A resume is a summary of your academic and professional qualifications, achievements, contribution and skills. Your resume casts your first impression on the admission committee and thus, must be designed very carefully and subsequently, critiqued meticulously. There are a few important points that must be kept in mind while drafting a resume which include the content, format and finally the length of the resume. Although a well-written resume has to clearly define your objective and purpose through its content, it is not a good idea to mention the objective in the start of the resume, like most applicants do. Your objective should reflect in the construction, content and flow of your resume along with the hierarchy of your qualifications and achievements included in the document.
You must keep in mind that you are one of the few thousand applicants who will apply to that University and thus, your resume is also one of the few thousand resumes the admission committee will go through. Naturally, the admission committee may have just a few seconds to go through your resume and thus, you must ensure that the resume captures the attention of the committee member going through the document in the initial seconds. Also, what holds the most importance is how you endeavor to make your resume look more impressive and comprehensive than the rest. For more information, read Common Errors in a Resume.
While preparing your resume, you must remember that a resume is not an autobiography and should not be approached in that way. You must treat your resume as a comprehensive and focused reference to your academic history, delivered responsibilities, achievements and academic & professional skills. Finally, the font, spacing, tool usage, etc. should be used in an appropriate manner and in alignment with the standard format of an academic resume. More importantly, there is a standard format which an academic resume follows which you should keep in mind.
The most important part of developing an effective and impressive resume is to realize and understand the purpose of creating this document. You need to understand that it is not an autobiography, instead it is a summary of your professional and academic qualification and achievements.
Resume is essentially a first look into your candidature. While it is important to keep in mind what all you should include in your resume, it is essential to keep in mind the common mistakes people make while making their academic resume. Most often, students (especially the ones with work experience) upload the same resume they use for applying a job. What they need to remember is that an academic resume is different from a professional resume/ cv. As such, students must be very careful and not make the common mistakes while preparing the academic resume.