Biology Resume Example

A step-by-step guide to writing a biology resume that gets more interviews and job offers.

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Written by Marc Cenedella
Leading expert on resumes
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Marc Cenedella

Marc Cenedella is a nationally recognized thought leader on careers, resume writing, job search, career management and recruiting, Marc is frequently sought out by national media organizations for his expert commentary on employment, resumes, the job search and the job market.

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Last updated on September 1, 2022
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How to Write a Biology Resume that Gets More Interviews

You work in possibly the only field where cleavage is discussed at a cellular level. But whether you’re in the lab or in the field, the lifecycle of your biology career has brought you to a slightly more serious place, typing “How to write a biology resume” so you can get an interview.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

You just so happened to land on an all-in-one resource where you’ll find:

  • A step-by-step resume template and guide to fill with the details of your biology career
  • A resume example made specifically for the field of biology
  • Helpful resume tips along the way to make your resume stand out from the rest

Prefer to have someone else write your biology resume?

Maybe you’ve done enough reporting for your biology practicals. We get it. If you’d rather hand your resume off to the experts, Leet Resumes will write a custom biology resume for you, and they’ll even do it for free. (Tips for a job well done are always appreciated.)

How to Format a Biology Resume

Here is the five-part structure for your resume:

  • Professional Headline
  • Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Keywords

We’ll cover what to include in each section of this resume template so you can stand out like a pink dolphin in a sea of porpoises and get more interviews.

The key is to keep it simple. Stick to this tried and true format and let your work and expertise speak for themselves.

For starters, don’t distract your reader with multiple columns, fonts or colors. Your life’s work (pun intended) is what will land you an interview, and that’s best laid out in the single-column format you see in the resume example above. Or, have Leet Resumes write your resume for you.

Name + Contact

Start with your first and last name at the top center of the page. Make it clear who to call for an interview by choosing a font that’s legible, professional and slightly larger than the rest of the text.

Directly underneath, add your contact information: phone number, email address and location (just your city and state will do).

Unless InMail is your main form of communication, leave off your LinkedIn account and all other socials for that matter.

As for your email, keep it professional. There’s no need for your potential employer to know what your favorite sport, movie, tv show or biology pun is. Swap out the ImmaFunGi23 for the classic firstname_lastname approach to improve your chances of an interview.

Professional Headline

This is where you grab the recruiter’s attention immediately. Think of this section of your resume template as the abstract of your career. In an ecology sense, this is the high-level biosphere before delving into the individual organisms within.

In three to five words, you’ll give them an overview of who you are and what you do with this formula:

Slightly Flattering Adjective + Level of Experience + Job Title

For your slightly flattering adjective, choose something that puts you and your career in a positive light, like practical, methodical, dedicated, or thorough.

Then add a word that explains your level of experience: junior, senior, lead, etc.

And finally end with your official job title in biology: Biologist, Lab Coordinator, Wildlife Biologist, etc.

In the end, you should have something that reads like this: Dedicated Senior Wildlife Biologist.

Professional Summary

Once you’ve captured their attention and have them interested in reading more, your professional summary will highlight why you’re the best candidate for their open position. To do this, you’re going to adapt to the original job posting to bring out your most relevant skills and attributes for the position.

Before we start, take a look at the resume example above. You won’t find any paragraphs here. Keep your professional summary brief and organized into four single-line lists so your resume is easy to read and easy to digest.

In the first line list all the job titles you’d accept for your next position. These don’t need to be titles you’ve already held, just ones you’re qualified for and interested in. Most importantly, include the exact job title for the position you’re applying for.

In the second line, add the skills and attributes that make you the most compatible candidate for the open position. This might include your specialization in microbiology, familiarity with homogenizers and gel imaging, or your proficiency in technical writing for reports, surveys and proposals.

After that, the third and fourth lines are optional, and if you can’t think of anything to fill them, the first two lines are all you need for an interview.

In the third line, list your professional successes and accomplishments in biology (notable studies, reports or projects).

In the fourth line, list any awards or promotions you’ve received for your work.

Again, these last two lines are optional. If you don’t have the substance to fill them, don’t try to stretch your accomplishments. Two pungent first lines are much stronger than four weak ones.

Need a break?

If you’d like a final product like the resume example above without any of the work, Leet Resumes will write your resume for you, for free (tips are much appreciated).

Work Experience

In the context of a lab report, your work experience is also known as, The Results.

This is not the place to list your daily duties in the lab, the reports you generate or the surveys you conduct. Your recruiter is more interested in the results you bring through your work, rather than the instruction manual on how you do it.

To get started, list your previous work history in reverse chronological order. (You can include a master's lab program here, too if it’s relevant.)

Referring to the format in the resume example above, include the official job title you held, your dates of employment and your previous employer.

For each position, add a bulleted list to highlight the success and achievement you brought to that role by using these three elements:

Success Verbs

Start every bullet point with a strong success verb.

Success verbs replace tepid actions like managed, performed, operated, or “was responsible for,” with words that imply the success of your action, like generated, optimized, preserved, reduced, boosted or advanced.

These verbs make your work experience sound like the opening accolades of a Craig Venter biography.

Quantifiable Data

Numbers are measurable and specific. That’s why it’s important to include as many as possible in your biology resume.

You can develop proposals, design surveys and mentor junior biologists, but those ideas remain abstract without numbers. Numbers allow anyone reading your resume, from an HR recruiter, lab manager or CFO to immediately understand the beneficial impact you bring to the lab or to the field.

Quantify as much of your work experience as possible. When you feel you’ve added enough numbers, go back and double the amount. It’s called mitosis. And it’s the key to landing you an interview.

Promotions

Every promotion on your resume shows your success to a potential employer through the lens of someone other than yourself. As we know, objectivity is a necessity in science, and adding a little objectivity to your resume can provide powerful social proof that you’re a great candidate for the open position.

Putting it all together…

Once these three elements are in place, your work experience should read like a highlight reel of mini-biological successes. So instead of “completed habitat surveys,” your resume might read:

Preserved over 140 sq. miles of wetland with over 1,000 unique species through generating quarterly habitat surveys and proposals.

Now you try!

Education

Here, you’ll outline your educational background with the basics:

  • Where you attended school
  • Years of attendance
  • Degree(s) obtained
  • Honors and awards received

Any extracurricular activities specifically related to biology can be included, but make this section brief to keep the emphasis on your work and expertise.

Biology Keywords and Skills for Your Resume

In the final section of your resume template is a list of keywords, skills, technologies and certifications that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Within the vast field of biology, there are so many keywords you could include. Here are just a few resume examples to get you started:

Soft skills that highlight your work ethic and sociality skills within a team.

  • Collaboration
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Excellent Written and Verbal Communication
  • Attention to Detail
  • Self-Starter

Technical skills for the lab, the field or research (this will be highly-customized toward the position you’re applying for).

  • Wildlife Surveys
  • Habitat Evaluations
  • Technical Reporting
  • NEPA
  • Data Mining
  • Statistics
  • PCRs

Technologies and software you’re familiar with that apply to your targeted position.

  • CAD
  • GPS
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Centrifuges
  • Microscopes
  • Spectronic 20

Additional certifications beyond your degrees for specific industries or specializations.

  • OSHA Lab Safety Certificate
  • Medical Laboratory Technician Certificate
  • Registered Environmental Professional Certificate

Once your final keywords are in place, your biology resume is officially complete!

Can someone else just write my resume for me?

Yes, actually. If you’d rather go dream about protein sequences, Leet Resumes has you covered. They’ll write an expert biology resume for you and they’ll do it for free (tips are much appreciated!).

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