A research resume is crucial for presenting your research knowledge, skills, and suitability for a research position you are applying to. This is similar to how your presents your background with respect to the needs of an academic law program. Or, how your presents information relevant to your medical background for med school applications. In this blog, we will look at what constitutes a good research resume and how you can create one. We will also look at some research resume examples so you can get some ideas for your own!
A research resume presents your background specifically tailored to a research position. It is useful for you whether you are an undergrad or a grad student looking to apply for positions in research. It will help with , grad school applications, , and other future academic endeavors you might undertake, regardless of your field. Also, research is not always lab work. It can include investigative studies in fields like liberal arts and physical sciences.
You have to create a strong resume to stand out among the other candidates. For this, highlight your relevant experience to show your potential. A good resume will complement other elements of your application. Think of your resume as the first point of interaction for your profile. A recruiter or an admission committee member doesn't know you personally but gets your information from your resume. A well-structured resume will serve its purpose of informing them about your qualifications and background clearly to help them determine whether you are suitable for the position or not.
Want to skip to a summary of our top 3 tips? Take a look at this infographic:
Your research resume has a significant part in helping a recruiter in understand your skills with respect to the position you have applied for. Thus, to illustrate your skills properly, you should include the following sections in your research resume:
There might be a huge amount of information that you might wish to include in your research resume. However, present only your most recent and relevant details. Evaluate whether what you are mentioning in your research resume is related to the position or not Also, avoid including additional details with respect to your research interests, since you would be including other documents with your application that can outline these details, such as a .
Complex resumes usually end up in the rejected pile, and this is something that you must be looking to avoid. The aim is to structure your research resume neatly and draw attention to skills and achievements to make an unforgettable impression on any recruiter. Usually, there are three main types of resume formats:
Despite the existence of other formats, the most used format for a research resume is a reverse-chronological resume.
Your work experience constitutes a major part of your resume, and it gives you the scope to highlight your past activities in such a way that your skills are aligned to the position that you are applying for. Here are the best ways to make your work experience stand out from other candidates:
Let’s take a look at an example to get a better idea:
XYZ State University Department
Research Assistant| Month 20XX - Month 20XX
- Managed a team of 6 research scholars for successful completion of ABC research project.
- Ensured all research databases and libraries are easily accessible to the research team.
- Isolated, purified, and analyzed RNA to assist senior researchers in lab work.
Since your research resume isn’t the only step in your recruitment, you should be clear about your past and avoid lying because you will be asked for further information post the initial resume screening. For instance, if you are applying for positions like a research assistant, you will be describing your experience in your . Thus, do not mention something that you didn’t do because you will not be able to talk about it later.
If you are looking to enter the field of research for the first time, you might not have a lot of research experience. In this case, you must remember that the quality of the experience is more important than its quantity. Even if you completed one project, you can demonstrate what you learned and achieved in your research resume.
If you have no experience at all, start by volunteering now! A resume is still necessary for volunteering positions, but you can include transferable skills. For instance, talk about attention to detail, communication skills, people management, and more, by illustrating the experiences where you used them such as your part-time job at McDonald's, class projects, and extracurricular activities.
For perfecting your research resume, some of the tips that you can follow are:
Highlight Skills Separately
It is advisable to create a separate section for research skills. Highlight research and analysis skills to grab the attention of recruiter easily.
Use Bullet Points, Be Concise, and Format Clearly
Another key to an organized structure is to stick to bullet points or short paragraphs. Avoid smalls fonts and too many colors. Do not remove all your margins and use the white space as breathing space.
Use Clear Language
Writing in plain language is necessary for creating a comprehensible resume. But you can use technical terms which were related to your research to demonstrate that you understand your past research thoroughly. Avoid repetition and omit irrelevant information.
Sample 1 - Clinical Research
Research Assistant with 5+ years of hands-on experience in the field of molecular biology and immunogenetics. Seeking to join the Research Team at XXXXX to leverage my scientific skills and statistical analysis for contributing to clinical studies.
Whitfield Health Sciences / Clinical Research Assistant
Month 20XX - Present | San Marino, CA
- Prepared libraries for whole-genome sequencing using Illumina MiSeq and HiSeq NGS platforms which improved the success rate of NGS by 54%.
- Used Sequencher for SNP genotyping with 90% accuracy and evaluated data for minimizing errors by 70%.
- Led a team of 5 members in performing genomic DNA and RNA extractions.
- Quantitative PCR reaction analysis for determining gene expression levels and gene copy number for 35 models.
Elixir Health/ Research Associate
Month 20XX - Month 20XX | Altadena, CA
- Analyzed and authenticated various molecular techniques over 2 years.
- Developed 5 new protocols in bacterial genomics and molecular microbiology for the team that increased the workflow efficiency by 3 times.
- Independently headed a team of 6 colleagues in conducting assays and provided initial analysis.
- Created training modules for new junior assistants and reduced training time by 50%.
- University of Southern California / MSc in Molecular Biology
Month 20XX - Month 20XX | Los Angeles, CA
- University of Southern California / BSc in Biotechnology
Month 20XX - Month 20XX | Los Angeles, CA
- Cell Culture
- Quality Control
- Molecular Biology
- Data Analysis
- Data Maintenance
- Research Technical Staff Recognition Award, Whitfield Health, 20XX
- The Evolution of Biochemical Connection Among Promoter- and Primer-Dependent Polymerases
Journal of Biotechnology, 20XX
- Primer extension reactions for the PCR-based lacZα complementation fidelity assay
The FASEB Journal, 20XX
Trying to understand how undergrad and grad school differ? Check out this video:
Sample 2 - Laboratory Research Assistant
Louise Street, Chicago, IL
Skilled laboratory research assistant with 3 years of experience in working with molecular cloning and CRISPR. Looking for the laboratory assistant position at XXXXX for assisting in day-to-day lab operations.
CRISPR based techniques, Molecular cloning, Literature review, RNA isolation, Flow cytometry, Literature Review
Laboratory Research Assistant, Pick Labs, Chicago
Month 20XX- Present
- Led a project involving the application of protocols to produce induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to study the contribution of actin and myosin in the changes in 3D genome organization for 2 months and collected data with 90% accuracy.
- Discovered CRP augments for intestinal ischemia damage with increased complement 3 activations, decay-accelerating factor (CD55) attenuates gut insults via suppression of complement activity.
- Headed company-wide strain and maintenance of Qiagen QIAcube and AATI Fragment Analyzer for 5 months.
- Managed a team of 3 junior assistants and improved the workflow by 30% through the use of XYZ software.
Research Assistant, So-bio, Chicago
Month 20XX- Month 20XX
- Implemented data analysis techniques in R to increase the speed of demonstrating the efficacy of new techniques by over 50% Perform Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR).
- Used Beckman Coulter Act dif. 2 to perform CBC, and performed Becton Dickinson Facs to optimize flow cytometry CD4 (T-CELL) by 2 times.
- Planned, developed, and executed 4 assays to monitor structural changes in protein conformations in collaboration with the team.
- Biotechnology (Master of Science)
Month 20XX - Month 20XX | University of Chicago, IL
- Chemistry (Bachelor of Science)
Month 20XX - Month 20XX | University of Chicago, IL
- Research Staff Support Recognition Award, So-bio
Sample 3 - Liberal Arts Research
Andrew Pelton Brooklyn, NY
Communications researcher with 3 years of experience in conducting studies related to modes and methods of communication to share ideas and forecast trends.
Modern rhetorical theory of communication: Effective communication in corporate environment
Brooklyn College, 20XX
- Analyzed modern communication theories in 4 different corporate setups and suggested 2 new methods of improvement for the communication flow in each setting.
- Interview 2 CEOs, 5 regional managers, and 8 associates for evaluating the accuracy of communication.
- Optimized the existing process of communication to improve productivity by 40%.
An analysis of the impact of social media in peer-to-peer communication among Teenagers
Brooklyn College, 20XX
- Conducted interviews with 150 teenagers from 4 high schools in Brooklyn to analyze social media related trends.
- Introduced the online mode of interview and optimized the data collection process by 80%.
- Transcribed 60+ interviews through the use of ABC software and improved the project speed by two times.
- Created 25+ recommendations for optimization of social media usage among teenagers which were officially recognized in all 4 schools.
Insights into communication practices in the Spanish culture
Study Abroad Participant, Universidad de Costa Rica, 20XX
- Analyzed local means of communication by interacting with over 100 citizens.
- Led 2 public awareness campaigns for the endangered “Boruca” language of Costa Rica.
Retail Sales Associate (Part-time)
Macy’s, 422 Fultron St., Brooklyn, NY
Month 20XX- Present
- Exceeded the quarterly sales target by 40% for the last quarter.
- Assisted in training of 20 new part-time sales associates.
- Assisted in new floor arrangement that reduced time wastage for customers by half.
- Awarded the “Sales Superstar of the Year: Part-time” award for 2 consequent years.
Bachelor of Arts in Communication
Brooklyn College, 20XX-Present
- Fluency in English and Spanish
- Data collection
- Data management through MS Office
A strong research resume will show your potential to work in a research environment in collaboration with a team. If you are applying for an entry-level position and have no prior work experience, you should mention your volunteering or part-time positions. If this is not possible, try highlighting your skills through a past project to demonstrate that you are suitable for a research position. Always consider providing additional documents such as a to improve your chances of selection. With a good research resume and other documents, you will surely succeed in getting selected for a research position.
1. What is a research resume?
A research resume is a document that shows your skills related to positions in research. You should be able to demonstrate working knowledge of collecting and analyzing data in a research resume.
2. How to write a research resume?
Mention your previous experience in research-related positions. Demonstrate expertise in research by describing your skills. Use action verbs to make your research resume more impactful.
3. How do you demonstrate research skills in research resume?
Demonstrate your research skills by mention what was the objective of your previous research, how you contributed to it, and what you learned from the research.
4. What are the best skills for research resume?
Analytical and problem-solving skills are essential for a research resume. You should be able to show that you are comfortable working with collecting data and working on it to arrive at results.
5. What are the duties in research?
The duties in research vary as per the positions that you are selected for. However, the basic set of activities is identifying sources for data collection and implementation of the research strategy, analysis of data, and finding a conclusion.
6. What is considered as research experience?
Research experience consists of the projects that you have worked in analyzing data with a particular objective.
7. How long should a research resume be?
A research resume should be one page long. Keep it to the point and mention only the relevant information.
8. What do I write in a research resume if I have no research experience?
For writing a research resume with no experience, consider mentioning your lab projects in your undergrad. If you assisted with some responsibilities in the lab, mention those. If you have no prior research experience, try to include transferable skills that are valued everywhere, such as attention to detail, problem-solving, communication skills, and so on.