You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resourcesβ€”including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

A resume is the first document that showcases your designing and organizing abilities. I created my resume in Photoshop. I believe using non-traditional software like Photoshop to create a resume showcases uniqueness in thought process and can be useful, especially if you’re looking to work in the domain of design.

I found many pros to using Photoshop:

a) you can create a color palette that brings out the kind of person you are (for example, blue equates to calmness)

b) you can create guidelines and highlight the content you want on the page

c) you can create layers such that edits can be made to parts of the resume without impacting the rest of the content.

Overall, there are many commands that can be useful in showcasing your experiences and skills.

β€”Vishal Kothari, The University of Texas at Arlington

I read a few sample resumes oriented towards graduate studies online. I stuck to using only two bullet points under each of my experiences, mentioned the courses that seemed directly relevant to the program, and kept the length to a single page. I also focused on the sentence structures for each bullet point so that every word counted.

What really helped was sitting with a friend of mine who was also applying for his master’s degree and editing our resumes together. Having more than one person review it goes a long way.

β€”Om Vaghasia, Columbia University

Final Thoughts on Crafting Your Resume

Resumes have certainly had a long history. Beginning with Leonardo da Vinci, they have gone through various stages: a lunchtime hobby on a scrap of paper, a typewritten document with unnecessary personal information, and now a highly customizable marketing tool. It is one of the first things that is considered by the admissions committee and contains all your details put forth in a lucid manner. In this chapter, we took you through the process of creating one from scratch.

First, choose between the one-column and two-column format. One-column is more ATS friendly and two-column is more reading friendly. The Contact section should have a clean email address, LinkedIn profile link, and preferably a personal website. The Education section should portray your academic caliber and relevant coursework. The Experience section, which takes around 30-40% of the space, should condense your internships and projects. Skills is best used to talk about your knowledge of various software, programming languages, and unique skills. (Are you a tennis state champion? Be sure to add that!)

Coming to the more fun sections, Extracurriculars is for you to show your involvement in organizations and societies. This section signifies your ability to be a team player and a valuable social member. Finally, there is the optional Awards section, where it would be a good idea to include the number of participants and the level of locality of the award.

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