Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Head, Warren D. Allen Music Library
Creating a resume, vita, cover letter, statement of purpose -- all of these career-related documents are so important, and yet many of the resources available fail to address the need of musicians. Let's define a few terms:
- A resume is generally one to two pages long; focuses on your career highlights; meant to serve as an executive summary of your education, work history, and accomplishments.
- A curriculum vitae (CV) is longer; the term vitae is Latin for "life," and this document provides your professional and/or academic life. A university faculty member's vitae may be 15 pages or longer, depending on their publication and presentation record.
- Position advertisements frequently request a resume and cover letter or a CV and a cover letter or letter of application. The cover letter is an opportunity to address how your qualifications and experience meet those of the hiring entity. ALWAYS write a new cover letter for each position.
- School districts and graduate schools may request you submit a statement of purpose. While the short answer is often "to get into grad school" or "to get this job," the statement of purpose is an opportunity to present your long-term goals and how grad school or a particular position fits into those long-term goals.
Important points for all of these documents:
- Proofread!! Misspellings and typos demonstrate a lack of attention to detail; after all, if something is spelled incorrectly, will the applicant pay attention to more important details in the position or in graduate school?
- Review requirements carefully. If you're applying for graduate school and hoping to land a teaching assistantship, be sure to list any teaching experience or observations you've had in the past.
- Do not include an "objective" block in your resume or cover letter. You could use that valuable real estate on the page for other purposes!