A curriculum vitae, also known as a CV, acts as a type of resume for professionals and students of higher education. CVs list publications, awards and fellowships, as well as your professional experience. When you apply to a PhD program, your admission packet may need to include a CV. If you struggle putting together an objective, knowing how to organize the information will help you develop an objective that gives a well-stated purpose for applying to the program.


On a resume, an objective should preferably contain only one or two sentences that explain the factors that make you the best person for a position. CVs do not typically contain an objective statement, but application requirements may include an objective or short personal statement as part of the CV. Personal statements should give life experiences, skills and goals, succinctly stating why you are a good candidate for the PhD program.

Make Lists

Before you begin writing your objective, make a list of your goals, skills, experience and any other items that qualify you for the program. Include everything that comes to mind, and do not worry about space. You may want to consider items such as leadership skills, research, and interviews you conducted on professionals in your chosen field. You should also make a list of the reasons why you applied. Is there a professor who shares a similar perspective on a topic? Do you value their focus on interdisciplinary studies? You may value their commitment to creating a community within the program.

Narrow Focus

Once you have your list, highlight items on your lists that you believe strengthens your reason for applying to the program. You might select specific goals that you can achieve by earning your PhD, or highlight skills you have that might benefit the program. Based on your research about the program and the candidates they look for, make note of the items that may strengthen your application. Select one or two that give the best insight into your goals and overall purpose, and begin putting them together to form the objective statement. You may need to reword and edit as necessary.


The first page of your CV will begin with your name and contact information. Below this, you will place your objective. Next, you can list your professional information such as your education, awards, fellowships and experiences, along with any publication credits, presentations and other related information.

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