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A resume is a brief, informative document summarizing your abilities, education, and experience. It should highlight your strongest assets and differentiate you from other candidates.
Used most frequently in academic settings, a CV (curriculum vitae) is also a summary of your experience and abilities, but a CV will include more credentials relevant to academia and research, such as publications, presentations, and references.
Your cover letter is a way to introduce yourself to organizations in a narrative form that will accompany your resume. Use your cover letter to describe your qualifications as well as your interest in both the job and organization so the employer will want to interview you. Since the primary purpose of a resume and cover letter is to “market” you, always keep the organization’s hiring needs in mind.
- Read the Extension School Resume and Cover Letters publication (pdf).
- Attend resume and cover letter webinars .
- Speak with an adviser during call-in hours .
- Meet with an adviser .
Download the video transcript (pdf).
- Watch the “How to Write a Resume” tutorial .
- Attend resume workshops offered throughout the semester.
- Read the Harvard College Resume & Cover Letter publication (pdf) and download resume templates:
- Paragraph template (doc)
- Bulleted template (doc)
- Also see example science and tech resumes:
- Science and tech resume example 1 (pdf)
- Science and tech resume example 2 (pdf)
- Come to daily drop-ins , 1:00 – 4:00pm, Monday – Friday, for resume and cover letter reviews.
- See the campus interview employer events calendar for industry-specific resume reviews.
Once you decide to start exploring opportunities outside academe, you may need to recreate your CV as a resume. A resume is typically 1-2 pages, though the length and content depend greatly on the job you seek.
To get started, take a look at our two resume and cover letter guides:
- Resumes and Cover Letters for Master’s Students (pdf)
- Resumes and Cover Letters for Ph.D. Students (pdf)
Watch the “How to Write a Resume” tutorial —while designed for Harvard undergraduates, it is appropriate for graduate students, too.
Next, check out the calendar for resume and cover letter workshops, drop-in resume reviews, and other nonacademic job search events. If you cannot attend our group programs, consider meeting with an adviser to get feedback on your materials.
It is never too early to begin putting together your CV, whether you plan to use it to apply for teaching fellow positions on campus, research opportunities, postdoctoral fellowships, or academic jobs. Be sure to keep an archival version (for your eyes only) that documents all details of everything you’ve done. Then, selectively include the most important and relevant information when you tailor your CV for a specific opportunity.
To get started:
- Guide to Writing CVs and Cover Letters (pdf)
- The Scientist’s Conundrum: CV, Resume, or Something In-Between? (pdf)
Next, check out our calendar for our CV and cover letter workshops and drop-in CV reviews. Also consider meeting with an adviser to get feedback on your application materials. Read and consult samples in The Academic Job Search Handbook , available at OCS and online through the Harvard library system.
Note that OCS advisers are generalists, working with all 50+ GSAS departments. It is always a good idea to have your CV reviewed by someone in your department, ideally by a junior faculty member or postdoctoral fellow who has been on the job market within the last several years and is up-to-date on current trends in your discipline.
Sample resumes, CVs, and cover letters.
How to Write a Resume Tutorial
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