Your CV: Show us what you've got

To kick off this new series on our admissions requirements, we’re sharing tips for your CV. You can apply for the Master of International Affairs (MIA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) between 1 October 2020 and 1 May 2021.

Your curriculum vitae is one of the first things we see when we open your application. We look at it to evaluate your personal suitability for our master’s programmes, which is one of our three main selection criteria (weighted 40%).

Formatting your CV

You may use any format that you wish for your CV, but please do not include a photo. Choose a readable font and organise your CV in a way that is clear and easy to follow.

In your CV, you should lay out in an organised manner your academic and relevant professional experience. You should also include other activities, such as volunteering or civic engagement; we want to see what you’re involved in outside of the classroom or your office, and what kinds of initiatives you may have led.

Do you need prior work experience to apply?

Work experience is not an admissions requirement, so you are welcome to apply straight out of your undergraduate degree. Some of our students do have a few years of work experience under their belts after finishing their bachelor's degrees, while others go from their bachelor’s directly into their master’s without a break. This can be influenced by a variety of factors, including the region you come from and the local culture surrounding higher education and work. In Germany, for example, it’s quite common for students to pursue a master’s programme right after completing a bachelor’s.

It’s also important to keep in mind that professional development and practical skills are integrated into the MIA and MPP programmes – in the form of a summer internship, practice courses (MIA), project courses (MPP), professional development courses and, in general, practice-oriented curricula. As a student, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to build your professional portfolio and network, and you’ll have the support of our dedicated Career Development team from day one to help you work towards your professional goals.

What to include in your CV apart from professional experience

Here at the Hertie School, we evaluate our applicants holistically. This means that you should also think about other activities that you’ve been involved in thus far – such as extracurricular activities, civic engagement or volunteering – and let us know about them.

For example, how have you demonstrated civic engagement? Have you volunteered locally in your community, nationally, or even at the international level? Do you have experience outside of your home country that is particularly relevant to your motivation to study international affairs or public policy? In what ways have you been politically active?

These are just some questions to consider as you work on your CV.


Next up in the series: Tips for your letter of motivation.

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