PhD researchers work in universities, industries and research organizations to carry out research in the field of their specialization. Like any other job, you require a resume to apply for this position. The resume of a PhD researcher is different from other resumes in that it focuses on your academic accomplishments and research skills. In this article, we discuss why a PhD researcher resume is important and how to create one, and provide a template and example you can use to create your own.
Why is a PhD researcher resume important?
A PhD researcher resume is important because it tells the hiring manager about your educational background and research experience. It’s essential for the employer to know about your area of research and how it can help in achieving the organization’s goals. Your resume details out your degrees, past researches and the papers you’ve published. It also provides your contact information and allows the hiring manager to contact you if they decide to proceed further with your application. A well-organized, professional-looking resume containing all the important details asked by the employer can significantly increase your chances of securing a job interview.
How to write a PhD researcher resume
Here are the important steps involved in writing a PhD researcher resume:
1. Choose an appropriate template for your resume
If you already have an old resume, you can modify and tailor it to suit the requirements of the new position you’re applying for. If you don’t have one, it’s better to start with a template than creating altogether a new structure yourself. You can browse a number of PhD researcher resumes online and download the one that’s close to your requirements in terms of the information you want to include and how you want to present it.
There are different types of resume formats you can choose from. A chronological format lists your experience in a traditional, reverse chronological order. A modified chronological format groups your experience into different categories, such as research experience, technical experience and leadership experience. These two formats can be effective if you have a strong experience to showcase. Professionals with less relevant experience can use a functional format, which only lists the job titles and the dates of your past employments without describing the job responsibilities. A combination format lists your past employments chronologically and groups the job responsibilities by skill sets.
2. Add your contact information
Add your name in large fonts at the top of your resume. Follow it up with your email address and phone number. Consider adding your city and state (not the complete mailing address), especially if you’re applying for a job in another city. It’s a good idea to add a link to your online portfolio, personal website or a professional social media profile like LinkedIn.
3. Write a resume summary
Write 2-3 lines of strong summary for your resume. Begin it with your title and add your core competencies and key strengths. This is your chance to pitch your candidature for the position. Focus on the skills that would be helpful to the position and the organization. Try to convince the hiring manager why they should hire you over other applicants.
Example: PhD researcher with over 7 years of research experience in molecular and cellular biology. Can work independently or as part of a team.
4. Add your education
This section should list out your educational degrees, along with the name of the institution and the month and year of completion. It’s enough to include the highest 3-4 degrees. Avoid more than 5-6 entries as that may distract the hiring manager from your main area of focus. You can also include your professional certifications and memberships in this section.
PhD in Applied Physics
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
5. Add your professional experience
Show your pragmatic side to the hiring manager. Starting with the present or the most recent one, add your professional experience with the job title, company name and the dates of joining and leaving the employment for each of your past jobs. Follow up each item with 5-6 bullet points that talk about your job responsibilities and duties performed in the given position. Consider organizing your experience into 2-3 subsections, such as research experience, teaching experience, teamwork experience and additional experience.
6. Highlight your skills
Include the technical and soft skills that are most relevant to the position. Try to use the exact keywords and key phrases from the employer’s job description while listing your skills. This will help you get past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and also attract the hiring manager’s attention quicker since they would be actively looking for those skills in your resume.
Hard skills or technical skills are usually more valuable to employers because these skills directly relate to the job. However, transferable skills like communication, time management and analytical thinking are also important since they help you excel in your job.
7. Add other sections in your resume
Add other sections like publications (to list your research papers), volunteering and awards to your resume. Consider adding a reference section at the end. This section would include the names of 2-3 people along with their contact details, so that the hiring manager can contact them to validate the details you’ve provided and learn more about you.
8. Format your resume
You can prepare your resume in a Word document or in a PDF format. Irrespective of what you choose, ensure that it’s well-organized into clearly visible sections. Use a font that’s legible and professional. Leave enough white space to make the text stand out. Keep the content crisp and concise, and limit the length to two pages.
PhD researcher resume template
Here is a template you can use to create a resume for the position of a PhD researcher:
[Your email address]
[Your phone number]
[Write the most striking features of your resume in 2-3 lines. Include your job title and experience along with the key skills]
[Educational degree along with specialization], [Month and year of completion]
[Name of the school, college, university or professional body]
[Relevant research experience]
[Relevant teaching experience]
[Other experience not covered above]
- [Skill 1]
- [Skill 2]
- [Skill 3]
- [Skill 4]
[Name and contact details of two or three references]
PhD researcher sample resume
Here is a sample resume for a PhD researcher:
PhD researcher with over 10 years of clinical research experience. Managed and mentored a team of 8 researchers.
PhD in Biological chemistry, 2016, University of Florida
MS in chemistry, 2012, California University
Senior Researcher, August 2016 to till date
Department of Clinical Research, Florida Health Laboratory
- Led a team of 8 multidisciplinary researchers
- Conducted research on the efficacy of shampoo in reducing dandruff
- Assisted in the recruitment and training of researchers
Associate Researcher, May 2011 to July 2016
Department of Neurobiology, University of Florida
- Conducted independent research on the functioning of human brain
- Prepared budgets and secured grant for 2 research projects
- Mentored 3 doctoral students with thesis and experimentation
- Data development and analysis
- MATLAB programming
- MS Office
- Strong communication and teamwork skills
- The effects of aloe vera on human hair
- Humane treatment of animals in clinical trials