and more information on professional materials for arts administration/internshipseducation/teaching, and performance on their separate pages.

If you are looking to meet with a faculty member to talk about your resume, CV, etc., feel free to set up a meeting with Dr. Purciello, Assistant Professor of Music History.

The Difference between a Résumé and a CV

A résumé concisely lists your education, experience, awards, skills, professional memberships, and community service in 1 or 2 pages. Performance resumes submitted in application for orchestra jobs should be one page in length.

A CV (Curriculum Vitae) provides more extensive documentation of a person’s experience in a format comparable to that of a résumé and may extend for many pages. CVs are commonly used by musicians applying for academic positions. See examples below of both resumes and CVs.

References are valuable. However, don’t include them on your résumé or CV; they belong on a separate document. Current and former employers make ideal references, as do colleagues with whom you work professionally. Your instructors are also valuable references but may be viewed as your advocates; if possible, avoid including too many instructors on any reference list. Here is an example of a Sample Reference List (Peabody Conservatory).

Possible things to include in résumé or CV (if applicable to your professional focus):

  • teaching experience
  • masterclasses, performances, recitals
  • research experience, presentations, conferences,  published research, written thesis
  • professional involvement in organizations, professional affiliations or memberships
  • fellowships, awards, scholarships, grants
  • skills (ie. proficient in Sibelius)
  • for vocalists-language skills: proficiency, reading knowledge

Résumé & CV Resources

Handbooks and Tips:

Cover Letters

We submit a cover letter, also called a “letter of interest” or “statement of intent,” when we apply for a job. In it, we state that we are applying for a particular opportunity and summarize how an opportunity fits our qualifications and objectives; we might also describe our artistic vision as well as how we might carry out some of the required duties. Such a letter is typically one page long and showcases our writing skills.

In addition to exploring the following resources, search online for guidelines and examples.