How To Write a Graduate School Resume

To stand out from the competition for graduate programs, you’ll need to craft an accomplishment-driven document that showcases your most compelling academic achievements. Providing descriptions of specific research projects and internships is one way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Many universities also place a great deal of weight on associations you were involved in and your volunteer efforts. We’ll provide expert tips to help you translate your academic background and experience into a powerful resume.

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1. Summarize your graduate school qualifications in a dynamic profile

When applying to graduate school, develop a professional summary at the top of your resume that encapsulates your key skills and academic expertise. Even if you lack hands-on experience in the field, this section will allow you to make a strong case for why you should be considered for graduate programs.

For example, showcasing emotional intelligence and client relations skills you may have acquired through volunteerism could resonate with the university if you intend to pursue a field of study in health care. Pay close attention to what qualities the program is looking for in its candidates and consider how your academic career aligns with the university’s values.

Professional Profile - Example #1


Profile

A speech pathology graduate specializing in speech-language therapy, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), American Sign Language (ASL), and team leadership. A proven track record of mentoring students within the speech-language program and providing English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring services.

Professional Profile - Example #2


Profile

An economics graduate specializing in statistical analysis, accounting, financial analysis, risk management, and return on investment (ROI) analysis. Experience in conducting economic research to evaluate statistical trends and inform financial decision-making for businesses.

2. Create a powerful list of your graduate school experience

Crafting a professional experience section can be difficult for graduate students due to a lack of hands-on experience within your field. If you’ve completed an internship or research fellowship, feature this experience as the flagship of your resume. But if you haven’t had this type of opportunity, don’t panic. Leveraging your academic projects can also be highly impactful in demonstrating your qualifications for graduate programs.

Professional Experience Example


Professional Experience

Internship, Anderson Financial Firm, San Francisco, CA
April 2020 – April 2021

  • Performed statistical analysis on economic and financial trends for a financial investment firm, which included evaluating potential ROI of startup businesses
  • Supported a team of financial analysts and economists in evaluating business models, analyzing risk, and forecasting financial outlook to inform investment decisions
  • Attended meetings with the finance team and assisted with the preparation of financial presentations and reports

Academic Projects Example


Academic Projects

Psychology Research Projects, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
May 2021 – June 2022

  • Wrote a 25-page research paper for the psychology capstone course analyzing the cultural experience of Chinese American immigrants in urban and rural areas and the relationship between institutionalized racism and anxiety
  • Developed a 10-page research paper evaluating the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to treat depression symptoms

3. Include graduate school-related education and certifications

When applying for graduate school programs, feature your education, coursework, and academic achievements prominently on your document. Depending on your field of study, you may also want to consider pursuing a certification to strengthen your application. For example, if you were pursuing a graduate degree in economics or finance, you could obtain a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification after completing the FINRA exam. This shows universities you’ve been proactive in expanding your knowledge and expertise while pursuing graduate programs.

Education

Template

  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] [Dates Enrolled]

Example

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Speech-Language Pathology
  • Columbia University, New York, NY September 2019 – June 2023

Certifications

Template

  • [Certification Name], [Awarding Organization], [Completion Year]

Example

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), 2023

4. List key graduate school skills and proficiencies

When building your resume for your graduate school application, create a robust skills section highlighting a mix of both hard and soft skills. Universities use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter out unqualified candidates. Include as many relevant keywords as possible to maximize your chances of advancing to the next phase of the application process. Before you apply, carefully evaluate the graduate program you’re pursuing and ensure you include all the necessary coursework and skills in your document. Below are some potential keywords to use during the application process:

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Academic research Accounting
Actuarial science Biology
Business modeling Calculus
Cell-based assays Cognitive behavioral therapy
Curriculum development Drug development
Economics Engineering
Finance Financial analysis
Kinesiology Nursing theory
Pharmaceutical science Psychology
Public health Social sciences
Social work Statistics
Teaching Team leadership
Written communication  

5. Highlight Academic Achievements

Featuring key academic projects and educational achievements is essential for building a strong graduate school application. Be sure to include all of your relevant degrees, academic associations, GPAs, and coursework. For example, as a speech pathologist student, you may want to include your knowledge of ASL. If you were an engineering graduate, highlight projects where you collaborated with student teams to create prototypes.

How To Pick the Best Graduate Resume Template

It’s best to select a well-organized, straightforward template when applying for graduate school applications. Although flashy colors and graphics may be visually appealing, these types of modern templates often distract the reader from your content. When in doubt, prioritize structure and organization over style.

Graduate School Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Example #1
  • Example #2
  • Example #3
  • Example #4

Luis Rodriguez
(123) 456-7890
[email protected]
123 Your Street, New York, NY 12345

Profile

A Speech Pathology Graduate specializing in speech-language therapy, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), American Sign Language (ASL), and team leadership. A proven track record of mentoring students within the Speech-Language program and providing ESL tutoring services.

Education

Bachelor of Art (B.A.) Speech-Language-Hearing Science
Columbia University, New York, NY September 2017 – May 2021
GPA: 3.75/4.0

  • Member, American Sign Language Club, 2018-2021
  • Member, National Honors Society, 2017-2021
  • Dean’s List, 2017-2021
  • Summa Cum Laude

Professional Experience

Speech-Language-Hearing Writing Tutor, Columbia University, New York, NY
September 2020 – May 2021

  • Coordinated with students weekly to identify weaknesses, resolved questions with speech, language, and hearing science course material, and developed strategies for academic success
  • Resolved concerns regarding paper structure, prompts, revisions, and MLA and APA citation formatting

Classroom Assistant, Columbia University, New York, NY
September 2019 – September 2020

  • Supported a professor in the execution of two English preparatory courses for incoming first-year students
  • Taught two thirty-minute sessions five days a week based on the needs of the students and focused on improving writing abilities and critical thinking skills

Volunteerism Experience

Volunteer Teaching Assistant, Brooklyn Literacy Center, New York, NY
June 2020 – Present

  • Supported one instructor in facilitating a three-hour class for ESL students, conducted evaluations to identify academic weaknesses, and assisted with implementing lesson plans and activities

Key Skills

  • Speech-Language-Hearing Therapy
  • American Sign Language
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Teaching
  • Lesson Plan Implementation
  • ESL
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Frequently Asked Questions: Graduate School Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for graduate school resumes?-

It’s easy to run short on action verbs when describing your internships, research fellowships, and academic projects. In many instances, there are only a limited number of verbs you can use to convey your academic experience accurately. Differentiating your word choice sends a message to the reader that you’ve put time and effort into your graduate school application. We’ve compiled a list of verbs to build your resume:

Action Verbs
Analyze Build
Calculate Collaborate
Conduct Construct
Coordinate Create
Deliver Design
Develop Diagnose
Evaluate Execute
Implement Led
Manage Plan
Provide Resolve
Respond Support
Taught Test
How do you align your resume with a job description?-

The top graduate school programs are highly competitive. Numerous factors come into play, including your undergraduate program, GRE scores, internship experience, and letters of recommendation. To maximize your chances, carefully tailor your resume to the program you’re applying for. However, determining what key terms to include can be challenging on a graduate school resume, as not all programs will provide you with a robust description to build off of. Integrate as many key terms and courses from your field as possible in this situation.

What is the best graduate school resume format?-

The ideal graduate school format varies depending on your field of study and professional experience. If you’ve completed an internship, a reverse chronological approach is the best option. Other candidates may opt to feature their education and academic projects directly below their opening summary. Ultimately, choose a format that allows you to feature your most compelling qualifications and academic achievements towards the top of your resume.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume

Most graduate programs require some form of cover letter from applicants. To garner interest from universities, highlight how your background and personal values align with the programs you’re targeting. Avoid crafting generic cover letters. They won’t generate results. Be thoughtful in your messaging and display a genuine passion for your field of study. For more information, visit our recent graduate school cover letter page.

Frank headshot

Frank Hackett

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Frank Hackett is a professional resume writer and career consultant with over eight years of experience. As the lead editor at a boutique career consulting firm, Frank developed an innovative approach to resume writing that empowers job seekers to tell their professional stories. His approach involves creating accomplishment-driven documents that balance keyword optimization with personal branding. Frank is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PAWRCC).

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