How to Write a Research Assistant Resume (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 November 2022

Published 25 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Becoming a research assistant can be a rewarding opportunity. Just like any other career, having a well-written curriculum vitae (CV) can help increase your chances of getting hired for a research assistant position. Learning more about what to include in your CV can help you create a more effective document. In this article, we discuss what a research assistant resume is, show how to write one, provide a template and explore an example to help you write your own.

What is a research assistant resume?

A research assistant resume or CV is a document you submit when applying for a research assistant position. It provides information about the skills and experiences relevant to the research assistant position. Companies use CVs to narrow down the pool of candidates and choose the group of aspiring research assistants they want to interview.

Related: What Is a Cover Letter? (With Template and Example)

What does a research assistant do?

Research assistants work as members of a research team in a supporting role to researchers. Normally, they report to a senior researcher or supervisor. They may work in a variety of settings, including universities, medical or scientific research centres, hospitals and firms for market research or consulting, nonprofit organisations and government agencies. They also work in various disciplines, including science, the social sciences, medicine, history, literature, government policy and business.

In academic institutions, many research assistantships are temporary positions filled by graduate students to fulfil education requirements and to gain experience in their field. In this role, they aid in the work of professors who undertake research projects to advance their discipline. However, employers that conduct research regularly, such as medical, scientific and private research institutes, may hire assistants on a full-time basis.

Related: CV Examples for Students (With Template)

How to write a CV for a research assistant position

Here are the steps you can take to write a cover letter for a research assistant position:

1. Gather the employer's information

Before you write your CV, research the employer's information online. Check their company website to find out what their beliefs and mission are. Also, browse the names of their team members to determine who the hiring manager is. While doing your research, make sure to determine the organisation's needs and find out the research project you would be working on.

2. Customise the writing to the employer

Employer preferences for a research assistantship are likely to vary depending on factors such as the field, scope and length of the research and whether the position is temporary, part-time or full-time. Consider adjusting the language of your CV based on these factors. For example, a full-time research assistantship with a corporate firm may require the ability to work well under pressure since corporations are often more deadline-oriented, whereas an academic assistantship may emphasise writing skills since university research often relies on grants. Customising your CV to specific needs can help you attract the employer's attention.

Related: How to Use Indeed to Job Search During COVID-19

3. Analyse the job advertisement for keywords

The job advertisement is likely to mention the qualities the employer is looking for in their ideal candidate. Sometimes, the description explicitly tells you they're looking for specific qualities, or you can identify these key qualities by their repetition throughout the description.

For example, if a listing for a clinical research assistantship states the candidate should be able to notice minute details, a relevant keyword might be detail-oriented or meticulous. Familiarise yourself with the job description and consider making a list of all the relevant keywords you might include in your research assistant resume objective. Try to produce a variety of keywords so that you're more likely to include the qualities the employer's looking for.

4. Open with a strong CV summary or objective

One way to make a great impression is to write a compelling CV summary. A CV summary highlights your skills and achievements from the very start, which makes it especially valuable for anyone applying for a job as a research assistant. Using a few short bullet points, demonstrate to potential employers what your key strengths are, what skills or experience you have and why you're a good fit for the position. Make your summary concise and highlight a few of your most impressive achievements to convince the employer to continue reading.

If you have little to no experience, you can write a CV objective instead. A CV objective highlights your career goals and states why you're applying for the job. To write an effective CV objective, consider mentioning the job title you're applying for. Then, add two to three skills and say what you want to achieve in the job. Keep your objective two to three sentences long. For example, you can say Detail-oriented and ambitious graduate student in biology with previous research experience seeking the position of graduate research assistant to aid in department research projects.

Related: How to Write a CV Summary (With Examples)

5. Demonstrate your research experience

Hiring managers want to see more than just your educational background. They want to determine what kind of research experience you have and how well you handle your duties and responsibilities. Thus, make sure you present your research experience on your CV effectively. To start, here are the points you may include:

  • a short overview of your achievements

  • the topic you were helping to research

  • a description of your participation in the research

  • some information about key takeaways or discoveries that resulted from the research

6. Highlight your key skills

Research assistant work requires a variety of hard skills to meet job expectations successfully. To demonstrate you have the right knowledge for the role and are adequately qualified, consider including a targeted list of skills for a research assistant on your CV. Review the job advertisement and look for specific strengths or abilities that the company wants candidates to have. Then, tailor your skills section to these strengths and abilities by emphasising the ones that apply to you.

CV template for research assistants

Here's a general template you can use when crafting your research assistant CV:

[Your name]
Research Assistant

Personal information
[Phone Number]
[Your email address]
[Your personal website, if available]

Resume Summary
[Write a short CV summary here. You can include one to two sentences summarising your most impressive and relevant skills and experience]

Work Experience
[Job title]
[Name of the company], [location]
[Inclusive dates of employment]

  • [Job achievements]

  • [Job achievements]

  • [Job achievements]

[Job title]
[Name of the company], [location]
[Inclusive dates of employment]

  • [Job achievements]

  • [Job achievements]

  • [Job achievements]

Education
[University or college name], [City]
[Type of degree] in [Area(s) of study], [Date you earned it]

[Peer-reviewed Publications, if applicable]

Technical Skills

  • [Technical skill 1]

  • [Technical skill 22]

  • [Technical skill 3]

Transferable Skills

  • [Transferrable skill 1]

  • [Transferrable skill 2]

  • [Transferrable skill 3]

Research assistant sample CV

Use the following example when crafting a CV for a research assistant position:

David Lee
Lab Research Assistant

davidlee@email.com
440-123-3412
yourpersonalwebsite.com

Resume Summary

Belat University MSc in Applied Life Science graduate (3.9 GPA, Graduated Cum Laude) with 4+ years of experience overseeing and assisting research projects involving analysing and isolating protein, DNA and RNA. Seeking to join Hong Kong College Research Team to utilise my lab maintenance and data entry skills to help the research team provide accurate results.

Work Experience
Lab Research Assistant I Kowloon College Cancer Centre, Leukemia Research Team
2019-2020

  • Identified changes in cells under the microscope, identifying cell counts on coulter counters with haemocytometres with 97% accuracy

  • Established and maintained tissue culture cell

  • Conducted genotyping of mice in four cohorts (245 cages each)

  • Analysed, purified and isolated DNA, RNA and protein using gel electrophoresis-autoradiography and ECL staining

Key achievement: Implemented a new standard operating procedure for shelving and monitoring tissue culture supplies to improve efficiency by 40%.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant
Escabeche University
2018–2019

  • Performed deep research into 14 unique project titles as instructed by professors. Commended by three professors for research quality.

  • Performed regular data entry on project grades of students

  • Graded papers for three years, about 600 papers graded.

  • Provided guidance and feedback to 200+ students.

Research Assistant Experience
Various
2018–2019

  • Worked as a volunteer in local laboratories

  • Recognised by several professors for communication skills and accuracy

  • Worked as a part-time manager in local daycare for six months.

Education

MSc in Applied Life Science, Belat University, Hong Kong
Graduated 2017
3.9 GPA
Favourite fields of study: Immunobiology, Cancer Cell Biology, The RNA World: A Computational and Functional Analysis, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Extracurricular achievements and activities:

  • Chairman of the graduate student association 2016-2017

  • Initiated and managed a volunteer research project that analyses human evolutionary genomics

  • Delivered a presentation about the impact of conflict, sex and pathogens on modern genomes at the Annual Applied Life Science Conference.

BSc in Applied Life Science, Escabeche University, Hong Kong, PABachelor of Fine Arts, Belat University, Cum Laude
Hong Kong City, Hong Kong
2011–2015

Technical Skills

  • Library Cataloguing

  • RNA and DNA Analysis

  • Autoradiography

  • ECL Staining

  • Laboratory Maintenance

  • Data Entry

Transferable Skills

  • Public speaking

  • Teamwork

  • Project management

  • Organisation


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