Have a language expert improve your writing
Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.
- Knowledge Base
- Applying to graduate school
- How to Write a Graduate School Resume | Template & Example
How to Write a Graduate School Resume | Template & Example
Published on February 7, 2020 by Shona McCombes . Revised on June 1, 2023.
When you apply for graduate school , you’ll usually be asked to submit a resume or CV along with your application. A graduate school resume should give a focused, concise overview of relevant experiences and achievements.
The exact sections you include depend on your experiences and on the focus of the program you’re applying to. Ensure your resume gives full details of:
- Your college education
- Relevant work experience
- Relevant voluntary and extracurricular experience
- Any awards, honors, publications, or other relevant achievements
- Any relevant skills, certifications, and memberships
The main difference from a regular resume is that you’ll put more emphasis on your education and academic interests to show that you’re a good candidate for graduate school.
Download the Word templates and adjust them to your own purposes.
Resume template 1 Resume Template 2
Table of contents
Step 1: plan the structure and layout, step 2: create a heading with your personal information, step 2: detail your education, step 3: outline your work experience, step 4: highlight other relevant skills and achievements, step 5: proofread and save as a pdf, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about graduate school resumes.
Before you start writing, you need to decide how you’ll organize the information. Which sections you include, and in which order, depends on your experience and the program you are applying to.
If you’re applying for a research-focused program in the sciences, social sciences or humanities, emphasize your academic skills and achievements. Awards, publications, grants, fellowships, and teaching experience should take center stage. If you don’t have many academic achievements yet, you can focus on your courses, grades, and research interests.
If you’re applying to a professionally-focused program, you’ll probably want to emphasize your work experience and practical skills. Internships, jobs, and voluntary work should all be included.
Keep the layout clean and simple. Make sure all headings are the same size and font, and use text boxes or dividing lines to separate the sections.
Example of a resume outline
At the very top of your resume, you need to include:
- Your name (usually in a larger font size)
- Your address
- Your email address
- Your phone number
You can also include a sentence summarizing your background and stating your objective.
- Don’t write “resume” in the heading – just your name is fine.
- Do include links to relevant professional or academic profiles, such as LinkedIn, Academia.edu, or ResearchGate.
Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting
Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:
- Academic style
- Vague sentences
- Style consistency
See an example
A graduate school resume should always start with your educational history. For each program you’ve completed (or are soon to complete), always list:
- The degree (e.g. Bachelor of Arts in English Literature)
- The college and location
- The month and year of graduation
If you’re applying for a research-focused program, you can also give the title of your thesis and go into slightly more detail about your studies – for example, by listing 2–3 advanced courses that demonstrate relevant academic skills.
- Don’t include your high school education.
- Do include other applicable information such as your minor(s), study abroad programs, and other relevant educational experiences.
- Awards and honors
If you’ve received any awards, honors, scholarships, or grants, make sure to include these too. If you have several such academic achievements, it’s worth including a separate section on your resume to make sure they stand out.
Next, your resume should give an overview of your professional and voluntary experience. If you have varied experience, you might want to split it up into separate sections:
In a resume for an academic program, you could include headings for teaching experience and research experience.
A professionally-focused resume could be divided into sections for employment, internships, and voluntary work, or headings for managerial and administrative roles.
Each section should be organized in reverse chronological order. For each role, list:
- Your job title
- The dates of employment
- The organization’s name and location
- A bullet-point list of your main responsibilities
Be concise and specific when describing your work.
- Don’t attempt to list everything you did in every job.
- Do pick out some key achievements that show what you learned and how you succeeded.
For example, instead of:
- Made lesson plans
- Taught students
- Graded papers
- Attended departmental meetings
You could write:
- Designed lessons in academic writing skills
- Taught classes of 20–30 undergraduate students
- Graded practical assignments and coordinated peer feedback sessions
- Contributed to the evaluation and redevelopment of the curriculum
The other sections of your resume depend on what you want to emphasize. You can include some of the section headings listed below, or combine them into larger sections.
Publications and presentations
Publishing in academic journals or presenting at conferences is a big selling point on a graduate school resume. List any publications (including co-author credits) or papers you have presented.
You can also include pending publications – that is, articles that have been accepted by a journal but not yet published. Make sure to note what stage the publication is at (e.g. under review, in press).
Certifications and memberships
If you have participated in professional development or other relevant training courses, list your certifications.
Are you a member of any professional bodies or organizations? You can list these too to demonstrate your involvement in an academic or professional community.
Languages and technical skills
If you speak more than one language, list your level of fluency (with certification if applicable).
There’s usually no need to include standard computer skills like Microsoft Word, but do highlight your proficiency in specialist softwares or tools relevant to the program (such as statistical programs and design software).
Don’t include irrelevant hobbies or try to show off how busy you were in college, but do list any community or voluntary activities that demonstrate your skills in things like leadership and communication, or that are directly related to the subject you want to study.
Examples of the kinds of things that are worth including might be:
- Organizing events
- Editing a college paper, magazine, or journal
- Being president of a club
- Being involved in a community project
Make sure to carefully proofread your resume (and the rest of your application) before you submit. Also, check out Scribbr’s professional proofreading services to see what we can do for you.
To ensure your formatting stays consistent, it’s generally best to save your resume as a PDF file (unless the university specifies another format).
If you want to know more about college essays , academic writing , and AI tools , make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
- College essay examples
- College essay format
- College essay style
- College essay length
- Diversity essays
- Scholarship essays
- Writing process
- Avoiding repetition
- Literature review
- Conceptual framework
- Dissertation outline
- Thesis acknowledgements
- Burned or burnt
- Canceled or cancelled
- Dreamt or dreamed
- Gray or grey
- Theater vs theatre
A resume for a graduate school application is typically no more than 1–2 pages long.
Note, however, that if you are asked to submit a CV (curriculum vitae), you should give comprehensive details of all your academic experience. An academic CV can be much longer than a normal resume.
Always carefully check the instructions and adhere to any length requirements for each application.
The sections in your graduate school resume depend on two things: your experience, and the focus of the program you’re applying to.
Always start with your education. If you have more than one degree, list the most recent one first.
The title and order of the other sections depend on what you want to emphasize. You might include things like:
- Professional experience
- Voluntary and extracurricular activities
- Skills and certifications
The resume should aim for a balance between two things: giving a snapshot of what you’ve done with your life so far, and showing that you’re a good candidate for graduate study.
No, don’t include your high school courses and grades. The education section should only detail your college education.
If you want to discuss aspects of high school in your graduate school application, you can include this in your personal statement .
A resume is typically shorter than a CV, giving only the most relevant professional and educational highlights.
An academic CV should give full details of your education and career, including lists of publications and presentations, certifications, memberships, grants, and research projects. Because it is more comprehensive, it’s acceptable for an academic CV to be many pages long.
Note that, outside of the US, resume and CV are often used interchangeably.
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
McCombes, S. (2023, June 01). How to Write a Graduate School Resume | Template & Example. Scribbr. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/graduate-school/resume/
Is this article helpful?
Other students also liked, how to write your personal statement | strategies & examples, how to write a statement of purpose | example, how (and who) to ask for a letter of recommendation.
How to Include Your Expected Graduation Date on a Resume
Expected Graduation Date on a Resume | How-to, Template & Example
What is an expected graduation date?
Should you include an expected graduation date on your resume.
- How to include an expected graduation date on your resume
- Tips for including an expected graduation date on your resume
- Resume template with expected graduation date
Resume example with expected graduation date
When you’re applying for your first job while you’re still in school, you may wonder how to properly, clearly, and honestly display your expected graduation date on your resume. Not only do you want to impress hiring managers, but you also want to make sure that applicant tracking systems analyze your resume correctly to indicate you are close to finishing your degree work. In this article, learn a few simple steps that can help you properly include your expected graduation date on your resume.
An expected graduation date is the day, month, and year you are scheduled to graduate from college. The purpose of an expected graduation date is to let employers know that you’ll be fulfilling the education requirements needed for the job by the time the role needs to be filled. While you’re still in school, this information should be placed above your work experience section on your resume.
Including your expected graduation date on your resume can indicate to employers that while you have yet to graduate, you are actively working to earn your degree. It can also let employers know whether they should expect to be flexible with your schedule while you’re finishing school. Some occupations have restrictions on when you are allowed to work in the field, so knowing your planned graduation date can help employers determine when you’ll be eligible to be hired.
How to include an expected graduation date on your resume
Follow these steps to include your expected graduation date on your resume.
1. First, determine when you expect to graduate
If graduation is close, your college should have informed you about the deadlines to apply for graduation, submission of grades, and the date of the actual commencement. The commencement date is what you include on your resume. If you do not know the exact date of your graduation, just include the term and year of your expected graduation. For example, you could write Anticipated graduation, Spring 2020.
2. Second, name your degree program
In the education section of your resume, list the degree program you expect to graduate from. For example, if you’re earning your bachelor’s degree in finance, list it as BS in Finance. If you’re getting a bachelor’s degree in business management, list it as BA in Business Management.
3. Third, name your school
Typically, the name of your school will go just below the degree program in the education section. However, if you’re graduating from an especially prestigious school, it is acceptable to list the school above the degree program. When you name your school, make sure to add the city and state in which the school is located. For example, you might write Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
4. Finally, add your graduation date
Place the expected graduation date just under your school name. It must be clear that this is an anticipated graduation date and that you have not graduated yet. As mentioned above, you can include the day, month, and year or simply the term and year. For example, Expected graduation date, May 15, 2020 or Graduation: Spring 2020 (expected). If you’re currently working on completing your final semester, you can use the word pending rather than expected or anticipated .
However you choose to list your anticipated graduation date on your resume, make sure it’s very clear that you have not graduated yet. If it’s not, recruiters can choose to interpret your omission as deception and automatically disqualify you for the job. Additionally, you might choose to include your GPA under your expected graduation date. Feel free to do so if your GPA is higher than 3.0. If it’s not, simply leave it off.
Tips for including an expected graduation date on your resume
The following tips can help you list your expected graduation date on your resume in the most effective way.
No need to include a start date in your education section
This is because schools have different degree programs that might come with unusual term lengths or other differences.
Keep a consistent format
However you choose to list your education, be sure to stick with a consistent format throughout if you have more than one degree to list. For example, if you choose to list your most recent degree in order of degree, program, school name, and graduation year, then you should list subsequent educational experiences the same way.
Consider including relevant coursework you’ve completed
If it’s relevant to the job for which you’re applying, briefly mention some coursework.
BS in Finance Yale University, New Haven, CT Graduation: Spring 2020 (anticipated)
- Principles of Financial Management
- Corporate Finance
- International Business Practices
- Managerial Accounting Practices
Consider including relevant projects
If you’ve completed projects relevant to the job you’re going for, you can briefly describe them with your coursework in the education section.
Make it clear when you will graduate
When listing your graduation date, include a word like anticipated , expected , or pending . It doesn’t need to be more prominent than the actual date, but it should be very clear with no room for misinterpretation.
Add your academic honors
If you’ve earned a special sort of distinction, such as the Dean’s List, President’s List, or similar achievements, you can add it underneath your expected graduation date. For example, you could write GPA 3.8, Dean’s List.
List your most recent degree first
For instance, if you have a bachelor’s degree and are nearing completion of your master’s, list your master’s with the anticipated graduation date, followed by your bachelor’s degree information.
Separate your certifications
If you’ve obtained additional certifications, create a section Certifications or Additional Certifications and list your relevant credentials in reverse chronological order.
Resume template with expected graduation date
You can reference the following template when writing a resume with your expected graduation date included.
[First and last name] [Mailing address] [City, state, zip code] [Phone number] [Email address]
Summary of qualifications
[Degree program] [School name, city, state] [Expected graduation date] [GPA]
[Internship] [Name of internship/your title] [Company name, city, and state] [Start and end dates]
Here’s an example of a resume with the applicant’s expected graduation date listed.
Lorraine Hines 7480 E. Poplar Court Gibsonia, PA 15044 (555) 555-5555 [email protected]
- Demonstrated strong team-building and collaboration skills while working with students and professors.
- Chaired the Social Integrity Board at Yale University, arbitrating sanctions for students who were in breach of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Highly proficient in Lexis-Nexis, NetSuite, Microsoft Office, Sage One, and Sisense.
- Entrusted to managing the class Investment Management Group, growing it by $10,000 over three terms.
MBA, Finance Yale University, New Haven, CT Graduation: Spring 2020 (anticipated) GPA 3.8
B.S., Finance Yale University, New Haven, CT Graduation: Fall 2019 GPA 3.8 Dean’s List, magna cum laude
Financial Analyst Summer Intern CT Capital Corp., New Haven, CT May 2019 to November 2019
- Generated and analyzed financial reports.
- Prepared financial statements.
- Attended corporate staff meetings.
- Learned and practiced tasks related to portfolio management and financial reporting.
If you need help writing a resume, use our data-backed resume builder .
PrepScholar GRE Prep
Gre prep online guides and tips, how to write a resume for graduate school: 5 expert tips.
Most graduate school applications ask you to submit a resume. But what defines a graduate school resume? How is it different from one you use to apply to jobs? These questions can make writing your grad school resume overwhelming, but it isn’t as complicated as it might seem.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to write a resume for graduate school: why you need a resume for grad school, how a graduate school resume differs from a typical job resume, everything you should include in your grad school resume, and how to make your resume really stand out.
Why Do You Need a Resume for Graduate School?
You’re applying to school not a job, so why do you need to submit a resume for most grad school applications? Basically, your graduate school resume serves the same purpose as resumes submitted for jobs: It helps schools learn more about you and your qualifications.
Like many companies, grad programs receive a lot of applications, so they need a quick and clear way to see why you’d be a good fit for their program. Your grad school resume is where you get the opportunity to show them this. By looking at your education and work experience, grad schools can see what you already know and how you’ve already proved yourself, which can help decide if you’d be a good fit for their program. In the next sections, we’ll walk you through exactly what you should include in your grad school resume and how you can show you’re a well-qualified candidate.
How Is a Graduate School Resume Different From a Work Resume?
Grad school resumes and work resumes have many similarities, but there are differences between the two. If you’ve written resumes to apply for jobs, you can’t just copy those straight into your grad school application. Below are the main ways grad school resumes differ from work resumes.
Quick side note: we've created the world's leading online GRE prep program that adapts to you and your strengths and weaknesses. Not sure what to study? Confused by how to improve your score? We give you minute by minute guide.
You don't NEED a prep program to get a great GRE score. But we believe PrepScholar is the best GRE prep program available right now , especially if you find it hard to organize your study schedule and don't know what to study .
Click here to learn how you can improve your GRE score by 7 points, guaranteed .
Focus More on Education
You’re applying to an educational program, so it makes sense that your grad school resume will focus more on your education than a standard work resume. In a work resume, you’d usually only devote a line or two to education to explain where you went to school and what degree you received.
Your graduate school resume should include more information such as your GPA, the title of your undergrad thesis (if you completed one), any awards you received, classes you took that are relevant to the program you’re applying to, as well as relevant skills you learned in school. Some grad schools will specify what education information they’d like you to include in your resume, but, in general, you want your resume to give them a good idea of your academic achievements and why they qualify you for the program.
Can Include Internships and Volunteer Experience
When you use a resume to apply for a job, some companies only want you to include actual jobs you had under your “Experience” section, but most grad programs allow and encourage you to include internships and volunteer work on your resume.
This can be a great benefit because you can often gain important skills and experience at these places, even if you weren’t paid or working there full-time. It can be particularly useful for younger people applying to grad school who may not have had a lot of paid jobs yet to include on their resume. So go ahead and include all those great internships and volunteer experiences you had on your grad school resume.
Usually Have Fewer Length Restrictions
Many jobs will only accept resumes that are only up to a page long, but most grad school programs accept resumes that are multiple pages. This gives you more freedom to include other experiences, such as internships and volunteer work, as mentioned above, since you’re not restricted to one page.
This doesn’t mean your resume should be the size of a novel (generally it shouldn’t be more than 2-3 pages), and it also doesn’t mean your resume has to be more than a page, but it can be nice to know you have more flexibility in regards to length than standard job resumes.
What Should Your Grad School Resume Include?
Every resume is unique, but there’s certain information that many grad school resumes include. Not all of the sections listed below may apply to you or your grad school program, but reading through the list will help you make sure you don’t forget any key information.
At the very top of your resume, you should include a nicely-formatted header with some basic information about yourself, the same way you would with a resume for a job. The first line should have just your name, and the second line should have your contact information, such as your phone number, address, and email. The purpose of the header is to make it easy for schools to know who you are and how to contact you.
Education should be the first main section of your resume so that grad schools can quickly see that you meet the academic requirements for the program. In this section, be sure to list the school you attended, dates of attendance, and the degree(s) you earned.
You may also want to include other information such as:
- Graduation honors you received
- The title of your thesis (if you wrote one)
- Awards or scholarships
- Study abroad programs you attended
- A short list of any classes you took that are particularly relevant to the degree program (particularly if you degree itself isn’t that strongly related to it)
- Work Experience
This will likely be the longest section on your resume, and it will include the jobs and internships you’ve had. You may also want to include volunteer experience here if you have any and if the program hasn’t specified that you need to include it in another section.
You can order this section chronologically (with your most recent position at the top), by putting the most relevant jobs first, or by organizing your experiences by category (such as “Research Experience” and “Communication Experience”). For each work experience, you should first list where you worked, your job title, and when you worked there. Below that, use bullet points to list your main duties and accomplishments for each position (see tips 2 and 3 in the next section for more advice on how to do this).
If you authored or coauthored academic or professional publications such as academic papers, books, book chapters or reports, put them in their own section. For each publication, include the title of the work, where and when it was published, and any other coauthors.
- Skills and Certifications
If you received any certificates in addition to your degree and/or you have skills that are relevant to the degree program, list them in their own section.
Examples of things to include are:
- Foreign language skills
- Computer systems you’re proficient in
- Relevant certifications you’ve received
- Awards you’ve received that weren’t listed in your Education section
This is an optional section, and you may choose not to include it due to space and/or relevance. However, some people choose to list certain extracurricular activities if they feel they are relevant to the grad program and/or show an important part of their personality. Don’t go on and on about your great acapella group if you’re applying to a PhD program in microbiology, but it’s fine to list groups or activities you participated in if they relate to the program.
Other extracurriculars, even if they don’t relate to the degree program, may also be included if you feel they help show your strengths and interests. For example, if you tutored other students as an undergrad and think that will help show you can teach well as a graduate assistant, you can include that. Additionally, if there’s an extracurricular you devoted a lot of time to, you can also include it to show your work ethic and commitment to a program.
Below are our five best tips for creating a stand-out graduate school resume. Read through each of these before you begin and as you write your resume.
#1: Pay Attention to Program Requirements
Before you begin putting your resume together, you should look carefully any instructions or requirements the program you’re applying to has. Some programs want you to include only experience relevant to the program, others want to list all your work experiences. Some have length restrictions, and some have specific information they want included on your resume, such as test scores.
It’s very important to read through these instructions carefully before you begin so that you include everything you need to. It’s also a good idea to double-check the instructions after you’ve finished your resume to make sure you didn’t leave anything out.
Want to improve your GRE score by 7 points? We have the industry's leading GRE prep program. Built by world-class instructors with 99th percentile GRE scores , the program learns your strengths and weaknesses through machine learning data science, then customizes your prep program to you so you get the most effective prep possible.
Try our 5-day full access trial for free:
#2: Highlight Your Accomplishments
The most important purpose of a grad school resume is to show what you’ve done and why the person reading it should want to accept you. This means you’ll need to do a bit of showing off so that schools know how great you are. Ways to show your accomplishments include stating the duties you did at the position and how you helped the organization/company.
Include numbers when you can to make your accomplishments more concrete. For example, writing “I managed a staff of 13 employees and increased the company’s revenue by 130% over six months” sounds a lot more impressive than “I managed employees and increased the company’s revenue.”
#3: Be Concise
Even if there are no limits on how many pages your resume can be, you’ll still want to keep things clear and concise. Admissions officers look over a lot of resumes during application time, so you want to make it easy for them to see why you’d be a great fit.
As mentioned above, you want to highlight your accomplishments in your resume, and that should take up the majority of the space. Don’t give a lot of unnecessary information; just stick to key points that show what you did and how you did it well.
Short, simple sentences that begin with an action verb are a great way to go. For example, this method of writing is too wordy: “I worked as an intern for a local museum which had a lot of exhibits on natural history, specifically endangered species in the area. I spent most of my time cataloging specimens, but I’d also sometimes give tours to museum visitors. During my last few months I helped lead the testing of a lot of our specimens for arsenic levels because that’s a concern a lot of older museums have to deal with.”
It’s much easier to see the important information when the information is shortened and put into bullet points, like this:
- Cataloged over 200 museum specimens
- Gave tours and explained exhibits to museum visitors
- Helped lead an arsenic-testing program that ensured specimens were well-preserved and safe for visitors
You’ve put in all this work to craft a great resume, so don’t trip at the finish line by not proofreading your resume! Before you submit it, check your resume over carefully, looking for any spelling or grammatical errors. You just spent all this time showing the school how intelligent and qualified you are; don’t mar their image of you with a careless mistake!
It can help to wait a day or two before doing your final proofread so that you’re looking at your resume with fresh eyes. You can also ask a friend or family member to look over your resume as well to see if they catch anything you might have missed.
#5: Submit Your Resume as a PDF
Your final step should be to convert your resume to a PDF and submit it in that format (as long as the program doesn’t have any instructions telling you otherwise). Submitting your resume as a PDF makes it looks more professional and prevents any weird formatting issues from occurring when the school opens the file.
Review: Key Tips for Writing Your Graduate School Resume
Resumes for graduate schools are important because they give the school a clear and concise way to get to know you and your accomplishments. Grad school resumes have many similarities to regular job resumes, but they tend to focus more on education, often let you include volunteer work and internships, and may not have as strict length requirements.
The six main sections your graduate school resume should include (if applicable) are:
- Extracurriculars (optional)
While you’re writing your resume for graduate school, keep these five tips in mind to help it stand out:
- Pay attention to program requirements
- Highlight your accomplishments
- Submit as a PDF
Now that you know how to write a resume for graduate school, do you want to see some great examples of some? Check out our samples of great grad school resumes to help you get started on your own.
If you’re planning on attending grad school, you’ll probably have to take the GRE. Check out our guide to learn exactly when you should take the GRE in order to get your best score!
Want more information on the GRE? Check out our guide to everything you need to know about the GRE , including how long it is, what it covers, and how you should prepare.
Ready to improve your GRE score by 7 points?
Author: Christine Sarikas
Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries. View all posts by Christine Sarikas
How to Write a Resume
Editor & Writer
- College students and recent grads must learn how to craft engaging resumes to land jobs.
- A strong college resume uses simple fonts, clear organization, and action verbs.
- Be sure to proofread your final resume and have somebody look it over for you.
Formatting and writing a professional resume is a challenge that even seasoned workers often struggle with. As a college student or recent graduate, you likely have limited work experience, making the resume-writing process all the more difficult.
But don't get discouraged — there are several steps you can take when putting together a college student resume or college graduate resume to help you stand out from other applicants.
BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Ready to Start Your Journey?
Below, we've compiled a comprehensive list of tips and examples to teach students and recent college graduates how to write an effective resume.
Table of Contents
What sections should you include on a resume.
Your resume should include the following sections in a similar order as this:
- Name and Contact Information
- Work Experience
As a college student or recent graduate, you'll probably want to add additional sections to showcase your relevant achievements and skills. Here are some examples of optional sections you could include:
- Extracurricular/Volunteer Activities
Honors and Awards
- Certifications, Skills, and Training
- Foreign-Language Proficiency
Hobbies and Interests
Tips for formatting a college student resume.
- Collapse All
Choose a Professional Font and Font Size
Selecting the right font and font size ensures your resume looks presentable and professional. Stick with simple fonts, such as Calibri, Cambria, Helvetica, or Georgia. For example, you could use Georgia for your name and section headings, and Calibri for the rest of your resume.
Many contend that 12 pt is the ideal font size for the resume body, though if you're having trouble fitting in some of the text, you may go down to 11 pt. What's important is that you don't make your font so small that it's difficult to read at a glance.
For headings and subtitles, increase the font size about 4-6 pts larger than your body text. For section titles, consider using bolding, underlining, or capitalization to provide even more visual emphasis.
Use Appropriate Margins
Setting your margins correctly is crucial to presenting an organized and readable resume to potential employers.
Microsoft Word's default page margins are 1 inch -- the standard margin size for resumes. If you need a little more room, however, you can move your margins within a range of 0.5-1 inch. For instance, you could drop your top and bottom margins to 0.5 inches and your left and right margins to 0.75 inches.
Left-Align Key Content
Making your college student resume easily accessible means aligning your content in an effective manner. In most cases, you'll left-align the bulk of your resume, including your contact information, as people's eyes naturally move from left to right when reading in English.
That said, not everything has to be left-aligned. You might prefer to align job titles, company names, and responsibilities to the left, and align secondary information, such as dates and locations, to the right. Stay consistent throughout your resume and left-align anything you want to stand out.
Strategically Apply Bold, Italics, and Caps
Use bold, italics, and caps to draw a hiring manager's attention to important information on your resume -- but don't go overboard. The key here is to choose what to emphasize wisely.
If you're a recent college graduate with some internship experience , you might decide to bold the names of the companies you interned at rather than your job titles. If, however, you believe your titles better convey your qualifications for the position, you could do the opposite.
You might also bold your college degree or your school's name depending on what you want to draw more attention to.
A good rule of thumb is to use bold to emphasize important titles and italics for secondary information relating to the bolded titles. Caps should generally only be used for your name and section headings.
How to Write a Resume Header
Create a professional email address.
If you're still using an old email address from high school, it's time to create a new professional account. Choose a popular email provider like Gmail or Outlook and keep your address simple by using your full name or a variation of your first and last name.
Update Your Contact Information
Your contact information must be up to date so that potential employers won't have any issue reaching you. Make sure to include your first and last name, phone number, and email address in the header of your resume, and double-check that these are correct.
If location is important or relevant to the company, you may also include your city and state in your header. You can usually skip putting down your full home address.
Insert Relevant URL Links
If you don't have a lot of work experience but do have a portfolio of relevant work you can show, you should insert links to your personal website and/or online portfolio in your resume header.
You might also consider including a link to your LinkedIn profile to help the hiring manager get a better sense of your professional presence. Steer clear of adding links to any other social media accounts unless the job specifically requires social media skills.
How to Write a Resume Body: 8 Essential Tips
1. tailor your resume to the job description.
Tweaking your resume so that it aligns with the position is vital. Start by carefully reading the job description to identify keywords and key phrases. Next, insert these terms throughout your resume wherever applicable. Most hiring managers will search for keywords related to critical skills , even if the resume is processed through an applicant tracking system.
If you're having trouble finding keywords, you can run the job description through a word cloud generator, which should help you identify prominent words and phrases. Once you've finished crafting your resume, run it through that same generator to see whether its keywords align with those in the job description.
2. Focus On Education
For a college student or recent grad, your academic history should come first in the body of your resume, since your educational background will be one of the most important factors for employers.
In each education entry, include your major and degree, the institution's name, your (prospective) graduation date, and any minors. You can also add relevant coursework, favorite fields of study, thesis/dissertation titles, honors and awards, or academic achievements (e.g., dean's list).
Bachelor of Arts, Digital Technology and Culture Washington State University | Pullman, WA Minor: English Rhetoric and Professional Writing
Relevant Coursework: Writing and Rhetorical Conventions, Technical and Professional Writing, Electronic Research and the Rhetoric of Information, Advanced Multimedia Authoring, Usability and Interface Design
3. Include Work Experience
While your previous work experience might not relate exactly to the jobs you're applying for, it's still important to show hiring managers that you are employable, can complete tasks effectively, and can develop new skills. Ideally, you'll discuss internships and jobs for which you can highlight transferable skills and experiences .
For each work entry, put down your job title, the company's name and location, the dates you worked, and 2-4 bullet points summarizing your responsibilities and achievements in that role. Start each bullet point with a strong action verb (see tip 7 below) instead of the first-person "I."
If you don't have any work experience, you'll need to include additional sections that illustrate your achievements and skills in a non-work-related setting.
Writing Consultant, WSU Writing Center Washington State University — Pullman, WA
- Created and maintained lists of media contacts.
- Researched opportunities across online media channels.
- Produced product pitches and press kits.
- Supported event organization.
4. Showcase Your Skills
Put down your strongest and most relevant skills that will help you perform well in the job you're applying for. Don't shy away from discussing soft skills — those personality traits and handy life skills , such as public speaking and time management, that many employers look for when hiring.
5. Consider Adding Additional Sections
Adding additional non-work-related sections after the skills section on your college resume can help you stand out from other applicants with similar educational backgrounds and skill sets.
Here are some examples of sections you could add to the end of your resume:
An activities section is ideal for students or recent grads who have limited to no prior work experience. Listing relevant activities gives you the chance to show where and how you developed certain skills outside your education. Just make sure your activities reflect the type of work you'll be doing in the position you're applying for.
You'll want to list any academic-related honors and awards you've received in your education section. If you've earned any honors outside your college experience that are relevant to the job, you can create a separate section that briefly explains the significance of each award.
Certifications and Training
If you've received any training and/or certifications that prove you have specific skills or knowledge relevant to the position, put these in a separate section.
Those applying for a job that requires experience with specific software, digital tools, or web languages should include a digital proficiency section at the end of their resume to prove they're technologically qualified. You could also include this section in place of a standard skills section if digital proficiencies are more relevant to the role.
If you have any space left at the end, consider throwing in some hobbies and interests. Companies are increasingly emphasizing work culture and prefer to hire candidates whose personalities fit well with their environment. Research the company and choose hobbies and interests that clearly echo the company culture and/or support the position you're applying for.
6. Quantify Wherever Possible
Numbers included in conjunction with job responsibilities can pique hiring managers' interest by providing a clearer idea of what it looks like when you apply your knowledge and skills. For example, you might put down that you increased sales 20% over a six-month period, or that you assisted around 50 customers each day at your retail job.
7. Stick With Action Verbs
Many resumes are littered with the same trite words, which is why you should make an effort to switch up common words and phrases with stronger action verbs. This is especially important when writing the first word for each bullet point in your work experience section, as you want to immediately catch the hiring manager's attention.
Use verbs such as "converted," "analyzed," and "composed" to portray your achievements in a more engaging manner. You might even consider using a thesaurus to help you find stronger synonyms for common words, or referring to this list of action verbs created by Harvard .
8. Use Reverse Chronological Order
Always use reverse chronological order, which means listing your entries starting with the most recent (and then working your way back in time from there). This organizational trick gives hiring managers a clearer sense of what you're currently doing, what you recently accomplished, and how these experiences might translate to the open position.
Last Steps for Finalizing Your College Resume
Take time to edit and proofread.
Carefully edit and proofread your resume before you submit it. A resume that's grammatically correct will make you look more professional and appealing than a resume filled with typos. While both Microsoft Word and Google Docs do a decent job of detecting technical errors, other tools, such as Grammarly , are better at catching minute grammar mistakes.
After you've cleaned up your resume, slowly read it over to look for any awkward phrases, inconsistencies, ambiguous descriptions, or poor word choice and tweak as needed.
Get Another Set of Eyes to Look It Over
The final step is to show your resume to someone who can provide you with constructive feedback. If you're still in college, you might turn to your university's career or writing center; otherwise, take your resume to a mentor , friend, or family member you trust.
You'll want them to check your grammar and analyze whether the resume sells you as the best person for the role. Ask the reviewer questions like "Does this resume portray me as the best candidate for this job?" and "Is this resume engaging?" If their answer to either question is no, go back and revise your resume.
Feature Image: PeopleImages / E+ / Getty Images
Explore More College Resources
Cover letter tips for college students and recent grads.
How to Write a Resume for College Applications
The Student’s Guide to Resumes and Cover Letters
Compare your school options.
View the most relevant schools for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to finding your college home.
- Online Degree Explore Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees
- MasterTrack™ Earn credit towards a Master’s degree
- University Certificates Advance your career with graduate-level learning
- Top Courses
- Join for Free
How to Craft a Graduate School Resume
If you're hoping to get your master's degree, you'll need to create a grad school resume. Your student resume details your educational background, academic achievements, and more. Take advantage of these tips to help you write an effective resume.
You’ve completed your Bachelor’s Degree, and now you want to take the next step and earn a master’s degree. Before you start the application process, you’ll need to prepare a graduate school resume. Knowing how to craft a grad school resume can help you highlight your best skills and experiences as you try to gain admittance into your choices of schools.
The difference between a standard resume and a grad school resume
A standard resume is a document that provides an overview of your work experience, educational history, special skills, and accomplishments. By giving an employer a glimpse into what you can offer a company or business, a standard resume can help you land a job interview.
But a graduate school resume is a little different than the one you'd typically give to an employer. Instead of targeting a personnel director or human resources manager, this resume goes to a school admissions officer. While a standard resume focuses on work history, a grad school resume emphasizes your academic history and educational achievements.
Tips for creating a graduate school resume
When it's time to create your graduate school resume, a few tips can help. To build an effective resume, think about length, format, and content.
As a grad school applicant, you have more flexibility than a job hunter when it comes to the length of your resume, and this allows you to provide more information. But it's still important to keep your resume concise so try not to exceed two pages in length.
Your grad school resume should follow a specific format. With the exception of your name and contact information, each section of your grad school resume should have a heading. For clear definition, add two or three lines of white space between each section.
When including education or work experience, always list entries in reverse-chronological order. This means the most recent entry should appear first. For easier reading, remember to arrange lists of information in bullet points where appropriate.
What to include
Your resume for grad school should feature six key sections. These include:
Work experience, special skills, research projects and publications, awards and honors.
With these sections, you should be able to provide most of the information an admissions officer needs to decide whether or not to accept you into a master's program.
As the name implies, a header is placed at the top of a resume and it's the first thing a reader sees. A header includes your name, address, phone number, and email address, and it can be centered or left-justified. For extra impact, highlight your name in bolded, slightly-larger print.
This section is the main emphasis of your grad school resume, so make sure to be thorough. If you include the relevant info, an admissions officer can look at your grad school resume and know that you meet all of the necessary requirements for a master's program. Include:
The name of the college or university you attended for your undergraduate degree
The location of the college or university (city and state)
The date of your graduation (month and year)
Your degree/s (include majors and minors)
Honors distinctions like magna cum laude or summa cum laude
Your Grade Point Average
The number of times you appeared on the Dean's list
In this section, you can also include any studies you've done abroad if relevant to a master's program. In addition, you might add a short list of key undergraduate classes you've taken.
Unlike a career resume, which lists every job you've had over a period of time, this section on a grad school resume should focus more on college internships and volunteer work. These types of work experiences show an admissions officer:
That you've been exposed to different perspectives
That you can take direction
That you can excel as a team member
If you've had a paying job that complements a particular master's program, you can also list it.
Each entry under this heading should include the period of time you worked, your position, and the name of the workplace. Just below, add a brief description of your duties. Here’s an example:
09/2016 to 1/2020 - Junior Accountant, New Day Consulting, Chicago, IL
Prepared bi-monthly payroll
Reconciled financial ledgers and bank statements
Assisted with tax preparation and submission
Communicated with clients about billing and other financial issues
In this section, you can list any special skills you have that might be relevant to a master's program. Examples include:
Proficiency in a foreign language
Aptitude for writing and editing
Skills in leadership and teamwork
Admissions officers want to know if you've participated in research projects that relate to a master's program. You can list professional and/or academic publications you may have authored or co-authored. These can include:
Books or chapters of books
For each publication, list:
Where it was published
The publishing date
The names of any co-authors
In addition to distinctions included in your header, you may have received other awards and honors. Here, include the names of awards and honors and when you received them. Examples you might list include:
Awards you've earned on the job
Relevant contest prizes (art, writing, design, etc.)
Extracurricular activities (optional)
Although this section is optional, you may want to list a few of your extracurricular activities if they are relevant to a graduate program. These could include activities like:
Membership in academic clubs and organizations
Work on a college newspaper or magazine
Work in student government
Participation in political campaigns
Participation in college sports
Unique hobbies like gardening, marathon running, painting, or playing an instrument
Extracurricular activities show your interests outside of the classroom. They also demonstrate certain strengths you may possess, such as commitment, creativity, leadership, and teamwork.
Resume editing tips
Creating a good graduate school resume involves careful editing. Resumes make a good impression when they are well-written, organized, and free of spelling and grammatical errors. To impress the folks reading your resume, take advantage of these tips:
Follow the graduate school's program requirements.
Be concise in your writing.
Use the spelling and grammar tools available in your word processing program.
Proofread your resume several times as you're writing.
Double-check for errors by reading your resume out loud.
If you're sending your resume electronically, submit it in PDF format to avoid formatting glitches.
If you're printing your resume, use cotton paper in white or ivory for a clean, professional appearance.
Your graduate school resume allows you to highlight why you would be a good fit for a particular master's program. Ready to see what getting a master's degree might look like? Check out online master's degree programs on Coursera.
How Far Back Should Your Resume Go?
How to List Resume References: Guide and Sample
How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation (Template + Tips)
13 Key Marketing Skills to Boost Your Resume
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
Unlock unlimited opportunities with Coursera Plus for RUB 1
- For a limited time—enjoy your first month of Coursera Plus for only RUB 1 and gain the skills you need to take the next step in your career.
- Get unlimited access to 7,000+ courses from world-class universities and companies like Yale, Google, Salesforce, and more!
- Join 77% of learners who reported career benefits including new jobs, promotions, and expanded skill sets.
Learn something new.
- Learn a Language
- Learn Accounting
- Learn Coding
- Learn Copywriting
- Learn Public Relations
- Boulder MS Data Science
- Illinois iMBA
- Illinois MS Computer Science
- UMich MS in Applied Data Science
Popular Career Paths Articles
- Business Analyst Career Guide
- Data Analyst Career Guide
- Data Engineer Career Guide
- Data Scientist Career Guide
- Product Designer Career Guide
- Project Manager Career Guide
- Scrum Master Career Guide
- Social Media Manager Career Guide
- UX Designer Career Guide
- UX Researcher Career Guide
Popular Resume & Cover Letter Articles
- A Guide for When to Add GPA on Resumes
- Check Out These Resume Length Guidelines
- Crafting an Impressive Project Manager Cover Letter
- Examples of Successful UX Designer Resumes
- How To Add a Resume to LinkedIn
- How to Craft a Resume With No Experience
- How to Show Management Skills on Your Resume
- Learn How Long Your Cover Letter Should Be
- Learn How to Include Certifications on a Resume
- Write a Standout Data Analyst Cover Letter
Popular Interviewing Articles
- Crafting the Perfect Follow-up Email After an Interview
- Data Analyst Interview Questions
- Data Engineer Interview Questions
- IT Interview Questions
- Marketing Interview Questions
- Project Manager Interview Questions
- Scrum Master Interview Questions
- SQL Interview Questions
- Strengths and Weaknesses Interview Questions
- UX Designer Interview Questions
- What We Offer
- Coursera Plus
- Professional Certificates
- MasterTrack® Certificates
- For Enterprise
- For Government
- Become a Partner
- Coronavirus Response
- Free Courses
- All Courses
- Beta Testers
- Teaching Center
- Modern Slavery Statement
How to Craft a Competitive Resume for Your Graduate School Application
While applying to graduate school may sound like a demanding process, the steps and application requirements are fairly similar to prepping for your undergraduate degree, including collecting letters of recommendation , writing a personal statement and securing any necessary transcripts.
However, there are key differences between the applications, especially depending on what kind of master’s degree, graduate certificate or doctoral program you’re considering.
One asset most prospective students are asked for is a graduate school resume. Sure, it sounds familiar — essentially anyone who has applied to a job has had to write a resume — but what exactly should it include? And how do you make sure it conveys you’re a great candidate for the program?
We spoke with Lori Shreve Blake , senior director of career engagement at the USC Career Center , to determine how a graduate school resume differs from an employment resume, as well as crucial tips for how to write a stellar one.
What Is a Graduate School Resume?
First things, first: A graduate school resume is a document that gives the school’s admissions committee the information it needs to determine what you bring to the table as a candidate. It’s in this resume where you can really expand on your skills and qualifications that may not have come up in other parts of your application.
While it is quite similar in many ways to a work resume, the grad school resume places a great emphasis on education and academic achievements, as well as work experiences that relate to the program you’d like to join.
“Similar to a job resume, where we say tailor your resume according to the job, it would be tailor your resume according to the grad program and what their requirements are for admissions,” Shreve Blake told USC Online.
What Should Your Graduate School Resume Include?
Much like a work resume, a graduate school resume should start off with a clear header that includes the basic information about yourself, such as your name and your contact information, and contains your address, phone number and email address.
From there, you should highlight your past education experience and any academic highlights.
“Graduate school candidates should highlight academic achievements including membership in an honors society, dean’s list, academic research and projects, this shows the person’s commitment to the graduate program that they’re pursuing,” Shreve Blake explained.
Candidates may also include study abroad program, a list of relevant classes you’ve taken, your thesis title, certifications you’ve obtained and any other relevant educational experience.
Next, you should dive into your work experience. Highlight the jobs you’ve held — especially ones that demonstrate why you’d be a fit for the graduate program — as well as any pertinent volunteer positions and internships.
“I think showing the work experience and how it relates to the graduate degree is really a key point, especially if you’re going to grad school … for a job,” Shreve Blake said. “Depending on what type of grad program you’re going for, they’re going to want to see certain types of experiences, so make sure you have [ones] that are unique and specific to that particular grad program. For example, if I want to get a master’s in social work, I’m going to show that I worked in the community and … similar experiences, even though I’m not a social worker yet.”
Shreve Blake added that your job history might be a requirement for some graduate programs, such as an MBA: “They may require three to five years of business work experience before you’re even qualified to be considered for an MBA at a premier institution,” she said.
Tips for How to Write a Graduate School Resume
Ask yourself whom you’re writing for. If you’re feeling stuck in the initial stages of crafting the perfect resume, consider your target, Shreve Blake advised.
“We need to think, when we’re writing, who are we writing for? What are they going to want to see? Put yourself in their place. If I’m hiring for a job, why? What am I looking for? If I’m admitting someone for a PhD in neuroscience, what kind of experiences am I looking for? How are you showing that you are an academic even before we make you one and actually admit you to the program? You have to show that you’re doing the job or at least trying to go down that path before you even get admitted,” she expanded.
Be detailed and specific about your accomplishments. While listing off your various past achievements, you want to make sure you’re being as clear as possible about what you’ve accomplished in the past. This helps you tell a better story about your experience and really gives the admissions committee insight into your successes.
“My advice to grad school applicants is to quantify. Tell a story in those bullets. Don’t just tell me, ‘I researched sleep to determine synapses.’ That’s not enough. You researched the brain to determine synapses, resulting in a publication in the American Medical Journal. That’s what we want to see — quantifying numbers, if you’ve worked with any big names … Or say, if it’s for an MBA, it’s going to be more, what did you do in business when you were working? What did you do that really made an impact at your workplace?” Shreve Blake said.
Keep it concise. The point of the graduate school resume is to truly expand on your accomplishments so the school knows why they should be rushing to admit you. Of course, that doesn’t mean sending in pages and pages about every course you’ve taken or internship you’ve held. Per Shreve Blake, the golden rule is a one-page resume if you have zero to nine years of experience, and a two-page resume if you have 10 years of experience.
Is the skill or experience relevant to the program at hand? If not, you can leave it out. Information from your high school days probably isn’t relevant, either, if you’re an older candidate returning to your studies.
Be smart about your social media. These days, it seems everyone has a robust online presence — and you can be sure it’ll come up when someone Googles your name. The reality is, your online presence will be examined when you apply for a graduate school program, so make sure any public profiles are professional.
Social media can also be a major asset — Shreve Blake recommends updating your LinkedIn profile and using it as a professional website for yourself. Link the URL in your resume, so they have easy access to a digital version of your achievements.
Maintain a professional aura. Above all, make sure you keep it professional with your graduate school resume. There is no need to include photos of yourself, for example, or too much personal information. While you want the admissions committee to get an idea of your values, you’re leaning on your accomplishments here, not personality or personal experiences.
“When you’re trying to get into a graduate school, it’s still a business transaction, right? You’re selling yourself. So, you’re just not going to have a lot of personal information there,” Shreve Blake emphasized.
Should You Use a Template to Write Your Graduate School Resume?
While it may be tempting to take advantage of a graduate school resume template or lift from examples, Shreve Blake said to steer clear of using a pre-set template.
“What I absolutely hate — and I think people can see this a mile away — is using a resume template. Don’t use a resume template,” Shreve Blake insisted. “The formatting is often off, and it’s not really what people like to see. I would definitely say don’t use a resume template, use a blank Word document, and kind of work through your resume that way.”
Crafting an original resume will help you stand out from the crowd. After all, each graduate school resume is unique: It needs to fit both the program you’re applying to and your own past.
“There’s not a one-size-fits-all for a job resume, and there’s not a one-size-fits-all for a graduate school resume,” Shreve Blake concluded.
For more information, visit the Office of Graduate Admission at USC and explore USC Online’s graduate school timeline .
- Knowledge Base
- Free Resume Templates
- Resume Builder
- Resume Examples
- Free Resume Review
How to write a resume for grad school?
[ Click here to directly go to the complete Grad school resume sample ]
The first hurdle you encounter when you start applying for a grad school is that they all require you to submit a resume for grad school application.
But hold on!
You don't have any idea how to make a resume for grad school!
You don't know what the differences are between a graduate school resume and a professional resume.
These questions can make it really difficult for you to write a resume for grad school.
But don't worry! Writing a graduate school resume is not that difficult.
In this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about writing a resume for grad school.
Here's a summary of the blog:
- Why do you need a resume for grad school
- How graduate school resume is different from other resumes
- What admission committee look for in a grad school resume
- What are the characteristics of a resume for grad school application
Things to include in your graduate school resume
Why do you need a resume for grad school.
[ Back to Table of Content ]
"I'm not applying for a job! Why do I have to create a resume for grad school application?"
This question might come to your mind when you are filling up your grad school application. Ideally, resumes are not only for jobs. Its primary function is to give a brief introduction to your professional or academic background.
Your resume objective for grad school is the same. It helps the school committee understand your academic qualifications.
Grad schools get a lot of student applications each year. They try to sort those applications and select the candidates who are most suitable for the curriculum.
And, graduate school resumes are the best way for candidates to showcase their interests and stand out among other applicants.
In the next part, we will walk you through the things you need to include in your resume for grad school application to get in front of the competition.
Sample grad school resume
To help you understand how a grad school resume looks, we have included a grad school resume sample for you.
- Conducted primary research to interview 30 + branch managers of various banks & created a report based on the results
- Identified the prevalent lack of knowledge on the topic of mutual funds in the hills of Alabama
- Recommended that Apple Records Sales Representatives conduct presentations in branches to spread knowledge
- Gained proficiency in the domain of Foreign Exchange in concepts such as currency risk , forwards , and options
- Liaised with accounts payable , treasury and payroll teams, and worked on OCS data migration
- Conducted verification of disbursements , overtime claims , insurance details, vouchers and cheques
- Successfully completed multiple internal audits at the firm
- Rendered assistance in administering the authentication of multiple payments including Foreign Exchange Payments
- Carried out all allocated tasks within the stipulated timeline & with zero errors
- Successfully ensured ZERO error rates by 100% control adherence and focus on accuracy
- Built and maintained cordial relationships with interns from Operations as well as the Front Office
- Conducted regression tests on the data to test the validity of the CAPM model
- Carried out Literature Review of CAPM and discussed the extensions of the model in the project
- Concluded the following after completing the entire research:
- The model succeeded in explaining the linear relationship between risk and return but failed in explaining risk completely
- Due to certain sources of error , complete accuracy of the study’s results could not be established
- Computed the Cost of Capital and Net Present Value (NPV) of Valkyrecords
- Calculated the NPV of Valkyrecords as positive to conclude that:
- Long term projects were expected to produce more income than what could be gained by earning discount rate
- The company should go ahead with the project
- Participated as a team member in Blizzart Half Marathon Feb ' 17
- Participated as a team member in Inter-college Volleyball Match '16
- Languages : English and Spanish
Feel free to use the sample to understand the structure of your grad school resume.
If you want to create your grad school resume, go to Online Resume Builder and create one for yourself, or you pick one from our pre-built resume templates.
How does a graduate school resume differ from professional resumes?
Graduate school resumes are similar to professional resumes, but there are many fundamental differences between them. You can not use the same elements of a professional resume in a grad school resume.
Here are a couple of ways a resume for grad school differ from a professional resume:
No strict length restriction
Professional resumes generally stretch between one to two pages. But a grad school resume can extend beyond two pages. This gives the student more space to include their academic achievements and other experiences.
That doesn't mean you can write a novel in your resume. It's still preferable to wrap up your resume within two pages. But it's nice to have the option to add more pages if needed.
Detailed education details
When you're applying for a grad school, you don't have much work experience to show for. So it makes sense to focus on your educational details more.
For example, your graduate school resume should include your GPA, projects, any thesis you've written, any paper you've published, any classes you've taken relevant to your grad school application, etc.
Some grad schools specifically tell what information they need in the graduate school resume to make things easier. Even if they don't, it's a good practice to include detailed academic achievements in your resume.
Importance of internship and volunteer experience
Professional resumes give importance to the past work experience of the candidate. But since grad school applicants don't have full-time work experience, grad schools prioritize candidates' internship and volunteer experience in the graduate school resume.
So, don't shy away from adding all your volunteer and internship experience into your resume.
What admission committee looks for in a grad school resume?
Grad school admission committee gets thousands of applications every year. And they want to make sure they are selecting the right candidate who will be an excellent fit for the grad school program or curriculum.
So, make sure that your resume stands out from thousands of other graduate school resumes.
Here are some characteristics of a standout graduate school resume:
Tailor your resume to the specific program
Add the academic achievements and skills that are important for the program you're applying for. That will give you a higher chance of getting selected for grad school.
Mention your academic details
A rule of thumb for your resume for grad school is to include a detailed academic overview in it. Include your GPA, any academic award you've achieved, or even coursework you've done.
This shows you've been serious with your studies and likely to work hard for your grad school studies as well.
Include internships and volunteer works
If you have a decent internship and volunteer work experience in your resume, it shows the admission committee that you are determined and a hard-working person.
So, don't be afraid to put even the smallest of your internship and volunteer work experience on your grad school resume.
Include your grants or award
If you have received any awards in your undergraduate school or written any grant proposals, include these in your grad school resume.
It looks impressive on your resume and increases your chances of getting selected for grad school.
Make the resume easy to follow
If you search online, you'll see thousands of designed graduate school resume templates available. But often, these designed resume formats are confusing and difficult to read.
Grad school admission committees have to go through hundreds of resumes every day. And they prefer simple formatted resumes that they can understand easily.
So, make sure your resume is well-structured and easy to read.
Format your resume professionally
Do not go for a creative template for your grad school resume. Instead, use a professional resume style. Here are some points for resume format:
- Use sans serif fonts
- Make font size between 10-12 points
- Leave minimum 1-inch margins on all sides
- Use bolded headlines, bullet points to highlight important information
Read this resume format guide to learn more.
Use powerful verbs
Strong verbs get the reader's attention. So, use strong verbs to demonstrate your academic and work experience.
For example, use "Assisted in inventory management for university library" instead of using "worked as an inventory manager in the university library."
Here is a list of power verbs you can use in your resume.
Make sure your resume flows logically
A well-organized resume is easier to read. The grad school admissions committee wants to see that you are organized and know how to present information logically.
Use the reverse chronological resume format to write your information on the resume for grad school. For example, when you give your education information, put the most recent on top, and go in descending order from top to bottom.
There are no definite guides online to show students what to include in a resume for grad school application.
To be honest, there is no single best way to write your graduate school resume. But, there are simple structures that need to be followed. Here is a list of things that you should include in your resume for grad school:
- Personal information- name address, phone number
- Research Experience
- Teaching Experience
- Volunteer Work experience
- Honors & Awards
- Professional Affiliations
- Academic Publications
- Skills & Abilities
- Community Involvement
- Educational Travel
Note : Do not try to use all these sections on your graduate school resume. Use the ones that are relevant to the program you are applying for. The most important thing is to keep everything clear and concise.
Personal information is a standard for resumes. It goes on top of your grad school resume. However, make sure you add just the right amount of information, not too overly personal information on this section, i.e., date of birth, gender, etc.
Here's what you must include in your grad school resume personal information:
- Email address
- Mailing address
- Contact number
- Linkedin profile link
Here are some tips for nailing your personal information on resume for grad school:
- Make sure to use a decent email address with your name on it, i.e. [email protected] , not [email protected]
- Give your personal mobile number than the home telephone number
- Make sure to optimize your Linkedin profile and keep everything up-to-date
Use Hiration's LinkedIn Profile Review to prepare your Linkedin profile for graduate school application.
A suitable resume object will help to grab the committee's attention and convince them that you are the right candidate for their program.
The resume objective for grad school should not be more than two or three sentences and focuses majorly on your academic achievement and future goal rather than any specific skills.
Things to include in resume objective:
- Undergraduate degree
- Internship/volunteer experience
- Admission goal
*Undergraduate computer science student (3.95 GPA) with six months software engineer internship experience with AT&T Labs. Seeking admission into Cornell University for a master's in computer science program. *
This is the most important section for your resume for grad school application. It gives the admission committee a clear picture of your academic career and performance.
So put a reasonable effort in writing the education section on your grad school resume, and write it in reverse chronological order.
Here's what you should include in your education qualification:
- Degrees you've achieved
- School/college name with state
- Graduation date (year)
- GPA you scored
- Awards and honors you've achieved
Note : High school degrees are irrelevant for a grad school resume. You can choose not to include it on your resume.
Here's an example of the education section on grad school resume:
Education Major in Mathematics (B.S) UCLA, Los Angeles, California Graduation:2019 GPA: 3.8/4.00 Honors: Magna cum laude
Research and teaching experience
Once you're done with the education section, the next section should address your work experiences. This section can be broken down into research experience, teaching experience, internships, and volunteer work.
Make sure the information you are adding is relevant to the program you are applying for.
Example of research experience :
Research Assistant May 2018- April 2019 Assisted Dr. G. Regts in his research paper "Weighted counting of solutions to sparse systems of equations."
Example of teaching experience :
Laboratory Teacher Assistant UCLA, Los Angeles, California March 2018- May 2019 Assisted and instructed 40 undergrads in organic chemistry laboratory Prepare chemical solutions for experiments before each class Maintained chemistry laboratory equipment
Don't have many academic achievements or experiences?
Don't worry! You might have internships or volunteer work experience under your belt worth sharing. It shows that you are hard-working and have the dedication to complete the master's program.
Here's what your internship section should look like:
Internships example :
Software Engineer Intern AT&T Labs, Manhattan, New York March 2017- September 2017 Developed software for clients Assisted in testing new software for clients Collaborated with beta testers and improved existing software
Your volunteer experience addresses your commitment towards society and also addresses your skills.
Here's what your volunteer experience section should look like:
Volunteer experience Example :
Volunteer Teacher XYZ Volunteer Teacher Program, California June 2018- May 2019 Manages a class of 40 students taught English, Mathematics, and Science
Honors, awards, or grants
Having a study grant, scholarship, or teaching assistantship is an incredible achievement in your academic career. And it looks impressive on a resume for grad school application.
You can arrange this section by importance. That means the most important achievement goes first, followed by the rest of the achievements.
Make sure you don't repeat the same honors and awards mentioned in the education section. Also, make sure to add the award name, providing organization, and date of receiving on the graduate school resume.
Grants Alan Moore Memorial Scholarship, University of Prince Edward Island, 2018 Honors & awards Dean’s list for 2018 & 2019, UCLA, California
Affiliations & memberships
If you are a part of any affiliated professional body or a member of any professional group, you can add it to your resume for graduate school. Make sure to include:
- Name of the organization
- City and state
- Affiliation/membership timeline
Note : Only include the membership you are currently part of—no need to include past memberships or affiliations.
Have you published any article, paper, or book anywhere? If you have, add those to your resume.
Note : Ask your prospective graduate school for the correct citation format to follow. Also, bold your name to put emphasis on it.
Here is an example of the Publication section on your grad school resume:
Publications 2019, John S , Trever C., "Optofluidics: Basics, Devices, and Applications" University of California Press. March 2019.
If it's possible, include a couple of references on your resume for graduate school. If you've already included your references on the grad school application, no need to add them to the resume. Here are things to include in the reference section:
- Reference name
- Their professional designation
- Their contact information
Example of reference section on grad school resume:
References Alan Finch Professor, Department of Physics University of California [email protected] (416)234-2343
Skills & abilities
Through your undergraduate degree, internships, volunteer works, you have developed a lot of useful skills. Use the skills and abilities section on your resume to highlight those skills that are relevant to your graduate school application.
However, the importance of certain skills depends on the program you are applying for.
For example, if you apply for a master's in mathematics, your coding skills will not be relevant to the program. Keep that in mind, when adding your skills to the resume.
Add the most relevant skills at first and least relevant skills at last.
Skills & abilities Mathematica Matico lab Ansys Coding language: Java Language: Spanish
Fluency in another language is an impressive addition to a grad school resume. Usually, it's included in the skill section, but if that language is essential for the program you are applying for, highlight it in a separate section.
If you have worked in any leadership position, add it to your resume. It projects your leadership skills.
Content Lead MBA Insider's blog, UCLA, California May 2017- April 2018 Managed a team of 10 student writers Increased organic traffic by 20% YoY
Grad school does not look for only academic excellence. They want a candidate with broad exposure to different areas. In this extracurricular activities section, you can include various types of activities you have done.
For example, if you are a music player and have been a part of your university music club, you can add it to this section.
Lead Guitarist Music Club of UCLA June 2017- April 2019 Composed songs for UCLA band "Voice of the Moon." Taught guitar to 20+ students
Have you been to another country for educational or research purposes? If so, add that to your resume for grad school application. It shows that you are interested in personal development and have exposure in different cultures.
Things to include:
- Name of the country
- Date of trip
- Purpose of trip
South Africa, June-October,2019 Conducted research for the "Sustainability of Livestock Farming in South Africa" paper.
Hopefully, you have got all the answers you needed for your graduate school resume. To sum it up, here are the key takeaways:
- Unlike a professional resume, resume for grad school focus on academic experience more
- Your graduate school resume must be tailored to the graduate program you are applying for
- Use reverse chronological order to format your graduate school resume
- Use a simple format to create resume for grad school
- Do not include overly personal details on your graduate school resume
- Include your research, teaching experience, internship, and volunteer experience to showcase your skills
- Give emphasis on awards, grants, extracurricular activities, publications, etc.
With that, we have come to the end of this blog. If you want to create your graduate school resume, head over to Hiration Online Resume Builder , and get your resume in minutes.
Online Resume Builder
Hiration's Online Resume Builder comes with all of these resources:
- Option to save unlimited resumes
- Full rich-text editor
- 25+ resume designs
- Auto bold feature
- LIVE resume score
- JD-resume matcher
- 100+ pre-filled resume templates
- Unlimited PDF downloads
- A sharable link
- 1-click design change
- Intuitive next text suggestion
- LIVE resume editor
Try our Online Resume Builder and get the perfect resume for grad school application.
Hiration LinkedIn Profile Review
You can get your Linkedin profile reviewed and optimized easily with Hiration.
- Instant Review of LinkedIn profile
- Your LinkedIn profile score
- Section-wise review & score
- Pro-tips from LinkedIn experts
- Export your profile in One-Click
- Choose from over 100+ designs
Make sure to review your Linkedin profile with Hiration's LinkedIn Profile Review before adding it on the grad school resume.
Go to Hiration resume builder and create a professional resume for yourself. Additionally, reach out to us at [email protected] and you can get 24/7 professional assistance with all your job & career-related queries.
Share this blog
Subscribe to Free Resume Writing Blog by Hiration
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox
Stay up to date! Get all the latest & greatest posts delivered straight to your inbox
Is Your Resume ATS Friendly To Get Shortlisted?
Upload your resume for a free expert review.
Whether you are looking for a part-time job while you complete your studies, applying for an internship or seeking a professional opportunity after graduation, creating a professionally written and formatted undergraduate resume is the best way to share your experience and skills with potential employers.
Here's a list of steps you can follow to write a college graduate resume: 1. Provide professional contact information. At the top of the document, add a header that lists your contact information. Include your full name, phone number, email address and the city and state where you live. These details make it easier for your prospective ...
Learn how to write a strong college graduate resume with our resume examples, template, and expert writing tips for new graduates. ... Before you get started, make sure you use a resume format that helps your qualifications stand out. Here are the basic details you need to include on your new college graduate resume:
Updated 01/09/2023 As seen in: 0 likes comments Create a resume now Adding your expected graduation date to your resume isn't as complicated as it might sound. That said, it causes a lot of questions. An expected graduation date is just that— expected. There are tons of things that can happen in life that can move that date earlier or later.
Table of contents Step 1: Plan the structure and layout Step 2: Create a heading with your personal information Step 2: Detail your education Step 3: Outline your work experience Step 4: Highlight other relevant skills and achievements Step 5: Proofread and save as a PDF Other interesting articles
Here's what you should do: If you're currently pursuing a degree If you're still enrolled in school and plan on graduating, list your expected graduation date alongside the name of the school and its location in the education section of your resume. Here's an example of how to list an expected graduation date on a resume:
1. First, determine when you expect to graduate If graduation is close, your college should have informed you about the deadlines to apply for graduation, submission of grades, and the date of the actual commencement. The commencement date is what you include on your resume.
At the very top of your resume, you should include a nicely-formatted header with some basic information about yourself, the same way you would with a resume for a job. The first line should have just your name, and the second line should have your contact information, such as your phone number, address, and email.
One of the best ways to add to a resume and build networking skills before graduation is to consider previous connections through past part-time jobs or volunteer work. Create My Resume
As a general rule, you'll always want to include the expected graduation date on your resume if you can obtain a realistic timeframe for when you believe you'll finish. If you've only just started your degree and are unsure how many credits you'll be able to obtain each semester, you could instead list "September 2020 - Present ...
Updated 25 May 2023 If you're preparing for a position in a post-graduate program, it's important to craft a well-written graduate resume. Admissions personnel often assess candidates against specific criteria, such as achievements and strengths, so a resume is a useful document that's usually required to accompany an application.
How to Write a Resume Body: 8 Essential Tips. 1. Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description. Tweaking your resume so that it aligns with the position is vital. Start by carefully reading the job description to identify keywords and key phrases. Next, insert these terms throughout your resume wherever applicable.
So if you see the perfect post for the perfect job a week before you graduate, you may not have enough time to start the process from scratch. 5. Attend job fairs and networking events. Get out there and put yourself in circulation. This is no time to hide behind your screen. Find out where the job fairs are (on campus and in the nearby ...
Follow the graduate school's program requirements. Be concise in your writing. Use the spelling and grammar tools available in your word processing program. Proofread your resume several times as you're writing. Double-check for errors by reading your resume out loud.
1. Write your degree name Confirm the title of your expected degree. For example, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is separate from a Bachelor of Arts (BA), and a Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil) differs from a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy. If you have a dual degree, list both separately while first putting the most relevant.
Tips for Writing a Graduate Résumé Check out these valuable tips to help you get started with your résumé: 1. Emphasise Education Ever wondered what is a recent grads' strongest asset? Well, that would be their education, of course.
Much like a work resume, a graduate school resume should start off with a clear header that includes the basic information about yourself, such as your name and your contact information, and contains your address, phone number and email address. From there, you should highlight your past education experience and any academic highlights.
The rest of these steps discuss information that most candidates include on their graduate school resumes. Related: FAQ: Graduate School vs. Professional School. 2. Add contact details. You can begin your document by including your full name, phone number, email address and city and state in which you reside.
To be honest, there is no single best way to write your graduate school resume. But, there are simple structures that need to be followed. Here is a list of things that you should include in your resume for grad school: Personal information- name address, phone number. Resume objective.