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Sanya Jain, Cognitive Scientist 💎
+ Your AuthorsArchive @sjay_yayy I help you make better decisions in life based on cognitive science💫 Aug. 30, 2021 4 min read

How to prepare a CV for grad school applications?

A thread 🧵

I used this format and won the Swiss government fellowship and a PhD offer from UW Madison!

@olumuyiwaayo @OpenAcademics @AaronAkpuPhilip @PhDVoice @SamdGreat01 @baba_Omoloro @PhDfriendSana @Jamaticulus #phdchat

1/ CV stands for “Curriculum Vitae” which means the course of your life.

In your CV, you can include information on
-educational qualifications
-research interests
-research experiences
-honours & grants
-professional and extra-curricular experience..

2/ A CV is a longer document than a resumè because a resumè is a very specific summary of your skills and experiences that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Standard CV length is 2-2.5 pages (but it may vary based on your academic history)…….

3/ Since you’re applying for a PhD or research position, make sure to introduce your academic accomplishments first and professional/extracurricular exp later.

You want to make sure that by the end of a minute, the committee should have already paid attention to……

aspects of your CV that are extremely important for a research job.

As they will be in a hurry, it’s best to put less relevant experiences towards the end.

4/ Write your experiences in reverse chronological order-meaning from most recent to last (see my CV above!)

5/ Have a blog/website that shows your potential? Add it at the top of the CV below contact information.

6/ To give clarity, you can divide your research exp into undergrad and Masters training sections (in case you’ve done a Master’s)

7/ Don’t mention anything in your CV that

you can’t prove (through certificates/letters of recommendation or any other official document).

If you wish to mention a talk you were invited to, ensure that you have an email of invitation in case it’s needed.

8/ Always make it easy to read your CV by using black/white…..


Don’t add too many colors as they take away the focus from the actual content of the CV.

I would highly recommend using LaTeX software (the one you can see my in my CV).

It gives a very professional appearance to your work and shows your dedication towards……

preparing academic documents with clarity.

You can search YouTube videos on “How to create a CV using overleaf/LaTeX.

9/ Save the CV as a pdf while you attach it in your email and application, and save-

“Your last name_first name_year_CV”

I saved it as Jain_Sanya_2021_CV

10/ A quick tip: Use the 20-second rule to test your CV.

Give your CV to your friends, family members etc. and ask them to tell you what they remembered the most from your CV after 20 secs.

If they are able to tell you your key, strong points, well done. If not…….

you’ll need to redesign your CV to make it memorable in a very short span of time.

11/ You can use bold, iltalics, & underline to draw attention (but be consistent with their use in every section).

If you like to highlight the name of the lab in italics, ensure you follow…..

same pattern throughout.

12/ Sometimes, the committees will print your CV, & some of your pages may get lost in other applications CV by mistake.

To avoid confusion, add a footer and write your_fullname_ page number of the document.

-Sanya Jain Page 2 -

13/ This will help them spot if a page from your CV is missing! Don’t forget to add these numbers ever!

14/ Add observational skills in addition to technical skills.

For e.g., write about what you learnt from a counselling session or an experimental techniques….

through mere observation. This will strengthen you as an astute or sharp observer. A lot of people don’t mention this, but it’s very critical to mention these observational skills.

After all, humans learn by both doing AND observing :)

15/ Have papers that are under review or papers that you’re still writing?

Feel free to add them under sections “Manuscripts under review”, “Manuscripts in preparation”.

Don’t forget to add a link to your published papers if you have any!

16/ Create an ORCID ID @ORCID_Org..

This will assign you a special id or researcher number that you can use to identify yourself 

Snapshot of your ORCID page

It’s advisable to have this Id to show that you are acquainted with the trends of academic research, and are serious about your identity as a researcher….

17/ Wondering how to strengthen your CV if you have few research experiences/publications?

See this thread below 👇

I’m Sanya, the recipient or @Swiss_FCS fellowship.

I tweet about the psychology of wisdom and grad school application tips.

Follow me for more.

Coming next: 🧵 on how to maintain your motivation despite rejections.

What are some of your tips on successful CVs?

Share 👇

You can follow @sjay_yayy.


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