How to Write a Research Skills Resume That Gets Noticed

Brandi Glass
4 min read
How to Write a Research Skills Resume That Gets Noticed

Applying for your jobs can be tough. Not only do you need to show potential employers why you should be hired, but also the skills that make you a good candidate. How do you stand out in a sludge pile full of resumes? It may seem daunting, but there are several strategies you can use to write an impressive resume and get noticed by hiring managers. Here are a few tips on how to write a research skills resume that gets noticed.

What is a Research Skills Resume?

A research skills resume is unlike your typical resume. It focuses on your experience as it relates to working in a research or program development environment. The purpose of writing a research skills resume is to demonstrate that you possess the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out studies that don't have pre-established instructions or steps. Researchers trudge through new academic terrority, so your resume has to showcase your ability to do so.

Tip #1: Get Specific

You don't need to write out every single thing you've ever done. Focus on the most relevant experiences and accomplishments, so that employers can see right away why they should hire you over anyone else.

Since you’re looking for a research job, focus on any specific examples of research you’ve performed. This will show employers that you can apply those same skills in their workplace. Another great add-on is to describe how your research benefited the organization or project.

Employers want to see the specifics of how you analyzed qualitative or quantitative data. Use your resume to tell stories about your research. Make sure each example includes the details of what kind of project it was, how long it took, how much time you spent on it, and what role you played.

Tip #2: Highlight the Tools You’ve Used

Include specific tools you used during your project work. These are what set you apart from other candidates who may have similar experience levels or backgrounds. For example, if you used SQL queries to filter data sets before analysis, make sure that shows up somewhere on your resume. Don’t be afraid to list tools that you think are common knowledge, because the truth is: No tool is common knowledge. Include that you’re proficient in Excel or Microsoft because that will set you apart from candidates who aren’t proficient (or forgot to include it on their resume).

Tip #3: Quantify Your Achievements

Focus on quantifiable results from your work as a researcher. For example, instead of saying: “I’ve written a lot of reports,” write: “I wrote 6 reports for our clients in the past year, which resulted in $2 million in revenue for our company.”

If possible, include metrics for these projects—how much revenue did they generate? How many clients were acquired? How many users were acquired? This will help show employers how impactful your projects have been, and why they should hire you over someone else.

Then, explain how you did it: "I researched trends in our industry and found out what customers wanted most." Or: "I conducted interviews with customers to learn their preferences."

If you’re a student or recent graduate, don’t be afraid to pull examples from classes. You can explain your projects, quantify your results, the project’s benefit, and how you did it.

Tip #4: Include Keywords

Use keywords from the job description in your resume. If they're looking for someone with "analytical skills," then use that phrase in your resume. If they don't ask for it specifically, then leave it out—but make sure to include other relevant skills.

Typically, your resume will have to pass through a software platform before a real human lays their eyes on it. This is to filter out any resumes that aren’t relevant. Look at the key phrases in research roles, and include them in your resume.

Including relevant keywords and phrases will help the human reader see how you might fit into their company's needs—better than other applicants who aren't as well-suited.

Tip #5: Include Awards

Don't forget to include any awards or honors you've received at school or work. This is good evidence that you're an accomplished researcher. If you’ve earned any scholarships or grants to help you complete your research, also include those.

Tip #6: Stay In-The-Know

Keep up with trends in your field, so you can use them as references when writing your resume. This will show employers that not only do you understand what's going on in their industry right now, but that they can trust your judgment. They know how much time and energy goes into keeping up with those changes.

For example, if you’re a marketing researcher, indicate that you’re aware of the newest trends by exemplifying recent projects. Don’t keep using the same example from years ago. Marketing is constantly evolving, and you need to show that you’re in-the-know, even as the times change.

Finally: Write and Format Your Resume Well

Make sure your resume is well-written. Your research skills are impressive, but don't let them go unnoticed because your resume is hard to read. If you aren't sure about the quality of your writing, ask a friend or family member to look it over before submitting it.

Your resume should be easy to understand, even for someone who doesn't know what certain acronyms stand for. Use bullet points instead of long paragraphs whenever possible, and avoid using fancy fonts or colors unless absolutely necessary. You want your resume to look professional, without making it hard for potential employers to read.

Not a great writer at all? That’s okay, because research is your key quality, not writing. Luckily, you don’t even have to write your resume with Rocket Resume. We’ll help you create a resume specifically tailored for the roles you’re seeking.