Arguably one of the hardest goals in education is obtaining a PhD degree. But the hard work doesn’t lie just in the courses and dissertation. The difficulties of getting accepted in a PhD program are enough to make even the most confident Master’s degree graduate nervous when they submit their resume to their coveted institution.
Since there are multiple formats you can choose when you’re compiling your resume, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You need to design a resume that stands out from the other applicants because not everyone is accepted into the PhD program they apply for. By choosing the right format and including the essentials correctly, your resume can push you in front of the pack and get you a position in the program of your choice.
What’s in Your PhD Application Resume?
When you write your PhD application and compile your resume, you are aiming to highlight all of your abilities, skills, and qualifications that make you the perfect candidate for the program in which you’re applying. If the program requirements clearly state that you need a resume, not a CV, make sure you limit your document to less than two pages, but shine a spotlight on all of the academic history and work that you have that makes you an “expert’ in your field.
If you have the opportunity to submit your resume online, you can include more information in less space through hyperlinks. One way to cover all of the relevant work and experience you have without listing it all on the paper is to establish a profile on professional researcher sites like Impactio. Impactio works like other social media platforms, except it is designed specifically for those in the field of academics. It is an all-in-one place where you can list your work experience and published findings, as well as follow and share your citation metrics. Including this information in your PhD resume puts you in an entirely higher level than most other applicants and demonstrates your knowledge and talent as a skilled researcher.
In addition, your resume should have your contact information, any of your research interests, all your relevant academic and work history, your skills, any awards and honors you’ve received, and a list of references. Most of this is also available on your Impactio profile, so you can reduce the amount of redundant information by linking your resume.
Choosing the Best Format
Designing your resume is easy if you use a template builder. You don’t have to be concerned about the type of format you use as long as you choose a template that’s geared specifically for a graduate school candidate.
The right template for today’s PhD applicants is a mix of mediums. You’ll want to include the basic header with your contact information, but also add a professional photo of yourself. Keep the font clearly legible using typefaces such as Times New Roman and Arial. Your font size should be no larger than 12 point but no smaller than 10 point. Use 1-inch margins if possible, unless you need to squeeze a little more information to reduce the number of pages, then you can go with ½ inches at the minimum.
Streamline the information so it’s in chronological order and can be easily skimmed. Hyperlink to any relevant attachments, like your Impactio or other social media profiles, your published works, and your prior universities.
Within that template, though, the format should walk you through adding your skills and achievements and describing your academic experience. The trick is to use professional language and sentences without going overly verbose. That’s not always easy for a lot of academic researchers who spend their time writing long articles and manuscripts.
Remember, your resume has to be no longer than two pages, preferably one. To do this, you’re going to have to hit the main points succinctly and clearly. Your goal is to stand out from the rest of the applicants by showcasing your skills. Use the unique ones that not everyone has and leave out those that are implied simply by the fact that you’ve achieved a Master’s degree and are able to apply for your PhD. You want to be impressive, not repetitive.
Writing your PhD resume is one of the most important documents you’ll create, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Keep these tips in mind as you choose the format and template to help you design your impactful application.