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How to Write a Killer CV for a Master’s Degree Application

  • 4 min read
  • Mar 22, 2020
How to Write a Killer CV for a Master
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The guidelines that exist for a Master’s degree to write a decent Curriculum Vitae (CV) are not the same as those for the employment application. You’ll want to convince the selection committee in your higher education that your expertise and credentials make you eligible for their program.

These next guide will help you build a perfect CV for your potential Master’s degree application.

1. Learn the difference between a Resume and a Curriculum Vitae

Although both documents contain a brief overview of your activities, a Resume focuses mainly on career accomplishments, whereas your academic achievements are outlined in a CV. However most Master’s program would simply ask for the curriculum vitae. The only difference is when applying for an MBA, in which case most universities will ask for your Resume.

CV

  • Audience: Fellow scholars in your area of study applying for academic, postgraduate or fellowship positions
  • Goal: Present your academic accomplishments and educational capacity, including research, teaching and honors
  • Length: 1-2 pages
  • Key Information: Presentations, publications, honors and grants, research and teaching experience
  • References: Included

Resume

  • Audience: General audience; companies hiring a wide range of positions
  • Goal: Exhibit the skills and expertise needed to excel in the position in all fields–work related, volunteer and extracurricular activities
  • Length: As long as needed
  • Key Information: Only certain skills and experiences applicable to the job you are applying for
  • References: Do not include

2. Focus on your academic background

A fundamental rule of any application CV for a Master’s is to highlight your academic qualifications above your career accomplishments. Professional experience will certainly be listed but you should go into more detail about your education.

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In addition to mentioning your alma mater, the diploma you have received and when you graduated, notice should be made of some of the most important courses you have taken and academic awards you have won –particularly those that are most applicable to your field of knowledge.

Yet don’t put your explanations over! Under two or four bullet points, each entry in your CV should provide only the required information.

3. Don’t forget to attach volunteer work and internships experience

Internships or voluntary work inform admissions officers what your goals are, but also that for reasons other than direct financial benefits you are able to work hard. When you plan to change college subject areas, volunteer service or internships will help close the gaps between your present discipline and your ideal one.

You will emphasis here on explaining what you have done and not on what you think it says about you. Include the requisite facts so the admissions officers can draw their own conclusions.

It’s teaching experience that impresses admission committees, as it is part of what education is about. And make sure to mention every training, internship or paying position where you were a teacher or assistant teacher previously.

4. Use powerful language and have a clear framework

A curriculum vitae optimal length is 1 to 2 pages. Bottom line? A curriculum vitae isn’t the place to waste vocabulary and add pointless clickbait. Within a small space, you should pick your words carefully so that they say a lot about your accomplishments.

Watch out for internet clichés taken from CV templates or examples, which would just inform the admission committee you are reading an article on how to write a CV. This includes catch phrases such as “detail-oriented” which the commission has heard for so many occasions already.

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Therefore, framework is an essential aspect of your Master’s degree CV that should include:

  • a header with your name and contact details
  • Sections with specifically defined headings to highlight specific details
  • descriptions (usually as bullet points)
  • entries in reverse chronological order (most recent to the earliest)

5. Include these things in your academic CV

A strong academic CV structure should contain, from top to bottom, the following sections:

  • Contact Information: full name, professional tittle and affiliation, institutional address, your home address, email, telephone number, and LinkedIn profile (if any)
  • Research Objective or Personal Profile
  • Education: year of completion or expected completion (no starting dates), degree type, your major, your minors (if applicable), your department and institution, your honors, dissertation/thesis title and advisor
  • Professional Appointments: your position, your institution, dates worked, brief description of your responsibilities
  • Publications: books, book chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles, contributions to edited volumes equivalent to peer-reviewed journals
  • Awards and Honors
  • Grants and Fellowships
  • Conferences: invited talks, campus talks, conference participation
  • Teaching Experience
  • Research Experience
  • Additional Activities: non-academic jobs, extracurricular university activities, service to profession, media coverage
  • Languages and Skills
  • References

What if you are at an early time of your academic life, and have no teaching qualifications or fellowships yet to be demonstrated, for example? Simply skip those parts that don’t appeal to your CV. Incorporate the remaining ones in the latter order.

6. Proofreading is important

Your CV is your business card. Anything you bring in should be done with respect and polish. Which means modifying and changing it for every program to ensure it shows you in the best possible way.

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If you’re done typing the Curriculum Vitae, the next and most detailed step is to proofread it. Consider not to send the curriculum vitae until you have the file inspected. Alternatively, a single mistake in grammar, spelling or word order could indicate your ruin.

Possible errors in formats, sentence structure, vocabulary, and punctuation marks need to be carefully and thoroughly checked. Do not finish the job in one short time span. For all, editing quickly after writing may not be a good decision.

At least for some time away from the computer do the CV proofreading. Find a peaceful spot and remove lots of distractions from Facebook, Twitter or your cell phone because they can lead you to slip away.

Read all of the CV loudly. That strategy will make it easy for you to detect certain blunders, such as awkward statements and expressions, repeated terms. Other errors may also be addressed, such as typical spelling errors and much more.

Proof-reading is not just about grammar and spelling. It is all about testing details. To insure they are accurate, check the dates of your academic records. When the commission carries out a background search and detects wrong dates, then your mistakes will put you in a negative light.

The most critical thing you need to learn about your Master application’s curriculum vitae is that it will express how you view your own accomplishments. The curriculum vitae typically goes together with scholarly letters of approval, in which professors also take credit for what you have done and your skills.

That’s why you shouldn’t only view the CV like a technical work, but take the time to think about what you’ve learned previously and what’s deserving of notice.

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