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I am applying for a PhD in computer science. I have some research experience (from my Masters degree) as well as significant industry experience. I have been in industry for close to 4 years since my masters degree. I am targeting Software Engineering, so I believe my work experience will be relevant.

Now, universities require applicants to submit a CV. My current CV lists all work experience in reverse chronological order followed by education in reverse chronological order.

  • How should I structure a CV when applying for a PhD in computer science?
  • Should I put the education before work experience?
  • Any other tips?
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I most often see CS CVs with education, then work experience, in reverse chronological order; followed by projects and publications. But the order is not really important, because in committee we jump around in the document anyway.

What is important for a PhD application, is to have a good presentation of projects the applicant has worked on, including bachelors and masters theses, and internships, because these are the unique bits that make the difference between two candidates with equivalent diplomas.

It is also very important to not mix accepted publications with submitted manuscripts. I have seen otherwise excellent applications excluded without debate because of this, without asking whether it was dishonesty or a simple mistake.

Beyond that, the European Europass europa.eu website has CV templates and guidelines as well as online tools for building application-related documents. The CV template contains

  1. Personal information
  2. Position applied for
  3. Work experience
  4. Education and training
  5. Personal Skills
  6. Additional information
    • Publications, communications
    • Awards
    • Projects
    • Certifications, Memberships, References, etc

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