How to create an excellent science resume
Science professionals work in a wide range of different fields, disciplines, and industries to help us gain a better understanding of the world around us. Winning a job as a scientist requires you to write an excellent resume that puts a spotlight on your experience and specializations.
In this guide, we cover 5 simple steps for writing an excellent resume as a scientist. Continue reading to learn how to:
- Create a well-formatted science resume
- Write an effective resume summary as a scientist
- Select your top skills as a scientist to include in your resume
- Describe your work experience as a scientist with relevant details
- List your educational credentials as a scientist on your resume
1. Choose the best format for your science resume
The very first step to take when writing a science resume is to choose which format you want to use.
There are three formats to select from:
- Reverse-chronological (RC): An RC resume focuses primarily on work experience and is well-suited for job applicants with at least a few different jobs in the industry or 5+ years in one job.
- Functional: A functional resume focuses less on work experience and more on education, skills, and unpaid experience (such as internships or volunteering). This can be a great option for recent graduates who have a lot of academic experience but limited work experience.
- Hybrid: A hybrid resume spreads the focus out amongst all sections of a resume, allowing for a more balanced format overall. This is a good option for applicants who are returning to the workforce after a prolonged break or those who are changing career paths.
Whichever format you ultimately choose, all will require a good-looking header that features your name, professional title, and contact information.
Here is an example of a well-formated science resume header
Jack King, Lab Scientist
(123) 456-7890 | firstname.lastname@example.org | linked.com/in/jack-king
2. Write an effective resume summary as a scientist
After choosing which format you would prefer, you can then write your resume summary.
When crafting a resume summary for a science resume, it's essential to capture your key qualifications, experiences, and career goals in a concise and compelling manner.
Start by highlighting your educational background, specifying your degree(s) and any relevant coursework or research projects. Next, emphasize your scientific expertise, such as your laboratory techniques, data analysis skills, and familiarity with specialized equipment or software.
Additionally, showcase your research experience, including any notable findings, publications, or presentations.
Finally, emphasize your career goals and how your scientific background aligns with the specific role or industry you are targeting.
Focus on showcasing your passion for scientific inquiry, your ability to solve complex problems, and your dedication to advancing knowledge and innovation. By effectively summarizing your scientific qualifications and demonstrating your enthusiasm for the field, you'll grab the attention of potential employers and set yourself apart from other candidates in the competitive science industry.
Here is an example of a well-written science resume summary
Results-driven scientist with 7+ years of specialized experience in molecular biology and a passion for advancing healthcare through innovative research. Holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences with expertise in genetic analysis, cellular imaging, and data interpretation. Experienced in designing and executing complex experiments, analyzing large datasets, and presenting findings at national conferences. Seeking a challenging role in a biotechnology company where I can apply my scientific expertise to drive breakthrough discoveries and contribute to the development of novel therapeutics.
3. Select your top skills as a scientist to include in your resume
With your header and summary in place, your next key step is to consider which of your scientific skills to include on your resume.
You should always include an assortment of both technical and interpersonal skills, as this shows employers you know the crucial importance of both in a professional setting. Technical skills can typically be listed in a side section, while interpersonal skills make good descriptors to use in a work experience section.
Here are 5 examples of technical science skills to include in a resume
- Laboratory protocols and safety practices
- Conducting experiments
- Gathering and analyzing research samples
- Writing and publishing research papers
- Demonstrating lab procedures
Here are 5 examples of interpersonal science skills to include in a resume
- Clear verbal and written communication
- Active listening
4. Describe your work experience as a scientist with relevant details
Now that you have a strong list of skills to sprinkle throughout your science resume, you can begin writing your work experience section.
To keep this section organized, always use bullet points to separate your various descriptions included with each work experience entry. Additionally, try to include only the most relevant, specific, and quantifiable details when possible regarding your experience.
Here is an example of a good work experience entry from a scientist’s resume
Scientist at Golden Labs, Inc.
April 2017 to May 2022
- Collaborated with a large laboratory team, assisting with more than 50 total experiments
- Published more than 100 research papers, with features in journals such as Nature, The Lancet, and National Geographic.
- Improved lab organizational systems, resulting in a 15% increase in efficiency when setting up new lab experiments.
5. List your educational credentials as a scientist on your resume
You have made it to the end of this resume guide — the only step that remains is to describe your educational history and credentials.
Unless you are writing a resume in a functional format, your education section can be fairly short and sweet. The most important information to ensure you include is your highest level of education, what institution you attended, and when you graduated.
Here is an example of a well-crafted education section on a scientist’s resume
M.S. in Biology
- Graduated: May 2018
B.S. in Natural Science