What scientific hiring managers are looking for on a résumé
Are you a science professional looking for a new job? If you’ve answered, “Yes!” to this question, you’re in luck, because the outlook for scientific jobs is good. Yet even in a positive job market, it’s helpful to know what hiring managers are looking for on a résumé so you can present yourself in the best possible light. Keep the following pointers in mind.
- Use clear, conventional formatting: Unless a job posting specifically requests your résumé in a video or other alternative format, it’s best to stick with a hardcopy or digital résumé in a conventional format. Make sure it’s scannable, and keep it to two pages or less.
- Highlight skills and experience that match the job description: More than 80 percent of hiring managers want candidates’ qualifications to correspond with the requirements of the listed job. Take some time to tailor your résumé accordingly, and be sure to repeat the keywords and key phrases used in the listing on your résumé.
- List your job history: It’s important to highlight past positions that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Note that hiring managers will want to see brief descriptions of each role, as well as what your responsibilities were at the time.
- Provide an indication of your business impact: In her Glassdoor article “This Is Exactly What Hiring Managers & Recruiters Look for When Scanning Résumés,” Amy Elisa Jackson explains that hiring managers want to see evidence of how your contributions and accomplishments positively impacted your previous employers. If you can quantify how much your contributions helped, it’s even better.
- Include other differentiating factors: In his ScienceMag article “The little add-ons that add up to a standout CV,” David G. Jensen advises that there are several things you can do to make your résumé stand out from the crowd. For example, along with your bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D., you can list any additional courses — even certificate courses — you’ve completed. If you’ve completed one or more internships, it’s also advisable to include them, and if you possess sought-after technical skills, it’s a definite plus. Finally, don’t forget to list any publications you’ve contributed to.
You never know where your next opportunity might come from. Perhaps you’re looking for a promotion in your current company, or maybe a recruiter you’ve worked with before reaches out to you about an interesting position. Either way, it’s advisable to make sure your résumé is up to date and tailored to the specific position you want so you can respond to opportunities in a timely manner.
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