So I am submitting applications for this cycle (Fall 2021). I graduated from school a few years ago and did occasional part-time work as a research assistant in college. In my application, I recorded September 2014 to September 2017 as a research assistant. Though I just realized, I was a research assistant from January 2015 to September 2017. So I was one semester off. This was an honest mistake, and since this was 5 years ago and part-time, I was a little fuzzy on the dates to be honest.

Should I reach out to programs pre-emptively? I don't want them to think this was intentional.

EDIT: Fwiw, the application was submitted about a month ago.

EDIT2: I ended up writing a brief email like the one in the comments section. Will update on outcome

1 Answer 1


While it is unlikely to be a big deal for most purposes, it is best to be honest and clear. Send a note and update the CV.

Mistakes happen. We are human and are generally recognized as such. There might be a rare exception in which a correction is necessary, but not for most. Still, it is courteous, clean, and neat.

  • "Hello, in the interest of transparency, I realized that one of my undergraduate research experiences from several years ago started 1 semester later than what is in my CV. I updated a corrected CV. My sincerest apologies for the oversight." How would that sound?
    – user673486
    Dec 25, 2020 at 16:02
  • Sounds about right, but you may not need to send the CV, just the note, with an offer to send the corrected version. But if you haven't gotten feedback in a month, it may be moot, I'm afraid.
    – Buffy
    Dec 25, 2020 at 16:05
  • 1
    Interview invitations did not go out yet (nor rejections) so I don't think I am already de facto rejected -- though it is somewhat of a reach school so I might be! Thank you for your confirmation. Do you think there would be any harm in sending the CV?
    – user673486
    Dec 25, 2020 at 16:20
  • Can't say, actually. If you have a contact person, perhaps it would be fine, but things might get lost if it is office staff handling such things.
    – Buffy
    Dec 25, 2020 at 16:23
  • 1
    I see no harm in including the updated CV in the email. A small attachment isn't realistically a burden on anyone, and you skip an unnecessary email loop.
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 25, 2020 at 16:37

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