Harvard University, renowned for its academic excellence and high standards, offers a widely respected CV template that aligns with its prestigious reputation. Crafting an impactful Curriculum Vitae (CV) is vital for individuals aiming to distinguish themselves in today’s competitive job market.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the Harvard CV template, provide samples and formats, offer valuable tips, and explore the requirements for UK graduates applying to Harvard.

Harvard CV samples

Let’s delve into what might seem like the most important aspect here: Harvard University’s guidelines on CV writing. Interestingly, Harvard doesn’t have a specific template or example for CVs. Instead, they emphasise adhering to standard CV templates and writing practices and ensuring all necessary information is included. So, essentially, your CV follows the Harvard CV template as long as it meets these criteria.


    harvard cv guide

    How to write a Harvard CV

    A Harvard CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is a comprehensive document containing a detailed description of a person’s academic and professional achievements, experiences, skills and qualifications. It is generally used by graduate students, scholars, academics and professionals in various fields to apply for academic positions, research opportunities, grants, fellowships and other academic and professional opportunities.

    • Gather information

      Gather all relevant information about your education, research experience, work experience, skills, publications, presentations, awards and affiliations.

    • Choose a format

      Review acceptable CV formats and decide on the structure and format of your CV. Typical sections include contact details, education, research experience, publications, professional experience, skills, honours and awards, professional affiliations and references.

    • Prepare a personal statement

      Write a concise personal statement at the beginning of your CV, summarising your career goals, research interests and qualifications. It should be brief and to the point.

    • Organise sections

      Organise your CV into clear and logical sections, starting with contact information at the top, followed by education, research experience, publications and other relevant sections.

    • Detailed descriptions

      Include a detailed description of your experience, achievements and contributions in each section. Use action verbs and measurable achievements to highlight your accomplishments.

    • Customise to meet requirements

      Tailor your CV to each application, highlighting relevant experience and skills that match the requirements of the position or opportunity you are applying for.

    • Proofread and edit

      Carefully proofread your CV to eliminate any grammatical, spelling or formatting errors. Ensure consistency of formatting and style throughout the document.

      The main purpose of the Harvard CV is to provide a comprehensive overview of an applicant’s academic and professional qualifications, experience and achievements. It serves as a tool to demonstrate one’s knowledge and suitability for academic positions, research opportunities, grants, fellowships and other academic and professional endeavours. A well-written Harvard CV effectively communicates academic contributions, research interests and potential impact on their field of study or profession.

    Harvard CV definition and free examples

    To demonstrate the Harvard Curriculum Vitae, let’s consider two sample CV formats tailored to different career stages.

    Less experienced or entry-level candidates will submit a brief CV, whereas more experienced candidates, such as those applying for grants or fellowships, will provide a comprehensive CV detailing their academic background.

    Harvard CV example for an entry-level candidate

    Free Harvard CV template (word format) for an experienced professional:

    Samantha James
    4 Bold Street
    Liverpool, L1 4JG
    Phone: 01234 567890
    Email: sam.james@example.com

    Personal statement

    Experienced Senior Research Scientist with a proven track record of leading multidisciplinary teams in groundbreaking neuroscience studies. Published extensively in top-tier journals and presented findings at prestigious international conferences. Skilled in securing competitive research grants and conducting pioneering research using advanced neuroimaging techniques.

    Work History

    2022 – Present
    Senior Research Scientist
    Neuroscience Research Institute, Cambridge, UK

    • Lead a multidisciplinary team of researchers in conceptualising, designing, and executing groundbreaking neuroscience studies aimed at elucidating the intricate mechanisms underlying memory formation and retrieval processes.
    • Published numerous seminal research articles in esteemed peer-reviewed journals, including “Nature Neuroscience,” “Journal of Neuroscience,” and “Neuron,” contributing significantly to the advancement of knowledge in the field.
    • Presented research findings at prestigious international conferences such as the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, garnering recognition for innovative research methodologies and paradigm-shifting discoveries.
    • Successfully secured competitive research grants exceeding £500,000 from reputable funding bodies, including the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Wellcome Trust, to support ongoing research endeavours and facilitate the exploration of novel research avenues.

    2019 – 2022
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Brain Imaging Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

    • Conducted pioneering research investigating the neural correlates of cognitive ageing using advanced neuroimaging techniques, including functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI).
    • Collaborated with renowned neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists to develop and implement experimental protocols aimed at elucidating age-related changes in brain structure and function.
    • Published research findings in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, including “Neurobiology of Aging” and “Human Brain Mapping,” contributing to the understanding of neurobiological mechanisms underlying cognitive decline in ageing populations.

    2016 – 2019
    Research Assistant
    Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK

    • Assisted principal investigators in conducting research projects investigating various aspects of human cognition and brain function, including attention, memory, and decision-making.
    • Administered experimental tasks and collected behavioural and neuroimaging data from human participants using state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Electroencephalography (EEG).
    • Contributed to data analysis and interpretation, manuscript preparation, and grant proposal writing, actively participating in the research process from conception to dissemination.


    May 2022
    PhD in Neuroscience, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA,
    Dissertation: “Neural Mechanisms of Memory Formation and Retrieval”

    May 2018
    MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK,
    Thesis: “Neuroplasticity in the Ageing Brain: Implications for Cognitive Functioning”

    May 2016
    BSc (Hons) in Psychology, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK,
    Dissertation: “The Role of Hippocampal Subfields in Spatial Memory Encoding”


    James, S., et al. (2022). “Enhanced Synaptic Plasticity in Ageing Brains.” Nature Neuroscience, 25(2), 123-135.

    Additional Publications:

    James, S., Smith, A., & Johnson, B. (2021). “Deciphering the Role of Hippocampal Subfields in Spatial Memory Encoding.” Journal of Neuroscience, 35(4), 567-580.

    James, S., & Brown, C. (2019). “Neurobiological Correlates of Episodic Memory Consolidation: Insights from Functional Neuroimaging Studies.” Neuron, 28(3), 456-469.


    • Neuroimaging Techniques: Proficient in fMRI, PET, and EEG studies.
    • Statistical Analysis: Experienced with MATLAB, SPSS, and SAS.
    • Project Management: Skilled in Agile methodologies and grant writing.
    • Data Interpretation: Able to identify patterns and trends in complex datasets.
    • Research Methodology: Knowledgeable in experimental design principles.
    • Publication and Presentation: Experienced in writing and presenting research findings.
    • Collaboration and Teamwork: Adept at working in interdisciplinary teams.

    Honours and Awards

    Outstanding Research Achievement Award, Society for Neuroscience (2021): Recognition of exemplary contributions to the field of neuroscience through innovative research and scholarly publications.

    Professional Affiliations

    Society for Neuroscience

    Member, Program Committee: Actively involved in shaping the scientific agenda and program content for the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, contributing expertise in the field of memory research and neuroimaging.

    Free Harvard CV Example with a major in Computer Science

    Contact Information:

    Name: John Smith
    Address: 123 Main Street,
    Cambridge, CB1 1AA
    Phone: 01234 567890
    Email: john.smith@example.com

    Personal Statement:

    Dedicated Computer Science graduate from Harvard University with a passion for innovative problem-solving and software development. Eager to leverage my skills and knowledge to contribute to cutting-edge projects in the tech industry.


    Jun 2023 – August 2023
    Software Engineering Intern, Google, Mountain View, CA

    • Developed a new feature for the Google Chrome browser, resulting in a 20% increase in user engagement.
    • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to design and implement software solutions.

    2021 – 2023
    Research Assistant, Harvard Computer Science Department

    • Conducted research on machine learning algorithms for natural language processing.
    • Presented findings at the IEEE Conference on Artificial Intelligence.


    • Programming Languages: Java, Python, C++
    • Web Development: HTML, CSS, JavaScript
    • Data Analysis: SQL, Pandas, NumPy
    • Machine Learning: TensorFlow, Scikit-learn
    • Software Tools: Git, Docker, IntelliJ IDEA


    2018 – 2022
    Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
    Relevant Coursework: Data Structures, Algorithms, Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence

    Additional Information:

    • Automated Stock Trading System: Developed a Python-based system to analyse stock market data and execute trades automatically.
    • Chatbot Application: Built a chatbot using natural language processing techniques to provide customer support for a fictional company.

    Free Harvard CV Example with a major in Business Administration

    Contact Information:

    Name: Emily Johnson
    Address: 456 Oak Street,
    Boston, MA 02115
    Phone: 09876 543210
    Email: emily.johnson@example.com

    Personal Statement:

    Motivated and results-oriented Business Administration graduate from Harvard University, equipped with strong analytical and strategic planning skills. Excited to apply my expertise in market research and project management to drive business growth and innovation.


    Summer 2022
    Business Development Intern, Goldman Sachs, New York, NY

    • Assisted in the analysis of market trends and competitive intelligence.
    • Prepared presentations for client meetings and internal strategy discussions.

    Marketing Coordinator, Harvard Business School

    • Managed social media accounts and created content to promote school events.
    • Organised marketing campaigns to increase student engagement and attendance.


    Market Research
    Strategic Planning
    Project Management


    Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
    Relevant Coursework: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Financial Accounting, Marketing

    Additional Information:

    • Market Analysis Report: Conducted research on the renewable energy market and prepared a comprehensive report outlining growth opportunities.
    • Marketing Campaign: Designed and implemented a digital marketing campaign to increase awareness of a local non-profit organisation.

    Free Harvard CV Example with a major in Psychology

    Contact Information:

    Name: David Wilson
    Address: 987 Maple Lane,
    Cambridge, MA 02139
    Phone: 06543 210987
    Email: david.wilson@example.com

    Personal Statement:

    Dynamic and innovative Mechanical Engineering graduate from Harvard University, with a passion for design and problem-solving. Experienced in project management and proficient in CAD software, seeking opportunities to contribute to groundbreaking engineering projects.


    July 2023 – September 2023
    Mechanical Engineer Intern, SpaceX, Hawthorne, CA

    • Assisted in the design and testing of components for the Starship spacecraft.
    • Collaborated with engineers to troubleshoot technical issues and implement design improvements.

    January 2023 – June 2023
    Engineering Project Manager, Harvard School of Engineering

    • Led a team of students in the development of a solar-powered vehicle for a national engineering competition.
    • Managed project timelines, budgets, and resources to ensure successful project completion.


    • Machinery Design using CAD software (e.g., SolidWorks, AutoCAD)
    • Proficiency in manufacturing processes such as milling, turning, and grinding
    • Strong problem-solving abilities for troubleshooting technical issues
    • Project management skills for overseeing engineering projects
    • Continuous improvement mindset to enhance manufacturing efficiency
    • Knowledge of materials selection and manufacturing tolerances
    • Root cause analysis for identifying technical issues
    • Experience in leading cross-functional teams
    • Familiarity with CNC machines and robotic systems


    2019 – 2023
    Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
    Relevant Coursework: Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Materials Science, Mechanical Design

    Additional Information:

    • Solar-Powered Vehicle Design: Led the design and construction of a solar-powered vehicle prototype for a university engineering competition.
    • Robotics Project: Developed a robotic arm using Arduino microcontrollers and servo motors for a robotics club competition.

    5 Tips for mastering a Harvard CV format

    Follow these expert tips to create a Harvard CV template:

    • Tailor your CV to the specific requirements of each course or job opening

      Customise your CV for each application is crucial. Analyse the requirements of the course or job opening and tailor your CV accordingly. Highlight the most relevant qualifications, skills, and experiences that align with the position. By demonstrating a clear understanding of what the role entails and showcasing how your background meets those requirements, you increase your chances of standing out to recruiters.

    • Use concise language and bullets to present information clearly and effectively

      Keep your CV concise and to the point. Utilise bullet points to list your achievements, responsibilities, and skills, as this format makes information easy to read and digest. Avoid lengthy paragraphs and unnecessary details. Recruiters often have limited time to review each CV, so presenting information in a clear and concise manner increases the likelihood of your key attributes being noticed.

    • Provide achievements in numbers or percentages to illustrate the impact

      Quantify your achievements whenever possible. Instead of simply stating responsibilities, quantify the impact of your work using numbers or percentages. For example, mention how you increased sales by a certain percentage, reduced costs, or improved efficiency. Quantifiable achievements provide concrete evidence of your capabilities and demonstrate the value you can bring to potential employers.

    • Regularly update your CV with new experience, skills, and achievements

      Keep your CV up to date by regularly updating it with new experiences, skills, and achievements. As you gain more experience or acquire new skills, ensure they are reflected in your CV. This not only keeps your application documents relevant but also demonstrates your commitment to continuous improvement and professional development.

    • Opt for a simple CV template that displays information clearly

      Choose a simple CV template that allows your information to be presented clearly and effectively. Avoid overly complicated designs or excessive use of colours and graphics, as these can distract from the content of your CV. A clean and well-organised layout ensures that recruiters can easily navigate through your CV and focus on your qualifications and experiences.

      By following the Harvard CV template and these expert tips, you can put together a polished and effective CV that demonstrates your strengths and achievements effectively. Remember to tailor your CV to each application and present yourself in the best possible light.

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    Frequently asked questions about the Harvard CV

    What is the best style for a Harvard CV?

    The preferred style for a Harvard CV usually involves a clear and professional format that aligns with standard academic conventions. It should be well-organised, with distinct sections such as Education, Research Experience, Publications, Professional Experience, Skills, and Honours/Awards. Utilise a readable font like Times New Roman or Arial, and maintain consistent formatting throughout the document. Bullet points can enhance readability, and succinct, descriptive language is recommended to showcase achievements and qualifications effectively.

    What are the top verbs to use in a Harvard CV?

    When composing a Harvard CV, it’s crucial to utilise strong action verbs that effectively communicate your accomplishments and contributions.

    Power words to use in a CV include:

    • Analysed
    • Conducted
    • Developed
    • Implemented
    • Managed
    • Presented
    • Published
    • Researched
    • Collaborated
    • Achieved
    • Led
    • Organised
    • Contributed
    • Designed
    • Evaluated
    • Generated
    • Improved
    • Coordinated
    • Resolved
    • Streamlined

    Can UK Graduates apply for Harvard?

    Yes, graduates from the UK can certainly apply to Harvard University for a range of postgraduate programmes, including master’s and doctoral degrees. Harvard University welcomes applications from international students, including those hailing from the United Kingdom.

    However, getting into Harvard is quite competitive. Applicants undergo evaluation based on their academic achievements, standardised test scores, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and other relevant factors.
    Each department or school within Harvard may have its own set of admission criteria and application deadlines. Additionally, international applicants may need to meet additional requirements, such as demonstrating proficiency in English through standardised tests like the TOEFL or IELTS.

    Create a Perfect Harvard CV

    Writing a Harvard CV, whether you want to show that you have studied at or are applying to this prestigious university, requires exceptional sophistication and attention to detail.

    Armed with our Harvard CV templates, expert CV examples and valuable tips, you can be sure to create an engaging and highly professional document that sets you apart.


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