CV Writing Tips for Studying Abroad

CV Writing Tips for Studying Abroad

6 mins read2.8L Views 63 Comments
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Mar 18, 2024 13:00 IST

A resume or a CV (curriculum vitae) is a summary of your academic and professional qualifications, achievements, contributions, extracurricular activities, and technical skills. Your resume casts your first impression on the admission committee and thus, must be designed very carefully and subsequently, critiqued meticulously. There are a few important points that must be kept in mind while drafting a resume, which includes the content, format, and finally, the length of the resume.

What is student CV

A well-written resume has to define your objective and purpose through its content clearly. However, it is not a good idea to mention the objective at the start of the resume, as most applicants do. Your objective should be reflected in the construction, content and flow of your resume, along with the hierarchy of your qualifications and achievements included in the document.

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Academic CV/Resume Writing Tips for Studying Abroad

You must keep in mind that you are one of the few thousand applicants who will apply to that university, and thus, your resume is also one of the few thousand resumes the admission committee will go through. Naturally, the admission committee may have just a few seconds/minutes to go through your resume. So, you must ensure that the resume captures the attention of the committee member in the first few seconds. Also, what is most important is how you endeavour to make your resume look more impressive and comprehensive than the rest. For more information, read Common Errors in a Resume. One must include the following details in their academic resume:

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  • Academic Performance and Background: Though briefly but importantly about the institutions attended and the GPA scored.
  • Work or Internship Experience: This acts as an added advantage if mentioned in a CV and also if the applicant holds some experience. 
  • Projects Worked on: Research projects or projects that are relevant in context to academics can leave a good impression on the assessor about the applicant.
  • Skills: Those who have the technical know-how can definitely mention their skills in their academic CV. 
  • Extracurricular Activities: Sports or social service is definitely an added advantage for students with these experiences and applying abroad for higher education. 

While preparing your resume, you must remember that a resume is not an autobiography and should not be approached in that way. You must treat your resume as a comprehensive and focused reference to your academic history, delivered responsibilities, achievements, and academic and professional skills. Finally, the font, font size, spacing, alignment, and the like, should be appropriate. More importantly, there is a standard format that an academic resume follows, which you should keep in mind.

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How to Make an Impressive Academic Resume

The most important part of developing an effective and impressive resume is to realize and understand the purpose of creating this document. You need to understand that it is not an autobiography. Instead, it summarises your professional and academic qualifications and achievements. How to Make an Impressive Academic Resume? hold more details as to what all should ideally go into a CV to make it impressive and readable. 

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Common Mistakes in a Resume and How to Avoid These

A resume is essentially the first look into your candidature. While it is important to keep in mind what you should include in your resume, it is essential to keep in mind the common mistakes people make while making their academic resume. Most often, students (especially the ones with work experience) upload the same resume they use for applying for a job. They need to remember that an academic resume differs from a professional resume/CV. As such, students must be very careful and not make these common mistakes while preparing their academic resumes.

What to Avoid Writing in a Student Resume?

When writing a resume, students should usually highlight their academic achievements, important coursework, and extracurricular activities. But there are a few things which one should avoid including in his/her CV so as to keep the resume’s content crisp and attractive. Some of the points are:

  • Irrelevant Personal Details: Personal information such as your marital status or social security number should not be included in your resume as it’s not relevant to your academic or professional achievements.
  • Unrelated Work: Although, one needs to display a strong work ethic and experience, mentioning work experience which is not related can occupy valuable space on your resume and make it look cluttered.
  • Grammar or Spelling Errors: Make sure that your resume has no spelling or grammar mistakes as the employer may consider it unprofessional or careless.

Shiksha Guidelines for CV

Along with the right format, the correct formatting, hygiene of the document, US/UK English, action words, and grammar, are the most important aspects of the CV/ resume that you will be submitting to the university. Even an incorrect alignment of bullets or extra line spacing can affect the whole appearance of the document. This, in turn, affects the readability of your draft. The more verbose/confusing your draft is, the less interesting it is for the ADCOM.

Hence, it is important to convey all your information in a detailed yet crisp manner, which does not miss any of your essentials. To help you with this, with years of research and study abroad experience, the Shiksha Guidelines for CV have been carefully tailored, keeping in mind all these trivialities, as well as university requirements.

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CV Writing Tips for Studying Abroad FAQs

Q. What is an academic resume?

A. An academic resume is an amalgamation of information of the applicant's academics, skills, projects taken up, work experience level, internships taken up and about their interests beyond academics. Applicants must be very careful with all the information they add in their CV so that they are able to present a good picture about themselves. This is one way of also understanding the applicant, his/her potential and goals through the academic CV.

Q. Why is an academic CV needed?

A. There is a requirement for an academic CV because:

  • It'll help in assessing students and their past performances.
  • Assessments for how an applicant can fare well in a foreign country can be made better.
  • If at all the applicant can finish the course they take up in the foreign land is possible at their end or not.
  • Also if given an opportunity, can the applicant fulfil the goals of the assigned projects.

Q. What is the word count of an academic CV?

A. An academic CV cannot be very long, it has to be precise and must be a page long only. The word count of an academic CV should not go beyond 600-700 words. The shorter and precise the CV will be the more impressive it'll be. Thus, applicants must ensure that the academic CV is not very long and is in within the word count and page limits. Otherwise the reader will lose interest and may not read it completely also. 

Q. How can an international student differentiate between a CV and resume?

A. CV or most commonly referred to as Curriculum Vitae is all about the academic background of the applicant and how he/she has done academically. Whereas, resumes are more concise and they give a holistic picture but in bare minimum words. Thus, CV's are longer and resumes are shorter. Thus, those submitting CVs have to be more detailed and include all major aspects of their studies. 

About the Author
Written by
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

Rahul Singha is a seasoned editor with Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in overseas education. With over 8 years of domain experience, he has made a significant impact in contributing to the study abroad industry ... Read Full Bio

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a year ago

hi i want to apply for food technology course i george brown can you pls share me list for course and related to food technology courses i have already apply but university sended a mail to change course

Reply to Manisha

Hello Manisha! If you could elaborate more on your query we may be able to help you or you can apply for free counselling, the counsellors will help you choose the relevant courses depending upon your qualifications. Apply for counselling at -


Anjali Dhar

a year ago

How many times a student appear for SAT exams during appearing/passing class-XII? What scores or other parameters are required in order to be eligible for free education in abroad in science stream?

Reply to Anjali Dhar

Hello Anjali, you can appear for SAT as many times as you want to in a year. The scores will depend on the course and university you are applying to. You can find some details at All the best!

Hi I have a diploma in nursing I want to do phd in uk is possible on scholership

Reply to Christabel Pengepenge


sukhjot singh

a year ago

Now i have doing MSc in agriculture science after I want to go for PhD in agriculture science USA on scholarship basis what is essentially requirements for me in this process?

Reply to sukhjot singh

Hello Sukhjot! You can check our article on PhD scholarships in USA at - Good luck!


Akash Paul

a year ago

Hii.. I am a diabetes one .can I have a chance or get visa to study in usa ?

Reply to Akash Paul

Hello Akash, yes you are eligible to study in USA.