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Research: the hot topic many employers and schools are talking about. Research skills are a critical skill-set for many employers because being able to research well helps increase innovation in a company. You might be wondering: “I have never worked in a science lab, so how could I possibly have research skills?”
What many people often overlook is that you don’t have to be a scientist to have research experience. Research is the ability to investigate data and information, analyze it and then communicate it to others in an effective way.
Research skills are some of the most wanted skills employers look for in a resume because they want employees to be able to find answers and possible solutions to questions in a methodical way. Because of this demand for research skills, you will want to know how to best leverage these skills on a resume to make your application stand out to recruiters.
Now that you know the big things, you’ll want to know the small details that can further help your resume when including research experience. Keep reading for a detailed guide on how to make your resume stand out with research experience.
Depending on what job you’re applying for, research skills could make or break your ability to land the job. Almost every job requires some research skills and you probably already have some of those skills mastered by now. If you don’t believe it, think about it. A copywriter needs to be able to fact check what she is writing. A daycare manager needs to be able to research new childcare policies. An entrepreneur has to be able to understand current market demands.
For most careers, research is a vital process to be able to answer questions. “Research skills” are not a single skill, but multiple put together. Some skills that are necessary for research are organization, problem-solving, critical thinking skills, communication, and specific technical skills, like coding, excel and copywriting.
You are probably wondering which section you should include your research experience and skills in your resume.
Including research experience and skills on a resume can be incredibly flexible. When thinking about how to add it to your resume, you want to consider how the research experience adds to your resume. Does it help you showcase deliverables for your work history section? Or does it help showcase your education? Do you have several publications because of your research?
The answer to these questions will guide how you include your research experience on a resume. If you’ve had smaller research roles no “official” research experience, you can highlight the skills associated with research mentioned above in your job description under your work history section in your resume.
If your job history is a research position, then naturally, you would include research under the work history section. You can also merge your sections depending on what type of position you are applying for. For example, you could create a “Research and Education” section or a “Research and Publications” section. If your research is not related to your education and you don’t have any publications, you can also detail it out in a separate “Research” section in your resume.
Now that you have decided which section you will include your research experience and skills in, you will want to know how to present that information. Adding research to a resume is very similar to adding past work experiences to your work history section in your resume.
The first step is to collect all of the important details like the title of the research project, location of the research project, principal investigator of the project, if applicable, and the dates of the project. You will list these details much like you would list a company you have worked for in the past.
When describing your role on the project, you will want to summarize your accomplishments and deliverables. Hiring managers and recruiters love seeing numbers. When you write out the deliverables from your project, make sure you quantify them.
You should also include publications, conferences you may have presented at and any awards or recognition your research had received. If you have completed research in an academic setting, then presentations (oral and poster) are an important part of the research process. You should include those details along with the titles of your publications.
Other aspects of research that you can detail out to make your application more competitive are adding skills specific to your project to your skills section of your resume. These skills will vary depending on the subject matter, but some examples include coding languages, interviewing skills, any software you used and are proficient in using, managerial skills and public speaking if you have presented your research at conferences.
Research experiences and skills are an incredibly important aspect of many job applications. Without research, the ability to innovate as a company is stunted. Therefore, hiring managers and recruiters want employees who can help drive innovation by being able to apply research skills to problem solve and come up with creative growth solutions.
Knowing how to use these skills as leverage to make your resume stand out is a great way to help you land your dream job. Even if you don’t have any traditional research experience, think about the skills that are used in research and highlight how you’ve used those skills in past jobs.
While a background in research is critical for many higher-academic and STEM positions, it is also important for every job-seeker. Don’t dismiss opportunities for research experience just because you are not trying to get a Ph.D. or are a physician. Research skills are a valuable asset for any person looking to make their resume rise above others.
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