Students planning to study in foreign countries must have an excellent CV or Resume (curriculum vitae). A CV is a summary of academic and professional qualifications, skills, contributions, and achievements. This document is particularly important for a candidate as it makes a first impression on the admissions committee.
Therefore, you must be very careful while preparing your resume. Carefully mention the significant points about yourself and your achievements when writing your CV. As you begin to work on this, you may want to consider the following tips for writing a study abroad resume.
The first thing to remember when writing a CV is that this is not the place for modesty. While this might be good for you in real life, it doesn’t bode well to be modest if you want to attract the attention of the college to which thousands, if not more, equally qualified people are applying. The basic content of a CV is listed below.
- Full name of the candidate in clearly visible size and font
- Address and contact number of the candidate
- Short-term goals during the time you would be at the college (Optional)
- Academic qualifications in reverse chronological order (Recent first and earliest last)
- Work experience/summer programs
- Other courses that you have done
- Co-curricular activities
- Extra-curricular activities including but not limited to volunteering work carried on etc.
- Other skills you have acquired
- Recommendations from any professors you have
Resume/CV Writing Tips for Studying Abroad
Personal details – One of the most important things to include on your CV for a study abroad application is your personal details. It includes information such as a current address, PIN code, email address, cell phone number, etc. These should be easily readable and listed at the top of the page.
Education Details: Your education details show your interest in basic subjects and also highlight your inclination towards studies. Therefore, you must discuss your qualifications, the name of your academic institution, your major, and the year of passing.
Work Experience: You should mention any relevant experience on your CV. You can mention the name of the employer and discuss their profile in detail. You should mention your length of employment, responsibilities, and your achievements in the organization. Mention this information in bullet points with at least a few sentences for each bullet point.
Co-Curricular Activities: You do not need to name the “Co-Curricular Activities” section. You can write ‘Projects and Posts’ instead. You can include any additional work other than your education or job profile. You can mention relevant activities such as project work or published articles, or membership in any clubs/committees.
Recognition: showing off your resume is not a bad idea. You should mention awards, recognitions, and certifications. You can also discuss the workshops and the ones you participated in.
Skills: You can divide your skills into two categories: hard and soft. Hard skills include acquired knowledge like Google Analytics, HTML, and even Excel. Soft skills reveal your personal strengths, such as communication and leadership skills.
Community Service: Not mandatory. However, if you have been involved in a community service that may include women’s empowerment, early childhood education, or even environmental protection, you should create a space in your curriculum to include them.
Hobbies and interests: Your hobbies and interests do not necessarily have to be aligned with the subject of study. So don’t be shy and mention them too.
Common CV & Résumé Mistakes to Avoid
Resume writing is certainly not among the most difficult jobs; however, you should be very careful when mentioning the information it contains. Here are some of the common mistakes to avoid on your resume.
The CV should not exceed a single page. It should feel like a snapshot listing all of your accomplishments. It should be easy to understand even with the naked eye.
Avoid long paragraphs and try to use bullet points. It is easier for readers to read and understand all the points at once. Items like job contributions, extracurricular activities, or even your volunteer community service can be mentioned in the bookmarks.
Many students add multiple lines of text, even in bullet points, which makes it less interesting. Each vignette should not exceed one and a half lines.
The CV must not appear randomly and the points must be mentioned in chronological order. You should start with your recent achievements and gradually bring up your oldest ones.
The use of the passive voice can sometimes confuse readers. Therefore, you should use an active voice throughout your CV. Some of the words you can use on your resume are led, designed, managed, achieved, and created.
Grammatical and spelling errors can be a big reason for rejection. There are silly mistakes that many of us miss on our resumes. Since a resume helps create a first impression, yours should be free of spelling or grammatical errors.
Students also make the mistake of not taking the resume format seriously. From leaving a one-inch margin on both sides to using a single font and bold headings, there are many aspects of formatting that need to be correct.