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How to Write a CV for A Grad School

People who plan to enter a graduate school often have to attach to the standard package of documents required for admission also a CV. At first glance, everything is quite simple and each person, to one degree or another, has an idea of what needs to be included in this document. But, everything is not so simple and for those who are going to be admitted to a grad school, it is extremely important to know what is the fundamental contrariety between a resume and CV.

So, what exactly is the difference between these two documents? It’s bigger than you think:

  • CVs are most widely used in academia, while resumes are used more in professional fields. This means that CVs cover academic achievement in greater detail rather than professional history.
  • CVs are generally longer than resumes. If a resume is characterized by a length of one page and brevity of presentation, then for a curriculum vitae, the size of two or three pages is not a problem.

Key Points Of An Academic CV And What To Write There

Although there is a list of the main sections that must be included in the curriculum vitae, it is not strict and the final choice remains with the person writing it. But, if you want to show all your positive academic aspects that will be of interest to the admission committee of graduate studies, you should pay attention to the recommendations that are given below.

So, the main points of the academic CV are the following:

Personal Information

The applicant must write his full name and surname, home address, contact telephone number, and personal email address. It is best to place this information at the top of the first page of a CV but centered on the page, or left-aligned will also work. Use a larger font size and bold text to make the information stand out and eye-catching. It is not necessary to add a photo.

personal info


This CV element aims to show the admissions committee that you have the necessary education to qualify for a place in the program. Here, list all the educational institutions you attended, but in reverse order. Enter insignia, if any (i.e, “cum laude,” “magna cum laude,” “summa cum laude”). GPA data is optional.

Teaching Experience

Few of those who go to graduate school already have teaching experience, but any familiarity with tutoring or working as a teacher’s assistant can be mentioned in this section. It is worth describing it in a CV without ignoring the skills and responsibilities that the applicant performed.

Research Experience

If a potential student has such practice, it should definitely be mentioned in a CV. It is necessary to state the institution’s name and responsibilities, the full name of the tutor, and the dates when the research work took place.

Honors and Awards

The availability of information that can be entered into this item is highly desirable. When listing the available awards, they should be mentioned in order of importance, the chronology is not important here. List each award, the awarding institution, and the date it was given.


Academic and Professional Experience

Professional experience does not take a central place in an academic CV, but it can demonstrate commitment and a high level of work ethic. It is possible to compile a list of jobs that highlight academic skills and qualifications. They should be briefly described as follows: name of employer, location, the title of your position, the time frame of employment, and professional responsibilities.


This point is quite important and shouldn’t be left out of attention. If you don’t have publishing experience in academic resources, you can also include publications in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and newsletters that foreground your aptitudes as a writer. For each work, bibliographic references must be made in the appropriate format, that is, in your future field of study.


Academic and Professional Membership

Membership in professional or academic groups shows that a person is ready for dialogue, is not content with the acquired knowledge, and is looking for new like-minded people in his academic circle. You must list the groups with the full name, timeframes of membership, and the position obtained.

Volunteer Activities

Participation in community service and volunteering shows that a person is ready to work in a team, does not put himself above others, and is worried about other people. Also, this is an activity where leadership and organizational skills are developed that can be useful in postgraduate studies. It is necessary to make a list of these events in a CV and indicate your role, date of participation.


Typically, this is the final point on an academic CV. At least, 3-5 academic guidelines should be mentioned. This is done in order to be able to confirm the abilities and qualifications specified in the CV. Write the name of the reference, professional position, place of work, and contact information so that they can be reached.

CV Formatting Tips

Even the highest achievements must be properly formatted so that they can be appreciated. This perfectly describes the need for appropriate formatting of the academic CV. After all, if it is not very well organized and not easy to read, the members of the admissions committee will most likely simply skip it. Pay attention to the following nuances when compiling a CV:

  • Formatting options (indentation, font, and text size, spacing) should be consistent across the entire academic resume.
  • It is acceptable to use bold, italic, underline, and capitalized words to highlight basic information.
  • In all paragraphs of the biography, when listing something, use a reverse chronological order.
  • It is acceptable to use your last name as a header or footer.

A CV that is properly formatted and contains all the necessary information about the applicant can become a pass to graduate school. To achieve what you want, you shouldn’t make up this document in a hurry. Writing a CV requires sufficient time and meticulousness because it is one of the most important tools with which you can conquer the admission committee and start the coveted study.

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