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How to Write a CV for a University Abroad
Picking a destination and taking a language test are not the only challenges when applying to study abroad. You also have to prepare a lot of documents. A resume is one of the most essential pieces in this package.
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In this article, Diana Romanova, Customer Service Manager in StudyFree, is giving advice on how to write a perfect CV that will increase your chances to get into your dream university.

Why Do You Need a Resume

A resume contains a brief set of facts that show you as a perfect applicant. It is required to apply to universities abroad and plays a significant role when a person is considered for enrollment or a scholarship, for example.

If you don’t know how to build a resume, you should use the Europass CV builder. It is a website where you can create a good CV online and set up a profile that you might need to apply for volunteer projects, internships, jobs in Europe, or for enrollment in universities abroad.

What to Put On a Resume

Here are the key things to highlight in your resume:

About me;

Education;

Work experience;

Volunteering;

Honors & Awards;

Skills & Interests;

Contact information.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each item.

About me. A couple of sentences about your achievements, goals, and ambitions. The most important thing is to make it clear. A resume should be as short as possible, with all the information being backed up by facts and figures. 

When you highlight some facts about your life, imagine you’re talking to a person you don’t know. Your task is to tell them about yourself and convince them that you are the best candidate to be enrolled in a university, to take part in an internship, etc. Your CV should make them want to meet you in person. Make sure you only include valid and relevant information with consideration to where you are going to study.

Education. List educational institutions, programs, and their components, like tracks or specialties, average scores (if higher than 4.0), and whether you graduated with distinction. Use bullet points when listing items.

This section may also contain the list of completion certificates for advanced training courses, skills upgrading courses, etc. 

Don’t forget to mention the city and country where a course or a program was completed, as well as the acquired skills.

Work experience. The general structure here is the same as in the education section. Work experience should be listed in reverse chronological order, that is, you put your most recent job on top, and your oldest job goes to the bottom. The Europass platform offers an option where you can just write things down randomly as they pop into your head, and the system will automatically list your work experience in the right chronological order.

In this section, you need to describe the jobs you’ve had. Short-term internships, including the ones abroad, can also go here. When stating the period of work, include the years and months you started and finished working for each company. Give the full job title and a summary of responsibilities, which should be listed in the past tense under the job title using bullet points.

Volunteering. This section contains information about your unpaid work experience and volunteer help to the community. The structure is no different from the work experience section. If you don’t have any volunteering experience, you can register with online volunteer communities, such as TED, and highlight this experience in your resume.

Honors & Awards. This is a section for all your certificates. Don't forget about online courses, workshops, or events that you attended but got no certificate. Mention the institution that organized the activity, the name of the program, the year, month, and location. You can also include your publications with the links attached. When applying for a creative major, add a list of your works.

Skills & Interests. Skills in a CV are basically grouped into computer skills and language skills. The first category should include things like MS Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), SQL, Java C++, Python, etc. “English C1 (Advanced, IELTS 9.0, June 2020)” might be an example for Language Skills.

Skills like Photoshop or sporting interests would also go in this section. If you do or used to do professional sports, you’d better add a separate Sports Achievements section.

Contact information. Provide your phone number, email, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. If you don't have any online presence yet, it's high time you do, for it’s vital for international networking.

What Else to Keep in Mind

The perfect length of your CV is one page. Don’t try to make it longer. A CV should be about plain facts and figures. Anything that falls outside these categories would be better off in your motivational letter.

Wrong:

I was a great student during my high school education and had a lot of academic achievements. I managed to win sports competitions, create portfolios, etc.

Better:

Won 3 competitions in basketball, created a portfolio of 6 artworks, etc.

Adding a photo would not be a bad thing, but it’s not crucial. What really matters is that your resume is brief, well-structured, and comprehensive.

If you have doubts about whether your resume is well-structured and correct, feel free to contact StudyFree. Our managers will not only help you to decide on a country and a university but also build a resume that will boost your chances to get accepted.

By Diana Romanova

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