By Victoria Alonso
When it comes to graduate programs, cultivating an outstanding resume plays a significant role in the application process. Your resume serves as a preview of your academic achievements, work or internship experience, and skills. Here are a few tips for tuning your resume and presenting your best self for graduate admission:
1. Know the difference between a resume and a CV.
A resume is a one-to-two-page summary of your academic, professional, and enrichment experience for a specific position or program. A curriculum vitae (CV) is a comprehensive document of all your experience, usually in an academic setting, which can vary in length. Specific programs may ask for different documents; make sure you are submitting the correct ones.
2. Tailor your resume to your desired program.
Highlight relevant internships, volunteer work, or teaching assistant roles. Focus on those that showcase your passion for the field you are looking to enter and emphasize transferable skills if you are changing careers. Be sure to include your academic history, such as your undergraduate degree, major, and any relevant coursework or research projects.
3. Highlight all relevant experiences.
Every occasion or growth opportunity that you gained insight or new skills may be relevant to your resume, whether you were paid or not. Many skills are transferable to other academic or professional contexts, so it’s important to include them.
4. Formatting is key.
Your resume format should be professional and show a bit of your personality. Personally, I like to use Garamond font instead of Times New Roman; it’s unique but still readable. Separate sections in a consistent manner and proofread the resume to confirm that it looks sharp. Ask a peer or mentor to read the resume for formatting and grammar errors.
5. Be yourself!
Overall, you should aim to give an honest and genuine impression of who you are and present your experiences as they relate to your target program. If you have room, add hobbies or personal development areas that show who you are to a reader. The person reading your resume wants to know you!