Harvard Resume: Tips and Templates for Success
Written by James Bunes, Author • Last updated on July 5, 2024

Harvard Resume: Tips and Templates for Success

Looking for a solid way to showcase your prestigious education and work achievements? The Harvard resume template might be just what you’re looking for. This detailed resume drills into specifics and shows hiring managers why you’re the perfect candidate. Learn the Harvard resume format and tips for using it in this guide.

What is a Harvard resume?

The Harvard resume format is a template made and distributed by Harvard University to help its students better convey their extensive knowledge, experience, and skills. This structure emphasizes high-priority achievements rather than strictly listing experiences in chronological order. This allows recruiters to focus on your strengths because they’re front and center.

Harvard resumes dig deeply into accomplishments and provide quantified achievements to show your impact on companies and school work alike. Generally, this strategy is reserved for work history, but Harvard resumes detail educational accomplishments, too, like the topic of your college thesis.

Because of this extra detail, Harvard resumes are usually a bit longer than a standard resume to give ample space for projects and standout events.

These documents also typically start with education to emphasize its importance. Most resumes list work history first, only providing education first if you lack professional experience.

Our Harvard resume guide shows you the ins and outs so you can build a strong application. Then you can simply grab your favorite resume template and apply these best practices.

Harvard resume vs. regular resume

The primary difference between a Harvard resume template and a standard resume is how it's structured. Harvard resumes list your professional accomplishments by importance, providing your most impressive and impactful experiences first. Regular resumes list everything in chronological order – even crucial senior roles get pushed to the back if they happened years ago.

Harvard resumes are also longer documents as they dig into details, including educational accomplishments like GPA, honors, and projects.

Besides these two main points, both resume formats are very similar and include a header, personal details, work experience, education, and skills.

Benefits of using the Harvard resume format

This template was designed by Harvard experts to showcase qualifications and help their alumni get better jobs, so it carries powerful benefits. Let’s take a look.

Allows you to detail your experience

It’s more than a little frustrating when you have a lot to say and little room to say it. What if you omit the one detail the hiring manager needs to see?

Long resumes are generally frowned upon, but with Harvard resumes, details are encouraged. This means you have space to describe your achievements, skills, and outcomes in great detail. This gives the recruiter insights into your impact and helps them understand why you’re a powerful candidate.

Conveys professionalism

A Harvard resume format is about as professional as they come, helping you make a strong first impression. This is especially important for academic roles, like university professors or high-level executive positions that require prestigious degrees.

We recommend pairing your Harvard resume with an expert cover letter to display more professionalism and business acumen.

Flows naturally and boosts readability

When you list the most important achievements first, the employer doesn’t have to look hard to find impressive accomplishments, senior job positions, and impactful college projects.

Hiring managers only have so much time to devote to each resume, and a Harvard resume gives them precisely what they need with little effort.

How to structure your Harvard resume

It’s easy to build a Harvard resume – you can even edit your current resume to follow the Harvard format. Let’s do it step-by-step. 

This section is largely the same as a regular resume. Provide your full name, job title, phone number, email address, and location (just city and state is fine). We also recommend you add your LinkedIn URL for easier networking.


This should be a two- to four-sentence description of your professional background, focusing on your top skills and standout accomplishments. Use action language and make this engaging to encourage the recruiter to keep reading. Try adding a strong metric to catch their eye and their interest.


Start your resume with your education and make it detailed. For every degree you include, provide the institution’s name, relevant coursework, honors, and your GPA if it’s above 3.5. We also recommend you add memberships to college clubs and abroad study.

Work experience

Provide your work experience and start with your most powerful roles. Which positions are you most proud of? Which ones have made a real impact? Write them in order of importance, then list your job title, the company name, location, and date of employment for each.


Read the job description you’re targeting and discover which skills the employer is looking for. Add relevant hard and soft skills, as well as language proficiency and your level of fluency.

Tips for writing a Harvard resume

Harvard resumes are easy to read, professional, and organized, but adding a little extra effort will make it stand out further. Here are our top tips:

  • Use action words: Use powerful verbs like “evaluated” and “coordinated” to increase engagement. These are critical for a Harvard resume – some people even call them “Harvard resume words.”
  • Quantify achievements: Attach measurable metrics to your achievements to show the exact outcome, like “leading to a 15% increase in sales.”
  • Review other resumes for inspiration: Study resume examples from other professionals to get ideas for achievements and formatting.
  • Make your application complementary: Make sure your resume and cover letter complement each other, and don’t repeat the same information.
  • Tailor each resume: No resume is “one-size-fits-all” – review the job ad you’re targeting and personalize your resume for each application.

That last point is crucial. Discussing the right skills and achievements in each resume conveys your relevance to the position. The employer won’t know you have the ideal capabilities unless you take the time to tell them.

Mirroring job descriptions also helps you build an ATS resume. These resumes are optimized to pass a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS) by mentioning the right job titles, qualifications, and accomplishments.

Expert Tip:

The Harvard resume format is long and detailed, but make sure it doesn’t get cluttered. Include all the necessary sections and critical achievements, detailing each one with powerful metrics – just ensure you leave white space. This makes it easy on the eyes and encourages the reader to finish each section.

Harvard resume do’s and don’ts

We’ll finish up with a few do’s and don’ts for making an excellent Harvard resume.


  • Keep your resume to one page if possible. It can spill over, but it’s best kept to just one.
  • Maintain consistency in formatting, capitalization, and fonts.
  • Use a Harvard resume PDF over other file types. They’re much easier to process by company systems.
  • Use a Harvard resume template Word document or Google Doc to get started quickly.
  • Ask a friend or colleague to review your resume and give their honest opinion on what to add or remove.


  • Never use a colorful, modern template for this style of resume. This should be reserved for creative resumes.
  • Don’t forget to grammar-check and proofread each resume. You could destroy the professionalism you tried so hard to convey with just one typo.
  • Don’t use a narrative style with a lot of personality. Keep this as professional as possible.
  • Don’t include references or even the sentence “references available upon request.”

This is just the tip of the iceberg – we cover the top 10 resume mistakes in-depth, including irrelevant information, unattractive formatting, and exaggerating skills and qualifications.

“Harvard resumes are usually a bit longer than a standard resume to give ample space for projects and standout events.”

Make a winning first impression with a Harvard resume template

A Harvard-style resume is the ideal way to literally put your best foot forward, leading with your most important accomplishments and grabbing the hiring manager’s attention. This helps you and the recruiter focus on your greatest impacts and what you can do for your new job.

This format is easy to use, and you can try it today. Head over to CVwizard’s Resume Builder to make your own Harvard resume by following our guide. Start from scratch or simply rearrange your current resume to emphasize your most crucial achievements.

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James Bunes
James Bunes
James Bunes, copywriter, editor, and strategist, combines job search and HR writing experience to produce actionable content on resumes, career advice, and job search tactics.

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