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College application resume

College application resume or academic resume is included in the standard package of documents for admission to the master’s or doctoral programs of most universities. However, this type of resume differs from the professional resume that is used to find a job.

What is the difference between an academic resume and an ordinary resume?

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

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

In addition, an academic resume is characterized by the following:

  • It is not limited to one page – two pages are quite acceptable
  • It makes the main emphasis on the academic achievements of the applicant.

Otherwise, the academic resume is very similar to a professional resume:

  • The information is presented in reverse chronological order
  • You should indicate your name and your contact information
  • You should include the names of organizations and departments(departments or faculties), as well as names of posts.
  • You should list the main duties and achievements.

The sections of the resume can vary, as in the professional resume.

How important an academic resume is

Your academic resume is important for two main reasons:

  • With its help you simplify the task of the admission committee, presenting the most important aspects of your academic and professional experience (it becomes clear what and when you were engaged in and how you used your time).
  • Most often, your resume is the first document that the admissions office reads to make an impression of you. So, your goal is to make the right first impression.

Main sections of the academic resume

Main sections of the college application resume include:

  • Education
  • Professional experience
  • Research experience
  • Publications and presentations
  • Professional affiliations
  • Honors and awards
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Skills

Education

The section about education is the most important because on the basis of it you can immediately get an idea of whether the candidate has the necessary qualifications for admission to the selected academic program.

In this section, you need to list the universities, in which you studied, the qualifications you received there, and the most important of the courses you listened to. If the candidate graduated with honors, then this fact must be indicated. You can specify the Grade Point Average (GPA).

Professional experience

Many postgraduate programs prefer candidates who have at least some practical experience obtained outside the university, even if they enter a magistracy or doctorate immediately after receiving their first higher education.

Here you can list internships, practices, and any other professional experience that directly relates to the chosen training program. Not relevant professional experience is described briefly.

More attention should be paid to positions that required the use of managerial or technical skills and skills, which are especially appreciated in the selected postgraduate program. For example, conducting surveys, statistical data processing, experience with a large amount of information, etc.

Research experience

The experience of research activity is always a great advantage when entering both the magistracy and doctoral programs.

If a candidate has experience of research activities, for example, he had the practice in the laboratory, worked as an assistant at the department, then these facts are indicated in this section of the resume.

For each position, the research skills that have been developed are listed, including laboratory procedures, statistical analysis, computer programs, archival research, and the like.

Publications and presentations

Candidates who have scientific publications and reports at scientific conferences can list them in this section.

Professional affiliations

Here, you need to list scientific, including student, associations and councils, in which you were or are a member of.Various public associations in this section are not specified.

Honors and awards

Various kinds of awards, especially academic ones, such as grants and scholarships are highly appreciated in the academic environment. Therefore, for this, there is a separate section of the resume, which first lists academic awards, and then other relevant honors in other areas.

Extracurricular activities

In this section, you can list various social and volunteer activities, activities in the student council, etc. Particular emphasis should be placed on the activities that contributed to the development of skills valuable to graduate school such as leadership skills, time management, etc.

Skills

Here, you can separately list the skills that were not previously mentioned in other sections, such as knowledge of foreign languages, computer programs, etc.

This is especially important if these skills are valued on the chosen academic program.

Depending on the candidate’s experience and the chosen program, additional sections can be added to the resume, such as “Teaching experience”, “Certifications”, and others.

Things to avoid in your resume

There are some things you need to avoid when preparing your academic resume:

  • Typos and grammatical errors. Your resume, which you submit to the university admissions office should be grammatically perfect, without a single misprint and error. You don’t want to be seen as illiterate or not at all interested in studying at the university. One of the selection criteria is your knowledge of English, so the resume shows your literacy and English proficiency.
  • Lack of specific information. Many students think that the more they say, not even on the topic, the better. But this skill does not need to be applied in writing a resume. Your resume must be extremely precise and concise.
  • The problem of universal summaries. Remember, you must address each resume to a specific university. Avoid universality, namely a document that is suitable for all occasions. Analyze the enrollment requirements of each university, think about how to present the information in such a way as to show your interest and that you are fully suited to the program.
  • The appearance of the resume. All people without exception pay attention to the appearance. Especially it concerns the appearance of the documents, on which your future depends. Pay attention to the font, align the text around the edges, use the tab instead of the spacebar. An incorrect and badly designed resume first creates the impression that the student cannot use the computer at all, and secondly, it’s just unpleasant to read.
  • Purpose of the resume. At the beginning of each resume, a brief goal should be set out, for what purpose you wrote it and provide it for a review by the university. Avoid phrases such as“to receive higher quality and prestige diploma”, there is no need to prove to the university that it is prestigious. Write that your desire is to gain knowledge of the program, which will help in future to be competitive in the labor market.
  • Characteristics of personal qualities. Very often resumes have a standard set of qualities, which, according to the students, attracts attention. Yes, indeed, words like hardworking, detail-oriented, and proactive really attract attention, but 100 other students indicate the same qualities, and it does not make you special. Show in the resume that you like to work in a team, but do not write empty words, if you cannot confirm them by actions, find your own feature.

Things that will make your resume more appealing

Including these sections in your resume will help you emphasize your strengths and prove you are an active, smart, and communicative person.

Charity and volunteer activities

Only significant projects should be described. For example, raising funds for an orphanage, organizing language courses for migrants, creating websites for non-profit organizations, working as an interpreter at a conference, etc. It is important to point out that all these services were provided on a voluntary basis.

The availability of non-academic publications

As a rule, many young scientists like to share interesting information with their colleagues and friends, making out their research in small scientific articles, which later become available for viewing and discussion online, in a personal blog.Such platforms, of course, cannot be compared with the publication in a scientific journal, but they testify to the active life position of the candidate.

Speeches as guest

Here you can include all non-academic speeches as an expert in any field. For example, you were invited to one of the schools with a request to tell about your own experience in preparing and passing the TOEFL exam or on entering a foreign university. This information will only play into your hands, since it characterizes you as an active person who wants to share experience and knowledge.

Appearances in the media

Quite often young scientists are invited to various news or thematic TV and radio programs, where they act as experts in a certain matter. Participation in one of these meetings is worth mentioning in the event that the program is really worthy and echoes the academic activity of the applicant.

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