In our last article, we explored some of the information to include on your resume, such as: the heading/contact information, the objective, education, and relevant skills/coursework. We also went over how best to present that information to potential employers. In today’s article, we’ll continue our review of what information to include on an entry level scientific resume, and how to make your resume really shine.
This is another section where you have a couple of options. Depending upon your degree and intended field of work, this may be broken up several ways. In a basic resume, employment would fall under one category. Here at VERUM Staffing, we specialize in placing people in scientific fields, and in that case there will most likely be 3 sections. Today we’ll take a look at the sections involved in an entry-level resume.
The first section is your Employment section. This will include any jobs you may have held that pertain to your area of research/study. For example, if you are coming out of college and held a paid position as an undergraduate research assistant, that would fall here. A typical job will have 3-5 bullet points under it highlighting your main responsibilities. A more senior level position may have more points, although it is not necessary to list every single detail or project you accomplished in your role, just the major ones.
The next section would be your Research section. This would include any research or senior projects that you may have worked on, but for which you were not paid. Most scientific degrees require some sort of project during the senior year, so if you haven’t done additional research, putting that project here will help to highlight the laboratory skills you may have obtained. Research completed for a thesis project/graduate degree would likely fall here as well.
The last section would be your Other Employment category. This would include any additional jobs you may have held that are not related to the position you are currently seeking. For example, if you worked at as a department store clerk during college, but are aiming for a Junior Scientist role, you would place the clerk role under other employment. If the job is not relevant to your current job search, you simply do not need to include many details of the position. A job title, company, and dates is usually enough.
It is worth noting that listing irrelevant jobs is often debatable. And what it comes down to is this. If you don’t have a career history in your chosen field (such as a recent college grad) listing other jobs shows that you have worked previously and have held the responsibility that comes with any job. In additional (and this is for everyone, not just recent grads!) it can clear up any employment gaps. Because employers and recruiters are going to ask you what exactly you were doing during that 6 month gap. If you can fill that time period with relevant freelance work, volunteer work, or additional schooling, it could be optional to leave off less relevant work.
“Fillers” may not be an appropriate title to use on your resume, but these various additional section(s) can be helpful or even necessary to show off additional skills or qualifications. Additional sections may include: awards earned, presentations given, publications/patents of which you are an author, and relevant professional memberships or certifications.
After you have written the basic outline of your resume, it is worth going back and noting the little details, as well as double checking everything! Be sure to use a font that is clean and easy to read (not too large or small). If you are in a creative field, there may be opportunity to use bright colors, pictures, or arrangements. If you are in a business or scientific field, it is best to stick to standard black font with no pictures.
Another highly debatable area in resume is the length. There are some folks who are dead set against any resume longer than one page, or if absolutely necessary…two. A standard rule of thumb is as follows: for 1-3 years of experience use one page, for 3-5 years use two pages, and for 5+ years it’s ok to use three pages. Resumes really shouldn’t be any longer than three pages; at that point you are probably including a lot of irrelevant or unnecessary detail. Please note, this is just a guideline. If you have relevant detail you feel is very important for the recruiter or employer to know, it’s ok to leave it on there, even if your resume falls beyond the guidelines given here!
Now that you know the basic resume format, you should be able to set up a clean and professional looking resume. Our next article will be coming your way on 07/03/14; there we’ll be discussing some common resume mistakes….and how those very mistakes COULD be costing you a call back or interview. Until then, feel free to catch up on our previous articles, and be sure to check out our pages on Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ for the latest news and opportunities available through Verum Staffing! If you are interested in speaking with us further regarding positions we have available, future opportunities, or interview/resume help, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an informational interview.