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.

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Research Assistant Resume Sample

A research assistant resume should show potential employers that you know how to do the job. Your goal is to explain your experience, training, and specific skills without sounding generic. The easiest way to accomplish this is to focus on what the hiring manager needs you to do and answer their questions in advance.

Research assistants handle routine tasks so researchers have more time to focus on their subject. You need to have hard skills relevant to your field, whether that’s lab work or research. You also need soft skills like the ability to work on a team and pay attention to detail. If you can anticipate what a researcher will need from an assistant, you can build a resume that will get their attention.

If you need inspiration, look at this research assistant’s sample resume.


Seattle, WA 98101 • (555) 555-1234 • •


Expertise in data science with a knack for math, statistics, data mining, machine learning, and optimization-based numerical methods; built skills in data gathering, data modeling, data preparation, data wrangling of complex and large data sets and creating ETL processes and data pipelines.


Python, Matlab | C++ | Java | R | MySQL | Javascript | Jupyter notebook | PySpark | PyTorch | TensorFlow | Scikit-learn | Scipy | Pandas | numpy | Hadoop | Map/Reduce | Hive | Spark | HBase | Spark | AWS (SageMaker, ML, S3, Redshift) | Agile | Scrum

University of Washington, Seattle, WA • Student Researcher
(08/2016) - Present

Gained extensive quantitative research skills and established a practical experience building models and prototypes, designing, coding and optimizing products, and using machine learning algorithms and data mining techniques in more than three projects sponsored by organizations such as NIH, DARPA and QuintilesIMS. And resulted in 3 peer-reviewed publications.

  • Formulated a statistical learning model for clustering hospitals with clustering homogeneity enhancement by 60% based on admission behavior and similarities among disease symptoms during admission decision; spanning feature selection, feature engineering, classification, clustering, regression, and spatial and time series analysis.
  • Served as both a leader and an integral member of a team to collaborate on building strategic plans, timelines, writing proposal reports and performance metrics to gauge progress towards project and product development goals.
  • Individually and collaboratively, collected and presented findings to audiences of varying degrees of technical expertise and business stakeholders.
University of Washington, Seattle, WA • Teacher Assistant
(03/2016 - 03/2017)

Coordinated and led in-class teaching for graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Science and Technology.

  • Courses included the Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining graduate course, as well as the undergraduate course Mathematical Concepts in Computing.
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Master of Science Degree in Computer Science

University of California, Irvine, CA

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science

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Research Assistant Resume Skills and Keywords

Research fields are crowded, and every research assistant job will receive lots of applications. To make the hiring process less overwhelming, employers will use applicant tracking systems (ATS). These systems filter applications for the research assistant resume keywords they want to see. Candidates who don’t include these keywords aren’t considered because they never make it through the filters. That’s why it’s so important to list the right resume skills.

Top Research Assistant Resume Skills

  • Microsoft Office‌
  • Verbal and written communication
  • ‌Teamwork
  • ‌Attention to detail
  • ‌Quality control standards
  • ‌Application review
  • ‌Statistical and graphical data analysis
  • D‌ata entry
  • ‌Lab maintenance procedures
  • ‌SAS testing
  • ‌Problem-solving
  • ‌Research methods
  • ‌Training
  • ‌Safety protocols
  • ‌Cataloging
  • ‌Project management
  • ‌Presentations
  • ‌Organization
  • ‌Domain knowledge
  • ‌Report generation
  • ‌Statistics
  • ‌Sampling
  • ‌Experimental procedure
  • ‌Python
  • ‌Database management
  • ‌Spring Framework
  • ‌Time management
  • ‌Dependability
  • ‌Resilience

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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:

  • ‌Designed
  • ‌Drafted
  • ‌Determined
  • ‌Managed
  • ‌Formulated
  • ‌Launched
  • ‌Determined
  • ‌Maintained

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.

Optimize Your Research Assistant Resume