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Undergraduate curriculum vitae (CV)


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Two of my recommenders asked me to give them my CV in order to help them write my recommendation letters. I've been trying to look online for some examples to help me write one, but most of the examples I've seen seem to be written by PHD or masters students who have a substantial number of published papers and conferences to list. As I have not published at all or presented any papers, I am wondering what kind of information someone would expect an undergraduate to have on their CV? I don't want to seem like I'm padding by including papers or presentations I've written or given in ordinary undergraduate classes, but as it stands my CV will probably look a bit empty if I don't.

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Visit as many of your field's graduate program websites as possible. If they have a "current students" page, click on the names of each student to see if they have uploaded their CV. You'll eventually find one you like. Make sure it's clean and professional. Stylistically, less is more. Don't worry about your lack of publications or presentations; undergraduates aren't expected to have these things anyway. Everyone's CV looks empty at that stage. Don't sweat it.

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At this stage, you could have sections for;

  • education
  • grants/fellowships/awards
  • research experience
  • teaching experience
  • posters/presentations (even a departmental poster presentation is worth mentioning here)
  • other experience (community service, internship in industry, etc)
  • relevant coursework
  • skills (lab/computer skills, whatever is relevant to your field)
  • interests (I had a single line about my involvement in band, curling, and interest in graphic design)

But it will seem pretty empty at this point relative to an experienced grad student.

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