I am wondering about the cv format for PhD application. In professional setting, for example, in the research experience part, I write a lot about what I did in my research rather than doing so in the cover letter. The cover letter on the other hand should be short. This is recommended by the career service center.

Should I do the same for PhD application? Or maybe I should write about my research in my cv and repeat the same thing in the cover letter? Thank you!

  • If you have this center, could you ask them? It's very likely country dependent.
    – user111388
    Sep 29, 2020 at 10:18
  • 1
    They know nothing about PhD application
    – FARRAF
    Sep 29, 2020 at 10:27
  • @user111388 Career service centers often have very bad/outdated advice. I would not trust what they have to say about either industry or academia (many people who work in these centers haven't been applying for jobs in years and often propagate fad advice surrounding gimmicks that generally catch attention but don't communicate value and waste employers' time). In academia they are even less helpful, but luckily you, OP, are on a college campus so have actual academics you can talk to and get advice from!
    – Well...
    Oct 29, 2020 at 12:05
  • 2
    PhD applications have cover letters????
    – JeffE
    Oct 29, 2020 at 20:38
  • How you distribute things depends on what documents are needed. Is there also a Statement of Purpose? Letters of Recommendation? Personal Statement?
    – Buffy
    Feb 21 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


Write about your research (interests, current and relevant former positions, and your experience/skills/goals, all in relation to the position you are applying for) in the cover letter. Only mention positions and education milestones (and possibly supervisors of Bachelor's/Master's thesis) in your CV (and publications, if any, in a separate section).

The cover letter doesn't have to be short "short", 1-2 pages is totally fine in my experience.

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