How To Prepare A Winning CV For Graduate School Application (Samples)

CV For Graduate School Application

The way you prepare your CV says a lot about how organised & fit you are for graduate school.

In this article you will find a CV sample that got an applicant100% acceptance..

What is CV

Firstly, let us understand what CV really means:

A CV stands for “Curriculum Vitae” which means the course of your life.

Key Parts Of A CV For Graduate School Application

In your CV, you have to include the following information:

  • Educational qualifications
  • Research interests
  • Research experiences
  • Conferences/workshops attended
  • Previous honours and grants received
  • Other professional and extra-curricular experiences.

What is the difference between a CV and a Résumé ?

The major difference between A CV and a Résumé is that a CV is a longer document than a résumé because a résumé is a very specific summary of your skills and experiences that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Now that you have understood the meaning of a CV and the difference between a CV and résumé, let us dive in.

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Essential Tips Writing CV For Graduate School Application

1.  The standard length of a CV is 2-2.5 pages (but it may vary based on your academic history).

2. If you are applying for a PhD or research position, make sure to introduce your academic accomplishments first and professional/extracurricular experiences later.

This is because academic accomplishments comes first before any other other experience in graduate school application.

Your CV needs to be catchy and introduced with academic accomplissements which means that you have to make sure that by the end of a minute, the committee should have already paid attention to aspects of your CV that are extremely important for a research job.

As they will be in a hurry, it is best to put less relevant experiences towards the end.

3. The next and important thing you should do is to write your experiences in reverse chronological order.

This means that you have to write your experiences from most recent to last (see sample CV below).

4. Having a blog or Website that shows your potential can be a boost.

If you have a blog or website that shows your writing potential, endeavour to add it at the top of the CV below the contact information.

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5. To give clarity, you can divide your research experience into undergraduate and Masters training sections (in case you’ve done a Master’s).

6. Don’t mention anything in your CV that you can’t prove (through certificates/letters of recommendation or any other official document).

If you wish to mention a talk you were invited to, ensure that you have an email of invitation in case it is needed.

7. Always make it easy to read your CV by using black and white font color format.

Please do not add too many colors as they take away the focus from the actual content of the CV.

I would highly recommend using LaTeX software (the one you can see  in the CV sample below).

It gives a very professional appearance to your work and shows your dedication toward preparing academic documents with clarity.

You can search YouTube videos on “How to create a CV using overleaf/LaTeX.”

8. Save the CV as a pdf while you attach it in your email and application, and save-

“Your last name_first name_year_CV”

For example the CV sample is saved  as Jain_Sanya_2021_CV

9. A quick tip: Use the 20-second rule to test your CV.

Give your CV to your friends, family members etc. and ask them to tell you what they remembered the most from your CV after 20 secs.

If they are able to tell you your key, strong points, well done. If not you’ll need to redesign your CV to make it memorable in a very short span of time.

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10. You can use bold, italics,  and underline to draw attention (but be consistent with their use in every section).

If you like to highlight the name of the lab in italics, ensure you follow same pattern throughout.

11. Sometimes, the committees will print your CV and some of your pages may get lost in other applications CV by mistake.

To avoid confusion, add a footer and write your_fullname_ page number of the document.

-Sanya Jain Page 2 –

This will help them spot if a page from your CV is missing! Don’t forget to add these numbers ever!

12. Add observational skills in addition to technical skills.

For example, write about what you learnt from a counselling session or an experimental techniques through mere observation. This will strengthen you as an astute or sharp observer. A lot of people do not mention this, but it is very critical to mention these observational skills.

This is because humans learn by both doing and observing

13.  If you have papers that are under review or papers that you’re still writing feel free to add them under sections “Manuscripts under review,” “Manuscripts in preparation.”

Do not forget to add a link to your published papers if you have any!

14. Create an ORCID ID

This will assign you a special id or researcher number that you can use to identify yourself ORCID.ORG

Here is a snapshot of your ORCID page

CV For Graduate School Application

Snapshot of orcid page

It is advisable to have this ID to show that you are acquainted with the trends of academic research, and are serious about your identity as a researcher.

Samples of CV For Graduate School Application

CV For Graduate School Application

First Page of Sanya Jain CV

CV For Graduate School Application

Second Page of Sanya Jain CV

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