Graduate School Resume: Templates & Formats for Successful Admissions

Graduate School Resume
Created by CakeResume

The application process for graduate school is not a simple one; you will need to prepare the necessary documents (e.g., your bachelor’s degree statement, transcript, recommendation letters) and you might need to take the GRE or GMAT or certain language proficiency examinations.

Graduate school entrance is also extremely competitive as you may be competing with students from different countries for a spot. With all the paperwork you need to prepare, you might overlook the importance of your graduate school resume.

A graduate school resume is a document that provides more information on your suitability for the program that you’ve applied for. It is similar to a job search resume in many ways but also contains major differences because of its purpose. We will discuss the essence of a great grad school CV in this article.

How to write a great resume for a graduate school application?

Step 1: Research on the desired school and major. 

The first step when writing a resume for a graduate school application is researching your desired school and program. Different schools and programs may have different requirements that you need to fulfill to be considered by the admission committee.

💡 Tips: It’s a good idea to build a graduate school list consisting of your dream schools and safety schools and outline the admission requirements to ensure that you don’t miss any documents and to increase your application efficiency.

Step 2: Choose the right graduate school resume format.

As similar as they are, a job search resume will ultimately differ from a graduate school resume, with the former being focused more on your relevant skills and experience. The latter, though, will mainly focus more on your educational background and accomplishments.

There are three options to choose from for your graduate resume format: chronological, functional (or skill-based), and combination (hybrid version of the chronological and functional format).

However, as mentioned prior, with a grad school CV, you are aiming to highlight your educational background and accomplishments. Thus, it would be better for you to choose a format that doesn’t focus much on employable skills.

Step 3: Look up graduate school resume templates & examples online as references.

These online references may not exactly suit your situation, but you can refer to the way they word their details, the way their grad school CVs are structured, etc., and adopt it as your own.

Reminder: Do not simply copy and paste the contents as they may contain some mistakes and/or may not apply to you.

Step 4: Tailor your grad school CV according to the school and major.

Chances are, you are going to apply to more than one school and major. Your grad school CV should not be a “one-size fit all” CV. Different schools and programs will focus on different aspects of your academic background and achievements; to increase your chances of moving on to the next step of the application, ensure that you tailor your master’s degree resume accordingly.

Step 5: Proofread.

After you’ve finished writing your CV for grad school, the final step would be to proofread your entire resume to ensure that your graduate school resume is error-free.

A master’s degree resume with careless mistakes will not inspire confidence in the recruiting committee, so ensure that you don’t jeopardize your chances by skipping over this crucial step.

What to include in a graduate school resume?

1. Resume Header

Your graduate school resume should begin with a resume header, where the admission committee can quickly and briefly know who you are. Here, you should put your name, your contact info, and your resume title.

2. Resume Objective

Unlike a typical resume objective, a graduate school resume objective should highlight how your experiences can help you succeed in a highly selective master’s program.

To do this, your resume objective should convince the admission committee how your qualities (experience, skills, etc.) can contribute to your academic success if you were to be admitted to the program.

Graduate school resume objective examples:

  • Goal-oriented and analytical financial analyst seeking to further deepen my knowledge and skills through MIT’s Master of Finance program. 
  • Creative and innovative marketing manager with eight years of experience in television advertising. Seeking to gain further knowledge and skills in digital marketing in Stanford University’s Master of Business Administration Program with a focus in marketing.

3. Education

This is a section within your graduate application resume that the admission committee would put a lot of weight on. They would be most likely to look at this section first, your previous educational institution, your major, and your academic performance will shape the committee’s perception of you.

Here, you should include your previous:

  • Educational institution
  • Degree(s)
  • Major(s)
  • Year of graduation
  • Honors, awards, and extracurricular activities (if applicable)

Graduate program resume education examples:

📍 In progress

M.S.E. in Computer Science (in progress) | Princeton University

📍 Before starting (i.e., when applying)

B.S. in Finance | University of California-Los Angeles
Graduation: June 2019
GPA: 4.1/4.3

📍 Incomplete (i.e., change of schools, programs)

New York University
2017-2018: Completed 18 credits towards M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education

4. Work Experience

In most job search resumes; work experience is one of the most crucial aspects for recruiters. In the case of a graduate school resume, however, this is not the case. Still, you shouldn’t forego not including your previous work experience, especially if they relate to the program that you’re applying to.

Although not all graduate programs require prior work experience, there are some (such as MBAs) that will require applicants to possess a certain length of work experience before their candidacy be considered to advance to the next step of the admission process.

💡 Tips: If you have taken some academic time off, and you have relevant work experience before, including it in your grad school CV can help illustrate your qualifications.

Here, you should include:

  • Organizations or employers' names
  • State of the organizations
  • Titles you’ve previously held
  • Employment period
  • Brief description of your responsibilities and achievements (if applicable)

Graduate school resume work experience examples:

Software Developer

ABC Tech Inc.
Jan. 2017 – Dec. 2019

  • Tested, troubleshot, and debugged new features in company developed applications.
  • Implemented new features to existing software using Python, Java, and C++.
  • Reviewed and provided technical designs to assist other developers.

5. Skills

The skills for your graduate school resume will differ slightly from a normal job search skills section; it won’t be as comprehensive as a normal resume as the main focus of a grad school CV will still be your academic history.

However, like a typical resume, you should still list out your relevant skills and abilities. Some programs might require you to possess a specific set of skills for you to achieve academic success (e.g., language, leadership skills, research).

Your graduate school resume skills can also indicate to the committee if you would be able to complete the extensive projects that are usually a part of graduate programs. 

6. Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities don’t only serve a social purpose, it can also help you develop skills that can be useful in your everyday and professional life. They can also add more flair to your graduate application resume and highlight your capabilities for the admission committee to see.

Here, you should include the name of the organization you were a part of, membership dates and any roles (leadership or representative,) and the responsibilities you held.

Graduate school CV extracurricular activities examples:

Debate and Speech Club

Vice-President

2012 – 2014

  • Co-organized club activities (i.e., inter-school debate competitions, public speaking workshops, bake sale) and meeting agendas
  • Worked closely with the club president to oversee the training and development of new club members every semester

7. Awards & Honors

If you’ve received an award and honors such as fellowship, scholarship, or any academic and industry-related ones, you should add it to your graduate application resume.

These accolades can boost your candidacy by showcasing your academic talents and abilities and in turn, can help convince the admission committee of your potential and ability to succeed if you were to be admitted into the program.

Graduate program resume awards and honors examples: 

B.A. in Business Administration
University of California-Los Angeles

  • Graduation: June 2017
  • GPA: 4.1/4.3
  • Awards & Honors: Winner of The Global Case Competition at Harvard (2017), Dean’s List (2018)

8. Hobbies & Interest

Your hobbies and interests that align with the program are a great way to showcase your passion and enthusiasm. Relevant hobbies and interests demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the program context and can also indicate your skills to the committee.

📝 Notes:

  • Focus on the skills you’ve honed from pursuing your hobbies and interests instead of your roles.
  • Be honest, specific on your descriptions, and why your interests make you a better candidate than other applicants.

CakeResume provides the best graduate school resume templates & examples for talents to demonstrate your qualifications. Let us help you land the dream with a strong graduate school resume (free download)!

Tips for writing the best resume for Master’s programs

✅ Tip 1: Customize the graduate school resume for the school.

Different schools will have different requirements or may focus on different aspects of your master’s degree resume. Ensure that you customize your grad school CV for every school and program you apply to for better results.

✅ Tip 2: Highlight what makes you unique.

With how competitive the selection process will be, you want to ensure that you stand out from other applicants to increase your chances of landing a spot.

To do so, you would want to identify what makes you unique as a graduate school candidate and clearly highlight and showcase them in your grad school CV to impress the admission committee.

✅ Tip 3: Quantify results in your graduate school resume.

Describe your academic achievements in your graduate school resume quantitatively (in the form of numbers) instead of in a qualitative form. This can highlight your accomplishments and make them seem more apparent and more convincing.

✅ Tip 4: Adopt resume action words (verbs).

Action verbs can help the admission committee to form a clearer picture of who you are as a candidate. Using proper action verbs in your graduate school resume can help you stand out from other candidates.

✅ Tip 5: Position your education section before your work experience section.

Unlike a job search resume, your education section would be of bigger weight in your graduate application resume. Your prior educational achievements and experience can help the admission committee estimate your capabilities for academic success in your applied program.

Ensure that you position your education section before your work experience section in your master’s degree resume.

Pick the right graduate school application resume template

🔍 How long should a graduate school application resume be?

As with job search resumes, keep your graduate school application resume within two pages long (unless you've had a significant number of related accolades, research papers, awards, etc.). Any longer than that will make your graduate school resume seem to be verbose.

🔍 What is the best font to use in a resume for graduate school admission?

Keep your grad school CV as professional and clean as possible. Choosing the wrong font can entirely ruin your graduate school resume.

You can either stick to the classic fonts (i.e., Times New Roman, Arial) to play it safe, or you can choose other fonts that are easy-to-read but won’t stand out too much such as Roboto, Cambria, Verdana, Lato, or Helvetica.

🔍 What format should a resume for graduate school applications be in, Word or PDF?

Chances are, you can find plenty of great graduate school resume template in Word but this doesn’t mean you should submit it in .doc or .docx format. When Word formats are viewed on different devices or different Word versions, it may mess up your graduate school resume format.

Unless specified otherwise, submit your graduate school resume in PDF form as it will stay the same no matter the device.

Graduate school resume sample

Aylah Kellet

Detail-oriented market development manager specializing in the tech industry

+1- 513-234-1235

[email protected]
linkedin.com/in/aylahkellet

Professional Summary

Graduated magna cum laude majoring in business administration with a minor in marketing. Aspiring to pursue an MBA degree from the prestigious Cornell University to expand my knowledge on all aspects of business, especially marketing management.

Work Experience

Market Developer Manager

Green Hill Tech.

Nov. 2018 – Present

  • In charge of communications between the HQ and the European market.
  • Increased profit and the volume sold of laptops by 15%.
  • Assisted in creating promotional campaigns for the European market.

Marketing Intern

Glendale Tech Inc.

Jan. 2015 – Oct. 2016

  • Assisted in building social media campaigns for the East European markets.
  • Researched and provided suggestions to increase campaign effectiveness for the Polish market.

Extracurricular Activities

Vice President
Debate-speech Club

July 2015 – May 2018

  • Co-organized club activities (i.e., inter-school debate competitions, public speaking workshops, bake sale) and weekly meeting agendas with the club president. 
  • Worked closely with the club president to oversee the training and development of new club members every semester.

Member
Toastmasters

July 2014 – June 2017

  • Mentored and trained junior members in public speaking and leadership skills.
  • Regularly gave juniors feedback on speech.

Education

June 2018

B.B.A. in Business Administration
University of California-Los Angeles

Awards & Honors

Honors: Magna cum laude (GPA: 4.1/4.3)

Award: Winner of The Global Case Competition at Harvard (2017), Dean’s List (2016, 2017)

Skills

  • Polish (fluent)
  • Hebrew (fluent)
  • Market Research
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Google Analytics
  • Time Management
  • Multitasking
  • Attention to Detail
  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving

Hobbies & Interests

  • Graphic design
  • Video games
  • Creative writing
  • Arts & crafts
  • Learning languages

--- Originally written by Patricia Rosita ---

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