A perfect resume is one that will land you an interview by convincing the recruiter you’re perfect for the role. Don’t know how to write one? We do, and we’re about to show you.
Abstract: Scientists use theoretical and empirical means to study the world around us. The purpose of your science resume is to describe your areas of expertise in a way non-technical recruiters will understand while impressing them with your achievements.
Black-rimmed glasses, lab coat, pocket protector.
Possibly a calculator in hand, panels of dials and gauges in the background.
Doesn’t sound like you?
Then why make your science resume as bad a representation?
Let the facts speak for themselves.
Use measurable and quantified achievements to show what you have to offer.
Because numbers don’t lie.
In this guide:
- A science resume template better than most.
- How to write the perfect scientist job description for resumes.
- How to create a resume for science jobs that stands out.
- Expert tips and examples to boost your chances of landing a job as a scientist.
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Just starting your career in science or looking to get into technical writing? See our guides for these and many more:
- College Student Resume Sample
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- Project Manager Resume Sample
- Recent College Graduate Resume Sample
- Technical Resume Sample
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- Resume Samples for All Professions
Science Resume Template to Inspire You
Dedicated computer scientist with 4+ years of experience working in microprocessor design and microcode creation. Seeking to bring System72 its first in-house CPU ahead of schedule and under budget. At MVW, laid the groundwork for projects work $11 million, shaved 11% off HT execution, and currently hold the tracking algorithm accuracy record.
- Converted two prototypes into efficient microcode on which two projects worth $11,000,000 have been launched.
- Optimized HT algorithms, decreasing execution time by 11%.
- Devised tracking algorithms that exceeded the previous 78% accuracy record by three points.
- Completed LVP implementation using only 67% of scheduled time and 87% of budget.
- Introduced four new micro-architectural features.
- Boosted modeling efficiency by 17 percentage points overall.
- Developed bespoke architecture emulator that requires 27% less resources than standard modeling techniques.
- Automated and improved anomaly detection, saving an estimated $3,000,000 long term.
BSc Computer Science, MIT
- Pursued a passion for microprocessor design through two individual projects.
- Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
- Association for Women in Computing (AWC)
- Basic programming languages: C++, Python (including PyTorch)
- Specialized tools: MATLAB (including Simulink), Mathematica, TensorFlow, OpenCV
- Hardware description languages: Verilog/SystemVerilog, VHDL
- Technical writing
- Hardware engineering
- Data analysis
That was the what, now for the how—read on for expert science resume writing tips:
1. Choose the Right Science Resume Format
Even at arm’s length—
You can tell typed-up lab notes apart from a journal article.
So make sure your resume’s style says ‘hire me’—
Even at arm’s length.
Here’s how you can achieve a clean, clear, and compelling resume layout for your science resume:
Science Resume Format
- Stick with the reverse-chronological resume format—it’s what’s expected.
- Choose an appropriate resume font like a Noto or Arial in 11–12 pt.
- Go with one-inch margins for your resume and let your words breathe with plenty of white space around sections and subsections.
- Limit yourself to a one-page resume. Go to two pages for your resume only if you have over seven years’ experience or many relevant and impressive achievements.
- Include at least these resume sections: Header, Summary, Work Experience, Education, and Skills. Add an extra section.
- Use a basic resume template for higher readability. You might want to try LaTex resume templates, too, if you’re familiar with the tool.
Does the job ad specify a particular file format?
If not, then save or export your resume in PDF. Other formats have their place, but for formatted text, PDF can’t be beat for stability and cross-platform support.
2. Write a Winning Resume Objective or Summary
Papers start with abstracts—
Your science resume should start with a resume profile.
There are two forms a resume profile can take—
The start with a career summary.
- One adjective (passionate, rigorous, diligent)
- Job title (chemist, physicist, microbiologist)
- Years of experience (4+, 5+)
- What you have to offer (design appropriate experimental protocols)
- Your most impressive 2–3 achievements (presented scientific findings to an audience of 100 people of various backgrounds)
These science resume examples show the above in action:
Science Resume Summary
Hard to believe they’re the same person.
The first one:
- Is specific and concrete.
- Focuses on what the candidate can do for the employer.
- Puts numbers to achievements.
The second one is vague and focused on what the candidate wants from the employer—
Not a protocol for success.
Just starting out?
Then start your entry-level science resume with a resume objective instead.
Science Resume Objective
Focus on academic achievements plus placement and volunteer work.
And take note of the fact that—
This will also keep Applicant Tracking Systems happy—your resume is likely to go through an ATS.
Expert Hint: Write your science resume objective or summary last. You’ll do a much better job after you’ve got your work experience, skill, and education sections sorted out.
3. Showcase Your Scientific Job Descriptions and Skills
How to show what you can do for a future employer?
Describe what you’ve done for previous employers.
To come up with a compelling work experience section:
- Re-read the job ad.
- Pay attention to the skills and duties mentioned in it.
- Think back to when those skills have brought benefits to your employer.
- Write resume achievements that describe and quantify those benefits.
Study these science resume examples:
Science Resume Job Descriptions
Both examples use strong resume verbs to put you in the center of the action—
But the first one focuses on results, quantifying the consequences of your actions.
You’ll also need a skills section for your resume. The skills you include will depend on your field of expertise. ‘Science’ is a pretty broad category, after all.
Use the lists below as jumping-off points—
Let the job ad dictate what skills you include in your science resume. Aim for a balance between soft and hard skills.
Science Resume Skills
- Computer and technology knowledge
- Programming languages
- Data analysis
- Information systems management
- Technical writing
- Linear algebra
- Discrete mathematics
- Attention to detail
- Training and teaching
- Time management
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4. Do Your Science Education Section Justice
Education is important—
In all the sciences.
There’s no way around it.
Include the obvious:
Degree, school, and years attended—
With an expected graduation date if you’re still studying.
Add bullets that point to key skills, achievements, or areas of particular interest.
This science resume example will give you an idea:
Science Resume Example—Education Section
These extra bullet points will help you stand out like a non-Gaussian distribution.
Low on work experience?
Expert Hint: Got a scholarship? Brag about it in your resume! Create a separate “Awards” section and list it there.
5. Enrich Your Science Resume With Added Sections
Most people know—
You can add extra sections to your resume to stand out from the crowd.
But many people don’t know—
What things to add to a resume to boost their chances of success:
- Foreign Languages
- Hobbies and Interests
- Volunteer Work
- Professional References
It’s easier to see in an example:
Science Resume Examples—Extra Sections
This one might be a bit subtle.
There’s nothing wrong with including hobbies in a science resume, but they have to be directly relevant to the job at hand.
And that’s the golden rule:
Everything is fair game if and only if it’s relevant to the job ad.
Mentioning spreadsheets when you’re a MATLAB master is usually going to be a waste of precious space.
One last thing—
Did the ad explicitly ask candidates not to include cover letters?
Then you’ll need to write a cover letter to go with your science resume.
Fail to include one and risk having your resume eliminated as an anomaly.
Expert Hint: Email your resume directly to the hiring manager. You can find their contact details through the company’s website or LinkedIn.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
For a science resume that gets results:
- Use the science resume template at the beginning of this article.
- Put science resume achievementsin your summary/objective, work history, and education sections.
- Select the right science resume skills. Let the job ad be your benchmark.
- Include a science job cover letter. Use it to get your science resume read.
How does this article stack up to your observations? Report back with your findings—drop us a comment down below, and we’ll be sure to get back to you.