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CV Writing

The academic CV is an integral part of the package of documents for admission to the master’s or graduate school. Its primary task is to briefly describe the key achievements of the applicant in his chosen field. It is essential to understand that the academic resume is not a brief summary of the biographical data, but rather those stages of development that make the applicant a desired participant in the university’s student body. The CV should not exceed two pages, even if the applicant is a hugely successful candidate.

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How to Start Writing an Academic CV?

The first thing that an applicant should indicate in an academic CV is his or her name. It does not include age, gender, nationality, etc., because achievements are foremost, and the emphasis on personal data only emphasizes the conservatism of the applicant. However, in CV it is perfectly permissible to specify contact information, for example, the e-mail address directly after the name or the actual address.

Education level

The next item should be the data on the education received in the reverse chronological order. It indicates only the degree and name of the educational institution accepted excluding school classes. If the applicant has already completed the magistracy, it is necessary to indicate the initials of the supervisor and the topic of the dissertation. It is not superfluous to demonstrate the Grade Point Average (GPA).

In this section, you can include information about the certificates received and the courses you have listened to. It is crucial that they are relevant to the area in which the applicant is planning to study.

Honors and awards

Members of the admissions committee highly appreciate various kinds of awards – scholarships and grants for training. In this section, you should list all the available academic awards, and then the incentives received in other areas.

Research experience

The presence of research experience should be mentioned in summary, which will be a massive plus for the applicant when entering graduate school. Work as an assistant at the department, personal assistant teacher or practice in the laboratory – all this is an invaluable experience, which should be reflected in the CV of the applicant.

For each position, the skills obtained in the course of research work are listed: statistical analysis, work with specialized software, laboratory procedures and so on.

Professional experience

As a rule, applicants with experience in the specialty who were received outside their home university are more likely to take postgraduate programs. If the entrant does not have professional experience, you should describe it briefly, without going into details. Emphasis should be placed on the positions that required the applicant to apply technical or managerial skills, as well as skills that are of value in the chosen postgraduate direction. For example, the collection and statistical processing of data, work with large arrays of information and so on.

Other Things to Mention

Publications, scientific works and presentations

Having official publications and mentioning them in an academic resume will also be a significant advantage. They must be provided with footnotes: the author of the work, its title and year of publication in reverse chronological order. The applicant can write about speeches at scientific meetings or educational events. The topic of the final qualifying work can also be included in this list.

Extracurricular activities

This section of the resume will be especially relevant for applicants applying for humanitarian specialties, for example, programs for the struggle for equality, an organization of activists, volunteer programs and so on. It is not superfluous to indicate participation in the student council, but particular attention should be paid to activities that contributed to the formation and development of such qualities as dedication, leadership, organizational skills, ability to keep deadlines and so on.

Knowledge of foreign languages

An applicant who knows one or more foreign languages at a high level must necessarily include this information in the academic summary. If the language is mastered only at the level of a tourist, this should not be mentioned. The task of the applicant is to present skills that will be useful in the course of further training, so in this section of the summary should be indicated only foreign languages, which the applicant has at least at B2 level.

Practical skills

Here it is necessary to note the special skills that the applicant received during his professional or academic career. And this is not a standard set of phrases, which is found in typical working summaries (stress resistance, communication, MS Office, etc.). In this section, you should demonstrate more complex skills, for example, the ability to work in highly specialized programs. Skills should correspond to the academic experience of the applicant.


The last section is a list of professors and teachers who recommend the applicant as a worthy candidate. If there are several recommendations in the package of documents, you should indicate their authors and their attitude to the activity of the applicant (supervisor, teacher, commission member), as well as their contacts.

The academic resume is a generalizing document of professional, academic and non-academic achievements of the candidate. He must demonstrate the readiness of the candidate to study at the university.

If the primary purpose of the professional CV is to receive an invitation for an interview, the purpose of the academic resume is to “strengthen” the candidate’s primary dossier and additionally emphasize those qualities that the members of the admissions committee want to see in the candidates.

An academic CV

  • not limited to one page – two pages are quite acceptable;
  • makes the primary emphasis on the academic achievements of the candidate.

Otherwise, the academic CV resembles a professional resume: the information is presented in reverse chronological order, the name of the candidate and his contact information, the names of organizations and departments (departments or faculties), job titles, lists the primary duties and achievements.

The CV sections can vary, as in the professional resume so that we will focus only on the main ones.

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To take into account all the subtleties of writing a CV and compiling other documents, we suggest you contact us for professional help. Based on our many years of experience, we can quickly and qualitatively prepare your papers for the selected university for further enrollment.

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