How To Write A Graduate School Resume (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Dec. 22, 2020
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Although resumes are often associated with pursuits in a career, they are also needed when applying to graduate school. A graduate school resume will serve a similar function to a professional one, which is to catch an admissions board’s attention as a promising candidate.

A graduate school resume is a document that makes your application profile stand out because it can be digested quickly. Learning how to write an effective and concise graduate school resume is a crucial part of the higher education application process.

What Is a Graduate School Resume?

A graduate school resume is a brief and organized description of an applicant’s background, skills, education, and any other aspects that would make them qualified for admission. It’s submitted along with an application to provide all the information that an admissions committee will need in contained space. Graduate school resumes are used to evaluate many potential candidates easier by establishing a bullet-point list of their characteristics.

Including a graduate school resume in your application package illustrates who you are, what your experience is, and why you should be submitted to the program neatly on a single page.

How to Write a Graduate School Resume in 5 Steps

Writing a graduate school resume can be confusing to many people in terms of whether it should be more similar to a school application or a professional resume. The perhaps unsatisfying answer is that it is a bit of both.

Complete the following steps to create a graduate school resume containing information needed for admissions while being in a resume format:

  1. Think About Formatting. Although most resumes have typical structure guidelines, there’s still room for creativity in formatting a graduate school resume. There are some formatting rules you should adhere to, such as keeping your graduate resume about a page long and making your contact details boldly noticeable.

    While formatting and designing a graduate resume, make sure that it works towards the goal of organization and understanding for the reader.

  2. Pay Attention To The Education Section. Since the point of submitting a graduate school resume is to be admitted to an educational program, there should be a clear focus on your prior academics. Unlike a professional resume, which focuses primarily on career experience, a resume for graduate school should speak about the candidate’s educational background first and foremost.

    Include Information Such As Your:

    • School Name

      Job type you want
      Full Time
      Part Time
      Internship
      Temporary
    • Grade Point Average (GPA)

    • Field Of Study

    • Dates Of Attendance

    • Extracurriculars, Clubs or Groups

    • Awards and Acknowledgment

    • Test Scores (If Applicable)

  3. List Relevant Work Experience. Your prior experience in jobs shouldn’t be the center of attention in a graduate student’s resume. However, positions related to the program you’re applying for should be included in your resume. Internships and volunteer experience that can be applied to the program’s field of study can also be helpful in a graduate school resume.

  4. Include Notable Accomplishments. A graduate resume is an appropriate place to keep a running tally of your achievements because you want to impress an admissions team. Once you’ve run through your prior education and work experience, you can write out your accomplishments. Relevant accomplishments can be either academic, professional, or personal.

    Be specific when listing your accomplishments and include the dates that they occurred.

  5. Skills And Certifications. Including a skills section in a graduate school, a resume is not required, but it’s recommended if you have the chops to back it up. You should stick to mentioning hard skills in a graduate resume that apply to the field of study you’re hoping to pursue.

    This area of your graduate school resume can also be used to mention any certifications you’ve received outside of formal education.

    Examples Of Possible Skills And Certifications To Include On A Graduate CV Include:

    • Fluency in a programming language

    • Experience in particular computer systems or applications

    • Speaking a second language

    • A technical skills training program

    • An online marketing course

Tips For Making A Successful Graduate School Resume

  1. Cater Your Resume To The Program You’re Applying For. When top applicants apply for new jobs, they go back to their resume and make edits to optimize it for the position they’re hoping to land. Successful graduate school applicants do the same. Every graduate program emphasizes different skills and experiences.

    Make sure your resume aligns with the program’s requirements and ideal candidate profile by highlighting relevant qualities.

  2. It’s Okay To Speak Highly Of Your Accomplishments. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of speaking freely on all their outstanding accomplishments because they worry it makes them out to be conceited. While you should maintain a humble attitude when discussing your achievements, it’s recommended to get into the nitty-gritty of what you’ve done well in the past in a resume.

    The purpose of a graduate school resume is to impress an admissions team, and that’s done by writing about your accomplishments thoroughly.

  3. Include Both Hard And Soft Skills. There are probably some hard skills that the program you’re applying for requires, depending on the field of study. Besides listing the hard skills that you have, include soft skills that apply to your personality and work ethic.

    Soft skills describe who a candidate is beyond their accomplishments or technical skills. An admissions team will use soft skills to assess if you’re the kind of student they want in their program.

  4. Be Honest About Your Experience And Skills. Although it’s essential to catch an admissions counselor’s attention with your resume, the information you include needs to be true. Bending the truth eventually becomes evident to experienced admissions professionals.

    Graduate school programs are unlikely to invite students into their facility who aren’t honest about their experience and skills.

  5. Proofread. Once you’ve finished writing a graduate school resume, the final thing to do is proofread it. Careless spelling and grammatical errors will turn off an admissions counselor reading your resume because it will portray you as sloppy or lazy.

    Reading through your graduate school resume to sweep for errors is a strong professional practice that will increase your chance of a successful application process.

Template For A Graduate School Resume

You understand what information should be included on a graduate school resume. Now you use a template to structure the information properly.

Below is a template to guide you through creating your own graduate school resume.

Your First And Last Name
Your City And State | Your Phone Number | Your Email Address| Your Social Media Page Or Website
Your Resume Summary Statement
A few sentences outlining what your graduate school resume will go on to say and what your goals for the future are.
Your Education Background
Dates Of Attendance And Graduation Date
School Name, Degree Title, and Field Of Study
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Areas Of Study
Prior Research
Awards, accomplishments, and acknowledgments
Extracurricular activities and clubs

Dates Of Attendance And Graduation
School Name, Degree Title, and Field Of Study
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Areas Of Study
Prior Research
Awards, accomplishments, and acknowledgments
Extracurricular activities and clubs

Your Relevant Professional Experience
Dates Employed
Company Title, Your Position, City, State

Dates Employed
Company Title, Your Position, City, State
Your Volunteer Work And Internships
Dates Of Work
The Organization Name, Your Position, and Field Of Study
Accomplishments within the role
General responsibilities

Your Skills
-List of Your Hard Skills
-List of Your Soft Skills

Your Certifications

Date Certification Was Received
The Certification Title, Area of Study
Knowledge covered
Skills gains
Qualifications Earned
Achievements within the program

Example of a Graduate School Resume

Aaron Blakely
Denver, CO | (753)-585-5866 | AaronBlakely@gmail.com| LinkedIn.com/AaronBlakely

Your Resume Summary

A devoted and creative recent graduate from the University Of Denver with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and former research experience. Seeking higher education with the University of Washington’s computer science graduate program.

Your Education Background

2016-2020
The University Of Denver, Bachelor’s Degree, Computer Science

  • GPA=3.9

  • Studied computer science with a minor in creative coding

  • Conducted research into biotechnology and virtual reality (VR)

  • Achieved the Dean’s List all four years of college (GPA>3.5)

  • Vice president of the computer coding club

2012-2016
Colorado Springs High School, High School Diploma, General Education

  • GPA=3.7

  • General high school education with honors classes in math and science focuses

  • A senior research project into the history of computers and coding

  • Graduated with distinction for high grades

  • Participated on the chess team, debate team, and the computer literacy club

Your Relevant Professional Experience

2017-2018
Larson’s Technology, Computer Coding Student Intern, Denver, CO
2012-2017
Best Bet Computer Repair, Assistant, Denver, CO

Scholarships

2016-2020
The Outstanding Student Scholarship

  • Awarded for academic accomplishment and community involvement

  • The amount of $40,000 over four years of undergraduate education

Your Skills

  • Java

  • HTML

  • MS Office Suites

  • Windows

  • Macintosh OS X

  • Communication

  • Problem-solving

  • Dependability

  • Creativity

  • Resourcefulness

Your Certifications

2018
HTML Fluency Course, HTML programming language

  • A 12-week course outlining the basics of HTML language

  • Accompanied by assignments, six tests, and a final exam

  • HTML basic fluency achieved

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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