Job Application Process
As you begin your job search, you will notice several documents are commonly requested by employers. Please explore the links below for additional information on the following application materials. To start, we recommend you review the OPD's Application Document Style Guide.
- Cover Letter
- List of References
- Writing Sample
- Letter of Recommendation
- Thank You Letter
The information on this page relates to documents you may be asked to submit when applying for jobs. Bar admission will require a separate application process. In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Visit the Bar Exam Info link for more details.
What to send: Employers may request all or some of the documents listed above. Postings will usually specify which of these documents the employer would like you to send. Generally, if you are sending materials to an employer when you are not responding to a posting, or the posting does not specify the materials to be sent, you should simply send a cover letter and your resume.
Headers: It is best to use a uniform, professional looking header for your cover letter, resume, list of references, and writing sample cover page. Think of it as your own personal letterhead. For examples of typical formatting, see the cover letter and resume links above.
Electronic applications: If you submit application materials to an employer electronically, it is important to save the documents as a PDF before attaching them to an e-mail or uploading them as part of an electronic application to preserve the formatting. If you do not, what may have looked perfect on your screen may end up a jumbled mess when it is opened by the employer.
Paper: Use white, ivory, or pale cream resume paper for your resume, cover letter, and list of references (do not use standard copy paper). Standard copy paper is acceptable for your writing sample and transcript. Pastels, patterns, bright colors, and pictures are unacceptable. Paper that is styled to look like parchment should not be used.
Envelopes: Use an 8 ½ x 11" white or manila envelope to mail your application materials to avoid creases and wrinkles in the paper.
Labels: Computer-printed address labels (for both receiving and return addresses) neatly applied to the envelope create a more professional look than hand-printing the addresses in pen.