Resumes For Graduate School Admission: Writing Secrets

EssayEdge Graduate

Writing an effective graduate school resume is important for the student because it can either boost or diminish the chances for successful graduate admissions. It is often a tough thing, especially for those students who make it for the first time. But do not worry. Everything you need is to calm down and prepare to write a resume for graduate that works. 

We prepared some winning tips to make a big step forward in applying for the graduate program of your dream. Stay tuned to discover the secrets of a perfect resume for graduate school.

What is a Resume for Graduate School?

Students often suppose that a resume serves only for career issues. Indeed, a graduate school resume has some similarities with a job one. They both help promote a person and highlight the experience and strengths. But the key difference of the grad resume is a focus on the educational background and achievements.

Winning Essay with Samples from Ivy League Editor

The primary resume graduate school writing goal is to ensure that a student is a perfect candidate for a particular master or doctoral program. As the grad programs get many applications, your aim is to persuade the committee that you are the best choice for admission.

Main Requirements for Graduate School Resumes

While writing a graduate program resume, it’s essential to consider several issues. First of all, students should follow the formatting requirements.

Here are the main ones:

  • Reverse-chronological order to list info with dates (e.g., publications, awards, and so on);
  • Divide the document into sections;
  • Use white spaces between paragraphs;
  • Choose one-inch margins;
  • Highlight the heading to make them easy for scanning (CAPS or bold);
  • Use the same font and size throughout the document;
  • Apply bullets while listing something instead of long sentences.

NB: It is recommended to avoid using underlining and italics because some scanning software can misread the text.

Questions to the Expert
Julia Z.
Professional Essay Editor. Education: PhD, University of Oxford, Experience: 8 years. Member of EssayEdge team.
Hire Julia Z.
How Long Should a Graduate School Resume Be?
Julia Z.
Compared to the career resume that mostly takes 1 page, the resume graduate school document usually consists of 2-4 pages. Thus, everything depends on the gained experience or student’s achievements. In case a person lacks or has no experience, 1 page of a well-organized resume is enough.
What Font to Choose?
Julia Z.
It is better to choose standard fonts, such as Arial or Times New Roman. As for the font size, 11 is the most appropriate variant for the graduate student resume formatting. This way, it will be easy and comfortable to read your document for admission.
How to Sign a Resume?
Julia Z.
Do not forget to sign your graduate resume. According to the resume graduate school requirements, you should place personal information in the header. Also, you need to add the contact details.

Make sure that you mentioned these points:

  • Your name;

  • Phone number;

  • Address;

  • Email.

  • This information is vital for the grad schools to contact you with feedback.

    How to Make a Resume for Graduate School Stand Out?

    Of course, the standard requirements for admission resumes make them look similar. So, students want to make it eye-catching to boost their chances for success. How is it possible?

    Let’s focus on the main tips for the resume for graduate school that catches the attention of the committee members.

    1. Stay focused on a certain graduate program. Avoid placing any unnecessary information.
    2. Remember that education is the main section of your resume.
    3. Do not forget to add practical experience.
    4. Highlight relevant accomplishments.
    5. Make the document well-organized and formatted according to the requirements.
    6. Maintain the logical flow and use action words.
    7. Proofread everything before applying for the graduate school program.

    6 Steps to Follow while Writing a Graduate School Resume

    Here is a guide on how to write a resume for graduate school and succeed during admission. With these recommendations, admission to the desired graduate program will be easy and quick.

    Step 1. Start with a Header

    Making a header is the first and important step. Here, you mention all the necessary information about you and a grad school program. This section does matter because it is the first thing that catches the admission committee’s attention. So, your formatting of the resume graduate school header shows your overall approach.

    We have already discussed what things to include in the header in the previous section. But, it’s suggested to consider extra issues.

    1. Pay attention to formatting. You need to make this part visible and well-organized. For instance, use CAPS or bold.
    2. Do additional research to ensure that you followed all the requirements. It is better to visit a grade school’s website to find the expected formatting of the header and footer of the resume.

    Step 2. Begin Your Resume for Graduate School with a Summary Statement

    Improve Your Chances of Admissions

    The best variant for beginning your graduate school resume is summarizing your academic qualifications. The profile or summary statement aims to show your accomplishments and goal for your doctoral or master’s program.

    It is an optional section, but you can add the statement for making your resume stand out from other candidates. Here are some recommendations for crafting an effective summary statement:

    • Do not use long and complicated sentences. Profile summary usually takes 3-4 short sentences;
    • Highlight your strengths, accomplishments, and skills;
    • Add only relevant information. Avoid mentioning the qualifications or experience, which is not related to the chosen graduate program;
    • Use action words to make your statement sound persuasive. The examples of the action words are enforced, established, identified, advanced, and so on;
    • End the statement with your goal for the program.

    Example of Effective Summary Statement:

    A dedicated and ambitious student with a Master’s degree in health management. 2+ years of internship experience in the Intensive Care Unit. Good at stress management and communication with patients. Aimed to apply for a doctoral program in public health to get knowledge and skills for improving the healthcare facilities in local hospitals.

    Step 3. Resume Grade School Structure: What Main Sections to Include?

    Before crafting a graduate school resume,  outline the main sections in the document. Apart from the header and summary statement, there should be some obligatory and optional sections.

    Obligatory resume parts:

    • Header;
    • Education;
    • Work or Internship Experience;
    • Skills.

    Optional resume parts:

    NB: You should add these sections only if they are relevant to the graduate program.

    • Honors & Awards;
    • Grants;
    • Publications;
    • Memberships;
    • Leadership Activities;
    • Languages;
    • References;
    • Additional Sections (Hobbies & Interests).


    Getting into Your Dream University

    The education section shows the admission committee where you obtained your education. Also, it’s a chance to highlight your achievements. There is a scheme you may use while filling in this part of the resume:

    Degree and Major > School Name (with its location) > Graduation Year > GPA > Coursework> Honors & Awards & Academic Accomplishments > Thesis Title

    NB: Try not to put everything in one line. Also, do not forget to make this section visible. 

    One more important suggestion is to include only relevant information. For instance, avoid mentioning your high school education. Additionally, if your coursework has no relation to your future grad program, just omit it.

    Work Experience

    If you have any teaching, research, or internship experience, it will be nice to mention it in your resume for graduate school. Here, you should include:

    • What kind of experience do you have?
    • Where do you get practical experience?
    • Date (beginning and ending);
    • Summary of obtained skills and achievements.


    After the education and experience, you can add a section enlisting your skills. The main requirement for this resume part is to place only relevant strengths. Furthermore, do not forget to enlist both hard and soft skills. Finally, the bulleted list will be the best format for this section.

    Additional Resume Graduate School Sections

    The additional sections are often optional. As is mentioned above, if you have honors & awards, grants, references, or publications, you can mention them after the mandatory parts of the resume. One more excellent idea is to include foreign languages. Some graduate school programs require this skill, so it will be a great benefit for you.

    If you want to add your hobbies and interests, they should be related somehow to the graduate program. Thus, we recommend reading the school’s requirements carefully to ensure that this data won’t be redundant.

    Finally, you can add some leadership activities. When a student has a leadership role during the internship or teaching, the admission committee will pay special attention to this fact. Hence, if your experience as a leader is related to the graduate school program, do not hesitate to highlight this fact.

    Step 4. Highlight Your Achievements

    To make your resume graduate school document stand out from hundreds of other candidates, you need to add the achievements. Apart from their experience, students should mention the establishments.

    In the education and experience sections, any achievements (certifications, awards, membership) will show your qualification and competence in a certain field.

    Step 5. How to End a Resume?

    After you fill in all the sections, you need to proofread everything. The matter is that possible mistakes in your graduate school resume can leave a bad impression on your candidacy. Even if you crafted a perfect resume and highlighted your strong sides, some errors may show the committee your careless attitude towards the admission.

    We recommend proofreading the resume several times. For the first time, check everything carefully to correct possible mistakes. Then, re-read the document from the perspective of the admission committee member. Make sure that you place only important and appropriate data. If you see that something is redundant or makes no sense, delete it with no regrets.

    When everything is finished, take a deep breath and relax! But if you still have some doubts, consult EssayEdge editors to ensure that everything is perfect.

    How to Write a Resume for Graduate with No Experience?

    If you do not have any relevant experience, it doesn’t mean that you should leave this resume graduate school section empty. Think about any relevant research or volunteer experiences you had during your studies. In addition, students with no experience can list extracurricular activities that helped to apply knowledge and practice specific skills.

    One more appropriate way to overcome this issue is to mention related projects. It can be a graduation thesis or a research paper. Do not forget to add the achievements while writing about your practical experience.

    Key Takeaway

    Before finishing this article, we would like to mention the key points that are useful for crafting an effective graduate resume:

    • Pay attention to graduate school resume formatting;
    • Use special markers to highlight the specific information;
    • Divide the resume into sections and make the headings;
    • Read all the requirements posted on the graduate school website;
    • Include the information related to the program;
    • Put experience together with the achievements;
    • Use action words to sound persuasive;
    • Avoid long sentences and apply bulleted lists to enumerate something.

    We hope you will use these tips to write an extraordinary resume, highlighting all your strengths. Anyway, our team wishes you good luck in your admission process!

    Robin W.
    Professional essay editor and proofreader with 10+ years of experience. Education: Cornell University. PhD in English Studies and M.F.A in Creative Writing.
    Update: April 12, 2022

    How to distinguish yourself in the admission essay?

    EssayEdge experts have all the tools to help you!

    Find Out More

    Recent Posts

    EssayEdge customers and authorized clients can leave a comment.
    Please register to leave a comment.
    Register Now
    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published.

    Get FREE expert admission guides to your Inbox

    Our guides on College, Graduate, Medical, MBA, and Law admission include essential information on the preparation of documents for your chosen program, pro tips, and clues

    Get my guide