Resume Writing Tips

Writing a resume for a career in commercial science can be very different from a research application. For Example: You don't need to list all your published papers. A statement like: List of publications available on request.

  • Keep it simple & brief
  • Use a simple easy to read font e.g. Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetia
  • If emailing have everything as one document i.e. have your cover letter as the first page of your resume. This speeds up processing at our end
  • Have your name, contact details clearly visible preferably at the top of the first page
  • Avoid information in the header and footer that is not elsewhere in the resume (some resume keeping databases - like ours - have difficulty with information in the header and footer)
  • Be truthful

Front Page

  • Name, Address, Telephone, Fax, and Private email address - you don't want job search communications going to your work computer!!
  • Drivers Licence and Own Transport
  • Residency status - Citizen, Permanent Resident, Limited Work Visa
  • Age, Marital Status and other personal information is optional
  • Educational qualifications e.g. B.Sc (Hons) - Analytical Chemistry UNSW 1995
  • Other courses & awards
  • Personal hobbies and interests - tell us something interesting about you

Second Page & Possibly Third Page

  • Employment History. Start with the most recent and work your way back
  • Include Months and Years from and to e.g. Feb 1994 - March 1998
  • No gaps please! If you went fishing or working out of your field say so
  • State your Employer, Job description, duties and your achievements, What made you stand out from your peers?
  • Include non science work, e.g. Office skills, retail, customer service - These can be very helpful

Skills Page

  • Make a list of your skills, you may surprise yourself as to how much you can do
  • List your technical skills, e.g. Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Histology, Proteins, Attention to detail, Electronics, Customer Service, Sales, computer literacy and programs, keyboarding and typing speed (everybody now needs to be able to work a computer)
  • List your personal skills that you have gained from other areas: Public Speaking, sales, telephone work, writing reports, dealing with people


Imagine I am your fairy godmother... I wave the magic wand and present you with your perfect job… What is it? How much are you earning? Large or small company? Are you available for temporary and/or permanent work? Are you available for shift work, day afternoon, overnight shift, weekends?

Also there is an excellent book by Bolles called What colour is your parachute. Available free from most libraries, and book stores for about $35.00. You don't read it; you work your way through it - over about a week.

Good luck.


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