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1. General Parts of the Resume (for scientists):

A.  Objective -- Include a brief sentence fragment on your career goal.  Brevity is important.  Be sure that the company to which you submit your resume has such a position.  For instance, if you state, "A research position in the pharmaceutical industry." as your objective, make sure the company is a pharmaceutical company with such positions.

Examples "A research position in the pharmaceutical industry."
"A managment role in the petroleum industry."
"A sales position in a chemical distribution company."

B.  Education -- Summarize your education with brief statements about each school or university attended.  They are listed in reverse chronological order.

The general formula: full title of degree, major, minor if applicable, concentration if applicable, date recieved
The next line: full name of school, city, state, country (if company is in another country)
next line: GPA (if applicable, see below)


Example: Bachelor of Science with Honors, Chemistry, Environmental Science Concentration,  May 2000
Roanoke College, Salem, VA
GPA:  4.00


Note:  You have some artistic freedom in how you highlight these areas.  It's generally accepted to bold the degree and major and to bold the GPA.  Naturally, if your GPA is less-than-noteworthy you will not want to draw attention to it, and if it is below a 3.00 you will probably not want to include it.  In omitting your GPA you may want to prepare to be asked about it at an interview.  Underlining is generally reserved for the "Experience" header and is not recommended in the "Education" area.

C.  Related Coursework -- Give the employer a general idea of the courses that you have taken that will help you in the respective line of work.  If you state a sales objective, marketing and business classes will be more important.  If you state a research objective, your advanced laboratory, science, and math classes will be more important.  List the most applicable classes first.  Remember that they assume you have taken more basic classes (General Chemistry, Organic, Physics, Writing) and you do not necessarily need to list these.

Example 1  -- Research company.

Related Coursework:  Honors Research, Independent Study (2), Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, Advanced Organic Chemistry, Advanced Physical Chemistry, Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry I, Biochemistry II, Cell Physiology, Calculus I-III, Differential Equations, Experimental Physics

Example 2 -- Marketing position.

Related Coursework:  Marketing I-II, Advanced Microeconomics, Advanced Macroeconomics, Money and Banking, International Trade, Organic Chemistry I-II, Physical Chemistry I-II, Independent Study. 

D.  Experience -- List your previous employers in reverse chronological order.  You do not have to list burger flipping, lawn mowing, baby sitting, etc unless they are your only experience or you accomplished something outstanding (managed a Burger King for instance).

General Formula: Title of the Position, Company, City, State, Dates Employed (all underlined)
  • bulleted sentence fragments describing duties and/or accomplishments
  • bulleted sentence fragments describing duties and/or accomplishments
  • etc. etc.


  • Employers are looking for "action words" describing your previous jobs.  Words like, "led", "organized", "developed" are looked highly upon.  Many of them are listed at "actionwords.html."  Do not use the words, "I" or "We".  Just list short fragments like, "Implemented a computerized inventory system." and "Prepared proteins in bulk from E. coli. overexpression."


Experience: Research Associate, Merck Pharmaceutical Co., Newark, NJ  Summer, 1999
  • Designed protocol for extracting drugs from rat tissue using SFE.
  • Prepared immunoassays for quantification of drug concentrations in eluents.
  • Participated in and presented research at weekly group meetings.
  • Worked closely with other scientists in developing projects for approximately 15 interns.

E. Publications -- This is more important for scientists looking for work in industry.  List your publications in chronological order.  You should use regular JACS style citations.  Include all articles submitted to refereed journals and poster or oral presentations at meetings.

F.  Other Categories

  • Honors and Activities:  List pertinent honors and activities, especially honorary fraternities, academic clubs, leadership positions, and awards.  Other activities in which you participated but did not lead that may not be directly pertinent may be included as space permits.  Remember, no employer will really care whether you were on the ping-pong team, unless you founded it or were the president.
  • Interests -- You probably won't have room for this category, but provide the employer with a brief list of your interests.  Include only items that make you seem intelligent, responsible, and/or resourceful (troop 74 scoutmaster, reading, gardening) and not questionable activites that may make you seem like a party animal or couch potato (disco, watching TV, drinking, movies).  Although the responsible activities may make you sound boring, this is much more preferable than seeming irresponsible in any way.
  • Professional Profile -- This bulleted list would be included at the beginning of your resume, after the objective.  For all intents and purposes it is a bulleted list of what you believe are your best attributes and/or experiences.  However, with science applications it is best to let your experience and education speak for you.  No empolyer believes that you will be totally honest when summarizing your own resume and at best only glances at this part of the sheet.



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