I had my CV reviewed by an academic professor, and she advised me to put a timeline on my CV. The problem is that after I ended up my bachelor studies, I spent some years working because I was the only support for my family and I was also saving for my graduate studies. After that I followed some undergraduate courses in a foreign country, that was because I was rejected to do a master's degree; the reason was that the courses I followed in my bachelor degree were not 100% Computer Science oriented, but more to the IT field.

So after finishing that, I started back working in my country and after saving for some years; I finally managed to get accepted for MSc studies. The problem with this is that there are some overlaps like:

bachelor studies---work for saving for further studies---undergraduate courses in a foreign country in CS----work again for saving some more---MSc studies----working again

So it is some sort of a mess, so if somebody from a doctoral admission office sees my CV; he will be a little bit wondering about why I have those overlaps.

The question is pretty simple, how can I add a sort of timeline that could help the reader to have a quick view about my academic and working experience? and also how can I explain that in my CV? or should it be in my motivation letter?

  • 2
    I'm not sure what you're asking us how to explain. Why are "overlaps" a "problem"? – JeffE Dec 31 '14 at 14:31
  • a past professor commented that could give the impression that I did not pass directly from bachelor's to doing a master's degree – Layla Dec 31 '14 at 14:41
  • 1
    Right, but you didn't pass directly from bachelors to masters. So what? Why is that a problem? (Neither did I.) – JeffE Dec 31 '14 at 14:46
  • thank you JeffE for your reply, maybe the professor that looked at it thought that I spent too much time for continuing my studies; and for that reason that could be detrimental for PhD commitees – Layla Dec 31 '14 at 15:08

Not putting the summary of your educational information at the top of the CV would look strange (since that's essentially the universal standard).

However, what you could do afterwards is have a "blended" list of your educational/research and professional experience (in backwards chronological order):

X1-Y1:  Most recent experience/job/schooling/miscellaneous  
X2-Y2:  Next most recent  
X3-Y3:  Next-next most recent
. . .

and so on.

But I don't see how there would be any real confusion if you use a standard layout and explicitly write out the start and end dates of the different experiences you've had, unless some of those also overlap. (Even then, though, I think you could explain part-time work and study accordingly.)

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