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CV Writing Tips for Studying Abroad – Do’s & Don’ts

Updated on 18 March, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Students planning to study in foreign countries must have an excellent CV or CV (curriculum vitae). A CV is a summary of academic & professional qualifications, skills, contributions, and achievements. This document is particularly important for an applicant because it casts the first impression on the admission committee. Therefore, you need to be extra careful while preparing your CV. Mention the significant points about yourself and your achievements carefully while writing the CV. As you start working on it, you can consider the following CV writing tips for studying abroad.

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Tips to write a winning CV for study abroad applications

  • Personal details: One of the most important things to include in the CV for a study abroad application is personal details. It includes information like current address, PIN code, email address, mobile phone number, etc. These should be easily readable and mentioned at the top of the page.
  • Education details: The details of your education showcase your interest in the primary subjects and also highlight your inclination towards studies. Therefore, you must discuss your qualifications, the name of your academic institution, specialization, and year of passing.
  • Work experience: You must mention any relevant experience on the CV. You can mention the name of the employer and discuss your profile at length. You must mention your job duration, responsibilities, and your accomplishments in the organization. Mention this information in bullet points with at least a couple of sentences for each point.

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  • Co-curricular activities: You do not have to name the section ‘Co-curricular activities’. Instead, you can write ‘Projects and publications’. It can include all the additional work other than your education or job profile. You can mention relevant activities like project work or published paper, or participation in any club/committee.
  • Recognition: Bragging in the CV is not a bad idea. You must mention awards, recognitions, and certifications. You can also discuss the workshops and that you have attended. 
  • Skills: You can divide your skills into two categories – hard and soft. Hard skills include acquired knowledge such as Google Analytics, HTML, and even Excel. Soft skills reveal your personal strengths like communication and leadership skills.
  • Community Service: It is not mandatory. However, if you have participated in community service which may include women empowerment, child education, or even environmental protection, you must create some space in your CV to include these.
  • Hobbies and Interests: Your hobbies and interests do not necessarily have to align with the subject of study. So, do not shy away and mention them too.

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Common CV writing mistakes that are best avoided

CV writing surely isn’t among the toughest jobs; however, you must be very careful while mentioning the information in it. Here are some of the common mistakes that you must avoid in your CV.

  • The CV should not exceed a single page. It should look like a snapshot in which all your accomplishments are mentioned. It should be easy to understand even at one glance.
  • Avoid lengthy paragraphs and try to use bullet points instead. It is easier for readers to go through and understand the points at one go. Items like work contributions, co-curricular activities, or even your volunteer community service can all be mentioned in bullet points. 
  • Many students add multiple lines of text even in the bullet points which makes it less interesting. Each bullet point should not exceed one and a half lines.
  • The CV should not look haphazard and the bullet points should be mentioned in chronological order. You must start with your recent accomplishments and gradually mention the older ones. 

Read More: Study Abroad Checklist

  • Using passive voice can sometimes confuse the readers. Therefore, you must use active voice everywhere in the CV. Some of the words that you can use in your CV are conducted, designed, managed, achieved, and authored.
  • Grammatical and spelling errors can be a big reason for rejection. There are silly mistakes which many of us cannot spot in the CV.  Since a CV helps in creating the first impression, yours should not have spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. 
  • Students also make the mistake of not taking the format of the CV seriously. From leaving a one-inch margin on both sides to using a single font and bold headings, there are many aspects of the format that must be correct.

To study abroad, you have to make a CV that stands out. Following the above-mentioned points can help you to craft the best CV which will take you to the next steps.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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