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  • Writer's pictureYuval Atias

How to Write a CV for Master's Degrees and Scholarships

Congratulations! You've chosen a scholarship and academic program that suits you, and now you're starting to collect the documents you need for your application. You already have a CV in Hebrew, and probably one in English as well, and you wonder if it's enough. As is the case with recommendation letters, you should make adjustments to increase your chances of receiving the scholarship.

CV is an opportunity to think about your story

Before beginning to write, remember the three main parts of a standard CV: academic experience, professional experience, and extracurricular/volunteer experience. Try to think about how these three aspects form who you are, your story, and what you bring to the scholarship and the university.

As Israelis, we often take for granted things that others know to emphasise and leverage - think about your academic achievements (a seminar paper you're especially proud of? Placement on the Dean's list?), volunteering (including volunteering done as part of other scholarships), and management experience in different professional positions. Don't be embarrassed to emphasise the strong sides of your background, and remember that what seems obvious to you may not be so obvious to a different reader from another country.

How to organise your CV

Remember that you're submitting a CV for a scholarship for a master's degree and not a job, so begin by emphasizing where you studied, the name of your program and university. If you have completed additional master's degrees, note these as well. Afterwards, list your professional experience, emphasising experience that is relevant to the scholarship. Next, list your national or military service, if applicable, your volunteering experience and any additional languages you know.

What's important to remember when writing a CV for a scholarship?

First of all, stick to the truth

Yes, this may sound trivial, but sometimes out of a desire to impress, some people bend the truth. Remember that your history will be confirmed and lies about your achievements or life story will not be forgiven. If you don't come from a low socio-economic background, there is no need to write that. If you didn't receive honours with completion of your degree, don't write that you did.

Find out if anything should be emphasised based on the guidelines of the relevant scholarship/institution

Be sure to read the application guidelines to understand the relevant institution's expectations for your CV - maybe they highlight unique things? Maybe they want to know more about the courses you took during your degree, or maybe your volunteer experience is most important for them? Additionally, each scholarship has different requirements regarding the length of your CV, but most will require between one and two pages. Be sure to conform to the expectations of the relevant scholarship and adhere to its guidelines.

Maintain a simple design

Firstly, if you have a picture in your CV, it is highly recommended to remove it, as pictures are not usually acceptable in this context. In addition, we know that professional CVs tend to be formatted with an elaborate and colourful design, however, for academic purposes we recommend keeping the design theme as uniform and clean as possible, in shades of black and white.

Don't give up your national/military service

True, this may be a controversial topic in the world, but it's a significant part of your formative years and is relevant as work experience. If you were a commander, officer or in training positions, emphasise that. Most scholarships are interested in people with leadership ability, and your military or national service is a great way to emphasise your experience and abilities. Keep in mind that these are two or three years in which you specialized in a particular field, and sometimes this is a significant advantage over other candidates.

Pay attention to language

It's advisable to maintain uniform and quantitative language in your CV, and this rule also applies in this case. Try to be as quantitative as possible - if you supervised people, write down how many people. If you graduated with honours, write your grade point average. If you managed a budget, write the amount of the budget. The quantitative information will give scholarship providers a broad view of your capabilities and experience.

Quantitative language isn't the only important part. Even if English is your native language, and especially if it is not, ask a friend or qualified translator to go over the text and spot any spelling or grammar mistakes. This is important and relevant advice for all documents that you need to submit for the scholarship. A document without spelling errors demonstrates the author's seriousness.

Feel free to seek advice from our community

Do you have a specific issue that you would like to consult on with students, scholarship graduates and others who are interested? Feel free to ask in the ScholarslL Facebook Community and continue the conversation there. Good luck!


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