Research Assistant Resume Examples

Review our professional research assistant resume examples to put your best foot forward

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Professional Resume Samples for a Research Assistant

Research Assistant Resume Tips and Ideas

Research assistants are the backbone of any good research program and help support the scientific studies that move the world forward. Most research assistants are employed at a university or research institution and the field is very competitive, especially for high profile research topics.

Most research assistants are graduate students, but there are also cases when undergraduate students may have the opportunity to get involved in research assistant work. Good research assistants will have a perfect combination of technical skills and scientific knowledge, as well as soft skills to be able to work in a team and even supervise other undergraduates.

Relevant experience is very important for research assistants. Since the field is embedded in academia, most employers expect the research assistant to have studied within the field of research they are applying for.

In order to have the best chance of attracting your future employer, it’s very important that the qualifications on your resume match the job description. You should also make sure that the resume format is clean, concise, and easy to understand. It’s a good idea to use a resume builder online to help put your best foot forward.

Top Tips

Format
  • A traditional chronological resume is ideal
  • For people with a blend of academic and private sector work experience, a combination resume may be a better resume layout
  • To make your resume shine, you can use one of many free online resume generators to help with the formatting and design choices of the resume
Design

When thinking about the aesthetic appearance of your resume, you may want to consider the following design elements:

  • Clean resume layout, with subheadings and titles
  • Eye-catching yet professional color scheme
  • Organization of the sections and spacing of the content
Photo

No

Sections

    Required

  • Contact information
  • Education
  • Work history
  • Skills
  • Certifications
  • Academic awards and honors

    Optional

  • A resume objective or a brief summary of your experience
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Volunteer experience
Resume Length

1 page

Format

Whether you choose a chronological resume format or a combination resume format depends on the types of experiences that you want to highlight. 

The combination resume format is typically a great choice for a research assistant job application. This format allows you to go into depth about your experience, while also highlighting key competencies in the research area which you may have acquired both during your education and employment.

However, if the majority of your experience is confined in either the educational or work-experience realm, a standard chronological resume will be easy to understand for the hiring manager.

Whichever resume format you choose, be sure to review the job description and the industry requirements carefully when deciding which experiences you want to highlight. You can then use one of our resume templates to present your experience in an easily digestible one-page resume which hiring managers will quickly understand.

When listing your experiences, be sure to list your most recent experiences first. You should highlight the projects and skills that are most relevant for the particular research assistant position. This might mean leaving out some projects or experience that do not relate directly.

Always be concise and remember that each word takes up valuable space on your resume. You want the content to be rich with information and worth reading.

Design

Design is important because it helps the reader easily scan dense content. A clean resume design sets the first impression of you as a candidate.

As long as it helps the overall appearance of the document, you can play with various resume design elements like fonts, shading, and text boxes. Pay attention to the resume headings, titles, and subheadings as well. These are all important in building a clear and impactful resume.

Be sure to use a straight-forward and legible font on your resume. Especially in academia, the substance is more important than over-styling when it comes to content. So be sure to match these expectations in the presentation of your resume.

Ensure that any design elements or color choices that you use do not distract from your professionalism. The most important skills, experience, and crucial information should stand out on the resume.

Since it’s of the utmost importance to make a good impression with your resume, scan through our resume templates or take a look at our resume samples to handle the design work of building a great resume.

Photo

If you’re applying for a research assistant job in the United States, you do not need to include a photo. In fact, it may cause your resume to be overlooked since this is not standard practice.

However, in some European countries like Germany and Spain, it is expected that candidates include a photo on their resume. Be sure to adapt your format based on the location of the company or academic institution.

Sections of a Resume

The sections on your resume should be in the order of what is most relevant. If most of your recent experience is in the academic realm, then the education section should come first. If, however, you have been working for a few years in relevant jobs, the work experience should be at the top of the resume. Regardless, most resumes should include a robust skills section where you can highlight the specific skills which match the job description.

One section of the resume that often gets overlooked but can be helpful for a hiring manager is the resume objective statement. This is especially helpful for candidates who have a more education-focused background, or who are just starting out in their formal career. This allows you to introduce yourself on the resume and present a cohesive picture of who you are as a candidate. It is your opportunity to craft your own narrative and highlight the strengths which the future employer is looking for.

For a research assistant position, the following sections are standard:

  • Contact information
  • Education
  • Work history
  • Skills
  • Certifications
  • Academic awards and honors

In order to highlight what makes you unique as a person, you can also include the following optional sections in your resume:

  • A resume objective or a brief summary of your experience which highlights your key qualifications
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Volunteer experience

Resume Length

When deciding how long your resume should be for a research assistant job, you should first think about how many years of experience you have for this field. Normally even for people who have worked for 15+ years, it is preferable that the resume be one page.

This ensures that the hiring manager will see only the most important information. The resume is not the place to go into detail about every study you participated in or present findings on a certain research topic. Simply mentioning the titles of articles, or topics of research should be enough when listing your experience. If hiring managers or future employers are interested to learn more, they can ask about it at the interview stage.

If you find that the skills you honed during various experiences are similar and the content of your resume becomes redundant, you can take these skills out of the experience section and talk about them in the skills section of the resume. It‘s very important to not be redundant and to be as concise as possible. Writing abilities are, after all, important criteria for a great research assistant and your resume sets the first impression of your ability to present information in an organized manner.

Research Assistant Resume Section Headings

For research assistant resumes, the most important sections are education, skills, and work experience. Your resume is your chance to highlight the relevant experience for the position at hand. Be concise when writing these sections but don’t be afraid to include interesting details or statistics.

It can sometimes be the details that make you stand out from the crowd and impress a future employer. You should share any publically available results or achievements from past projects that you have been involved in.

Education

Particularly with research assistants, the educational background is of high importance. Be sure you are highlighting your skills on your resume by following our guide to creating a great education section.

Normally, a research assistant works at their place of study where they are completing their graduate work. Nevertheless, the official resume should highlight the educational experience which will make you stand out against other interested applicants.

In comparison with resumes for other professions, the education section on the resume for a research assistant position should be more detailed. List significant academic projects, papers, or published findings. Include your GPA as well as any academic clubs, awards or honors that you earned.

Work experience

Be sure to do an assessment of your entire work experience to determine which are relevant for the research job. You can be selective about what to include in your resume job experience. For example, a summer job to earn spending money may not have a place on the resume for a research assistant.

Experience in the research field should be presented prominently, and it is an advantage if you can link to publications or public results that you contributed to. We have gathered many more tips to create a great work experience section on your resume.

Skills

A research assistant requires a certain level of technical skills as well as soft skills. Research assistants need to be great at multitasking since they will support the entire range of research process including data collection, analysis, reporting, and publishing. The skills section of your resume is your place to highlight your many abilities.

The best way to decide which skills to highlight on your resume is to scan the job description. Make sure you include any personal skills that are specifically requested.

The combination resume format allows you to highlight technical skills. List any technical programs where you are proficient or technical languages. If you are skilled in a specific research style, you can include that as well.

Research assistants are often required to speak on behalf of their supervisor or to attend conferences. It’s a good idea to list any public speaking engagements or conferences that you attended. List any training courses that you completed, such as interview training, press certification, etc.

Research Assistant Resume Vocabulary & Writing Tips

While most research assistant jobs are available for graduate students who are already embedded in an academic department, there are still cases when you may be applying via an online job board or to an external company. In these cases, most resumes are sent through automated recruiting software, since the hiring managers cannot keep up with the volume of resumes.

One of the most important things to understand is that these programs will filter for candidates based on certain resume keywords and action words and only then will the hiring manager take a look at the resume.

The best source for relevant resume keywords and action verbs to use in your resume is the job description itself. Try to emulate the vocabulary of the job description as much as possible in your resume, without being too broad.

We’ve also assembled a list of the most common resume keywords for research assistant resumes to help you in your process.

Words to Use

  • Report
  • Survey
  • Results
  • Lab/Laboratory
  • Articles
  • Experiment
  • Findings
  • Information
  • Journals
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Analytical
  • Degree
  • Study
  • Recommendations
  • Communication

Action Verbs

  • Record
  • Research
  • Host
  • Teach
  • Analyze
  • Identify
  • Visualize
  • Collect
  • Present
  • Plan
  • Assist
  • Collaborate
  • Publish
  • Coordinate
  • Supervise
  • Organize

Resume Samples

1. A new graduate student seeking a research assistant position during their Graduate program

Dedicated academic scholar with research experience and management skills seeking to support cutting edge research in the Biopsychology field.

  • Coordinated research study during undergraduate years on the effects of blue light on sleep habits, published in peer review journal
  • Experience conducting interviews with test subjects, analyzing data using Python, and writing research articles for peer review
  • Drafted and edited a major grant application for UCLA Psychology department
  • Magna Cum Laude distinction at graduation
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  • EducationBachelor’s Degree in Cognitive Science, Magna Cum Laude
  • Achievements2nd year graduate student in Biopsychology
  • ExperienceTeaching Assistant during 1st year of graduate study

2. Post-graduate student seeking research assistant position in private research facility.

Experienced Research Assistant with a graduate degree in Biochemistry seeking to advance research in the environmental protection sector.

  • Coordinated research study from the ideation phase, to data collection, analysis, and presentation of results during graduate study
  • Experience managing a team of undergraduate research assistants in a high-tech environmental simulation lab
  • Research assistance experience in the private sector in Washington D.C.
  • Published in multiple peer review journals and consumer periodicals
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  • EducationBS in Biology
  • 2 yearsResearch assistant experience during graduate program
  • InternshipEnvironmental Impact Analysis lab