Research Assistant Resume Examples, Skills, and Keywords
Research assistants work to support researchers with their daily work, and their resume needs to demonstrate those skills. Here’s how to write a research assistant resume that shows you can do the job well.Build a new resume Optimize your resume
5 Resume Writing Tips for Research Assistants
When you’ve decided what skills you want to include on your resume, you can build a document that gets results with these five resume tips.
1. Use the right format
The very first thing that potential employers will see is the format of your resume. Before they read anything, they’ll notice how things look on the page. It’s best to use a traditional resume format such as reverse chronological order unless an employer asks for something different.
Traditional formats are traditional for a reason: they’re easy to read and condense a lot of information into one page. While you can explore different font choices and header designs, the body of your resume should follow standard guidelines. If you’re not sure about your formatting, ask a friend or colleague to look it over for you.
2. Introduce yourself effectively
After your header, the first element of your resume is a personal statement or resume summary. This is a short paragraph describing your experience in the field, your most essential skills, and your major achievements. Hiring managers use this summary to decide whether they want to keep reading, so take the time to write it well.
Here’s an example of a good personal statement: “Enthusiastic biochemistry student looking to provide research support to Greenfield Labs. 2+ years of experience including working with confidential information, leading 3+ successful volunteer research projects, and implementing new data entry procedures to reduce errors by 15%.”
This summary will get attention for several reasons. It explains the candidate’s objective right away and mentions the employer by name. That means that the candidate took the time to customize their application. It also lists three relevant accomplishments, so the hiring team has an idea of what they can expect.
3. Be upfront about your skills
Some research facilities only hire assistants who already have the skills they need. Others are willing to train people on the job. Either way, you should be clear about the skills you have so you can make it through ATS filters.
While you can’t control how employers filter resumes, you can take steps to meet their filtering criteria. A skills section lets you include keywords that weren’t relevant to previous jobs or your educational history. It also lets you include research assistant skills that don’t fit elsewhere. And best of all, it makes your resume easy to skim, which can be the difference between getting the interview and getting overlooked.
4. Use action words to get attention
It can be tempting to describe your past responsibilities vaguely. That’s not going to help your application. Writing that you “participated in research” doesn’t tell hiring managers what you actually did. They understand you may not have years of past experience. They just want to know what you’ve already done and what they need to train you to do.
Instead of generic phrases, use action words to describe your responsibilities, like:
5. Highlight your education
Research assistant jobs are often the first step toward a career as a research scientist. Many people apply for these positions when they’re fresh out of school or working to change industries. That means employers are used to seeing candidates with little experience, and they’re just as interested in your education.
If you’ve just received a degree in the field, you can list courses that trained you for the position. You can also include extracurricular activities, especially if you volunteered on research projects in the past.
Meanwhile, if you’re retraining or getting certifications in the field, list those qualifications proudly. It shows that you’re putting in the effort to learn new, relevant skills. You may even add a separate heading for certifications if your education was in a different field.