Research Assistant Resume Writing Guide (With Tips and Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 31 May 2022

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.

The primary function of a research assistant is to provide support for either a team of researchers or a research fellow. They do this by assisting with the collection and interpretation of data, often from studies and experiments. If you're considering a career as a research assistant, learning about the different sections of a research assistant's resume might be beneficial. In this article, we define what a research assistant resume is, show how to craft one and provide a template and an example you can refer to when crafting your own.

Related: What Does a Research Scientist Do? (With Skills and Salary)

What is a research assistant resume?

A research assistant resume is a document that presents an overview of your professional background. It typically features your relevant working experience, skills and notable accomplishments. As resumes are often the first point of contact between a potential employer and a candidate, a well-written one makes it easy for them to assess their suitability for the available position.

Related: 5 Steps For Producing an Effective Creative Resume

How to write a research assistant's resume

A resume is divided into several sections. For each section, list your experience in reverse chronological order. This means starting with your most recent activities. Make your section heading bold and slightly larger than the rest of your resume's text. Be consistent with the format of your headings and the layout of each section. This can make it easier for the hiring manager to identify specific details and may encourage them to read your whole resume. Here are some steps to guide you in writing your resume:

1. Begin with your contact information

Contact information is a crucial part of the resume, and it's essential to ensure the details are accurate. Doing so can make it easy for a recruiter to contact you for an interview. These are some details required in the contact section:

  • Full name: Write your name as it appears on your identification card or birth certificate.

  • Phone number: You may include your personal or professional phone number.

  • Email address: Make sure you use email addresses with professional usernames.

Related: Student Resume Examples (What to Include and Tips)

2. Write your resume summary or objective

While resume summaries and objectives are both located at the top of your resume, and you can only use one of them in your resume. The difference between them is that a summary summarises your relevant work experiences, while an objective is an overview of what you intend to achieve. A research objective is ideal if you have limited experience in the research field, while a research summary might be more appropriate if you have previous work experiences that are relevant to the position.

Choosing the more appropriate of the two to feature on your resume can be beneficial in getting a recruiter's attention. A well-written summary or objective can encourage them to read through the rest of your resume. Do remember that this section is meant to reflect what you're offering the employer.

Related: How to Format Your Resume (With Examples)

3. Add your professional experience

When creating the work experience section of your resume, begin by listing the most recent employment, followed by older positions. Next, include the location of each employment and the period in which you worked there. Under each job, you may add up to five bullets to describe your duties and responsibilities for each job. Make sure you're specific about your role and achievements. For example, it's ideal to say collected heart rate data from a longitudinal experimental study featuring over 100 participants instead of just collected data from a study.

The former expression shows them a clear benefit to hiring you, namely that you can be trusted to handle long-term studies and that you work well with others. If you're still in the process of accumulating work experience, you may instead include any relevant internships, part-time jobs, volunteering and extra-curricular activities. Including these experiences can communicate to the hiring manager that you're dependable, well-organised and responsible.

Related: How to Create a List of Accomplishments for Your Resume (With Tips)

4. Include an education section

The next part of your resume is the education section, where you list your relevant certifications. If you have a degree, specify what you majored in and include the name of the institution you attained it from. Be sure to also include when you attended the school and relevant details of your academic performance, such as a high GPA, honours and relevant courses.

Related: How to Write a Research Assistant Cover Letter (With Examples)

5. Add a skills section

It can be useful to add some relevant skills to your resume, as recruiters might look out for them. Many organisations also use software to scan resumes for keywords to identify suitable candidates. There are two types of skills you may add, hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills, such as mathematics and programming, are teachable skills that you typically learn in a classroom setting. Soft skills, such as efficient communication and logical thinking, are the interpersonal attributes that are essential to being a good employee. Add skills that are relevant to the job duties.

Related: Research Skills: Definition, Examples and Importance

Template for a research assistant's resume

Here's a template you can use to help you format your own resume:

[Name]
[Phone number] | [Email]

Professional Summary
[Write a summary that explains who you are as a candidate and the value you could bring to the organisation. Include your professional goals and career objectives.]

Work Experience
[Job title]
[Company name], [Dates employed]

  • Responsibility

  • Responsibility

  • Responsibility

[Job title]
[Company name], [Dates employed]

  • Responsibility

  • Responsibility

  • Responsibility

[Job title]
[Company name], [Dates employed]

  • Responsibility

  • Responsibility

  • Responsibility

Certifications
[List relevant certifications]

Skills

[Skill], [Skill], [Skill], [Skill], [Skill]

Example of a research assistant's resume

Here's an example of a research assistant's resume for your reference:

Liew Chin Mun
+65 9545 6789 | liew.chinmun@email.com

Professional Summary
Motivated biomedicine student in search of an entry-level job. I'm passionate about helping out with clinical trials in biology. Experienced in working with vulnerable patients. Skilled in database software, research processes and handling of sensitive information.

Work Experience
Research assistant
Merlion Institute, June 2015–April 2018

  • managed six clinical trials successfully with over 50 participants

  • updated and submitted applications for approval by the ethical and regulatory board

  • input and stored data using spreadsheet and word-processing software

Education

Bachelor of Science in biology
Lion City University, 2015

  • attended relevant courses in microbiology, immunology and organic chemistry

  • attained a GPA of 3.67

  • participated in a volunteer research project involving immunology

Skills

Critical thinking, communication, attention to detail, team player, fluent with graphical and statistical analysis of data, competent in application reviewing, expertise in quality control, proficiency with relevant software

Related: Academic CV Example (With a Guide on How To Write One)

Tips for writing your resume

Here are some tips you can follow to ensure you write a compelling resume:

  • Keep your resume brief. Use direct and concise language to ensure that the reader understands exactly what you mean. You can achieve this by keeping sections such as your professional summary or work history to no more than a few sentences.

  • Customise your resume. Craft a specific resume for each position you apply for. This can show potential employers your professionalism and enthusiasm for the role.

  • Highlight relevant skills. Including skills that employers look out for makes it easier for them to assess your suitability for the position. You can find out more about the kind of skills a job requires by reading the job description or conducting research on the organisation.

  • Demonstrate results. Whenever possible, use numbers and statistics to substantiate your past experiences, skills and accomplishments. This can substantiate your credibility while engaging potential employers with tangible data.

  • Proofread before submitting. Proper formatting, structure, vocabulary and grammar showcase your conscientiousness and professionalism. Before submitting your resume, ensure that the spacing and font sizes are clear and check through for any spelling or grammar mistakes.

Related: Why Creating Multiple Versions of Your Resume Works

The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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