The resume you submit for graduate school will be similar to what you would prepare when applying for a regular job. However, note that this document needs to be tailored to your specific study program to showcase that you are an excellent candidate to the admissions committee.
The following items should be included on your resume for grad school:
- Your education history including the institution and your undergraduate degree.
- Any extracurricular or volunteering activities that apply to your program of choice.
- Leadership roles, internships and relevant professional experience in current or previous jobs.
- Publications and research such as any articles or research projects that you have contributed to throughout your professional or academic career.
- Certifications and skills, especially those that apply to your study field.
If you are not sure if a certain skill or experience should be mentioned on your resume, simply ask yourself how it relates to the institution or program that you are applying to. If it does not directly speak to your strengths and interests, it is probably not necessary to add.
5 Tips to Help you Format your Grad School Resume
1. Maintain a concise and clean layout.
Ensure your grad school resume does not exceed one page. Keep everything succinct and organized. Your resume should be formatted well, proofread, clean and have zero grammatical errors.
Admissions committees are looking for a resume that has been well thought out and created with care. Avoid relying on bullet points to list your experiences. Include what duties you performed and how these responsibilities correlated with the program you are applying to.
Think of your resume as a reflection of yourself. Add details and keep it polished to highlight what experiences you have and describe your background.
2. Mention all pertinent experience.
Certain students will apply to graduate school programs once they have finished their undergrad degree. Other students may choose to apply to grad school from the field. There will be plenty of opportunities to showcase professional experience on your resume.
Highlight all relevant information to make yourself stand out. Don't worry if you do not have any professional experience just yet. Utilize other relevant experiences that are useful to mention your skills.
Internships and Volunteer Work are Essential Inclusions
Professional experience is only one factor to consider. The admissions office is also interested in any internships or volunteer work you have done. This is relevant experience to include on your resume.
Be sure to highlight the roles and duties you performed in all your experience. Speak about the soft and hard skills you attained during these endeavors. Mention your communication skills, leadership qualities on team project or any programs or software you gained experience in.
3. Customize your resume to the program you are applying to.
Grad schools will look at your resume and determine if your past education and experience is relevant to the program you are applying to. They are seeking a correlation between where you are going and what you have done.
Be sure to review the program you are interested in online and check out its homepage before you draft your resume. Certain programs require a portfolio or 2-3 years of experience. Ensure that you qualify for the program you are applying to. If you are looking into a Master of Science in Cybersecurity, check out the requirements on the webpage. Taking note of core requirements, objectives and other essential keywords listed can help you customize your resume when you are writing it.
4. Don't forget to include your professional achievements.
The admissions committees are also interested in any professional training you have accumulated, any certifications you have earned, if you are a member of any professional organizations and anywhere you have been published.
For instance, prospective students who are interested in the Master of Science in Project Management will want to include a list of any PMP certifications they have. If a student is hoping to enter a Master of Science in Human Resource Management program, they will want to include their membership to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Adding these memberships and achievements to your resume will add another level of interest and highlight many skills and efforts outside of your work. It can greatly improve your acceptance chances to include your internships and volunteer work to help advance your career.
5. Show off your skills.
Always include a skills section on your resume that highlights your skills, competencies and additional technologies that are relevant to the specific graduate program that you're applying for.
For example, if you are applying to the Master of Science in Computer Science, your resume will want to include the various programming languages you are familiar with. C++, Python, Ruby on Rails, etc. and any other computer applications you are familiar with.
Example of a Grad School Resume
It is simultaneously stressful and exciting to apply to graduate school. Enrollment coaches and admissions teams can help you make the process much smoother and answer any questions as they arise.
Never be afraid to reach out for help when you are preparing your application and subsequent materials. Admissions teams want to make sure that you are suitable for the program and ensure the program is the proper fit for you.