Senior Scientist Resume Example

Discover for yourself what makes a perfect senior scientist resume. Our experts are here to help with tips, templates, and examples.

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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 May 1, 2021
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How to write the perfect senior scientist resume

For senior scientists like you, the thrill of discovery is one of the greatest joys in life. And, although it might not revolutionize our conception of the natural world or win you a Nobel Prize, we hope that discovering what makes a perfect senior scientist resume can bring you at least a little of that joy.

In many ways, the progression in the sciences is indicative of our species’ progress as a whole, and there would be little progress without senior scientists. Your passion for knowledge and ability to preserve through setbacks make you a true leader, in the lab or in the field. You’ve worked hard, you shoulder a lot of responsibility, and you deserve to be compensated accordingly.

The first step in obtaining that high-paying salary is crafting an exceptional resume. Although you’ve probably researched other resume examples by now, you might be thinking that none of them seem quite right.

Leet Resumes is empirically different. Our customizable senior scientist resume example and comprehensive template enable you to “stand on the shoulders of giants” in your job search.

Just keep in mind that this job isn’t going to spontaneously materialize.

Still, no need to fret. We’re here for you. By working together, we’ll craft an A+ resume that will earn you more interviews.

How to write a senior scientist resume that wins tons of interviews

Of course there will always be a home for you in academia, but your options are far from limited. Industries like pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals will offer some of the most competitive salaries. There’s also plenty of opportunities in the public sector, at cutting-edge technology companies, and beyond.

Because a senior scientist position requires an extensive education and a large amount of responsibility, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than you’re worth. You deserve to work with a team that respects you, to inquire into problems that challenge your mind, and to earn a fair wage.

But this job isn’t born out of aether. It’s up to you to cause the effect that you seek.

So, first thing’s first: you need a perfect senior scientist resume.

Especially for the perfectionist, this can be a daunting task. Don’t you want to make sure that it’s absolutely 100% optimized?

That’s what a professional resume writer can do for you. And here’s the big secret: it’s not even expensive.

Leet Resumes offers a unique resume writing that guarantees quality and is completely free. We always appreciate a tip, but there’s no obligation.

Formatting the senior scientist resume

Decided to write your own resume? We respect that, and we’re happy to help you get started.

First off, we highly recommend following this resume template:

  • Name + Contact
  • Professional Headline
  • Professional Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Keywords

That’s all there is to it. If you follow our resume example, you’ll have a great resume to hand out, and you’ll start receiving invitations to interview.

Now, you’re a scientist, so we know that you hold organization in high regard. A disorganized lab, after all, is hardly a lab at all.

We want you to bring that fastidiousness to bear on your resume. Keep everything neat and consistent.

The main reason that this matters so much is because most companies use an application tracking system (ATS) to screen resumes before a human ever lays eyes on them. If that software program can’t figure out your resume, say goodbye to your shot at an interview.

Simply put, the ATS has expectations: your name here, your education there, your work history in its place. If not, then it will become confused, and then maybe your email address will end up as your work history.

By keeping it tidy, by not including unique features like text boxes, images, or multiple columns, you maximize your chances at getting past the ATS.

Name + Contact

When you follow the scientific method, you don’t just jump to forming a hypothesis or conducting experiments. You start by stating the problem and proceed from there.

It may seem obvious, but the same logic holds when writing a resume. The resume template dictates beginning with your name and contact.

So put your name at the top. Then write your phone number and provide a professional email address.

The only real decision point here is whether you should include your LinkedIn profile. While some resume examples always recommend it, we think that it actually works against you unless you check it every single day. You really don’t want to risk missing a valuable message.

Professional Headline

The person that you’re trying to convince to hire you knows what they’re looking for. And while this will vary by industry and scientific discipline, they all want a strong leader with an even stronger intellect.

So they sit at their desk to peruse some resumes. They glance down at yours, and the first thing they see is:

“Senior Scientist with Accolades”

The chances of you getting that job just went up.

That’s the magic of the Professional Headline. In just 3-5 words, you’re telling them who you are and why you’re a better fit than any of the other applicants.

Professional Summary

Over the course of your education and career, you’ve read and written many research papers. And all of those papers start the same way: with an abstract.

The Professional Summary is your resume’s abstract. It summarizes the rest and gives the reader a small taste of what’s to come.

Use 2-4 lines to say what job title you want, the professional experience you bring, alongside the accomplishments, accolades, and/or promotions to your name. Just use this basic format:

  • Desired job title
  • Senior scientists skills
  • Senior scientists accolades and accomplishments (optional)
  • Promotions and/or awards (optional)

Some of you might not have much for lines 3-4, so keep in mind that it’s totally optional. Focus on the first two lines.

As you grow your name and career, then you will have more content for next time you apply to a job. At this point, though, you’ll be able to save more space for the skills and experiences that make you a great scientist.

Is writing the perfect resume starting to feel like a Sisyphean task? Are you starting to wish that you could get some professional help so that you can start applying to jobs sooner?

It’s a good thing that you found Leet Resumes then. Our resume experts can craft an awesome senior scientist resume, right now and just for you. We know that you’re going to love our work, which is why we don’t have any surcharge and only request tips.

Work Experience

So we wrote the abstract; now it’s time to dive headlong into the paper itself. That’s the Work Experience section in the resume template.

Look at the provided resume example, and you’ll see how to talk about previous jobs. Be sure to include the most important functions you served at each of these positions.

Whatever you do, avoid this one common pitfall. Don’t just list off daily responsibilities. Go beyond the day to day. If you just write “oversaw a lab and the development of research projects”, you’re not really saying anything unique or attention-grabbing.

Take it to the next level.

As a rule of thumb, if you see it in the requirements on the job posting, don’t write it on your resume. Your goal is to appear more than qualified, not barely qualified.

Not matter how humble you may be, we give you full permission to brag about yourself here.

Following these five points will make your senior scientist resume stand out.

Accolades, Achievements, and Accomplishments

What do you bring to the table that your colleagues don’t? What have you done in your career that’s noteworthy?

Basically, your goal here is to show how you can bring this prominence to the organization and add value. The best way to demonstrate that is with empirical fact: historical success.

You need to make a good impression if you want an interview. After reading your resume, you want them to be thanking fortune that you applied to their job.

Use strong verbs

In the words of Bill Nye, consider the following:

I had to responsibility for designing experiments and simulations

Designed experiments and simulations.

See the difference? One gets to the point. The other doesn’t. Long story short: get to the point.

Another benefit to using strong verbs is that you subconsciously tell the recruiter that you’re an active worker. You don’t beat around the bush. You’re a go-getter, a self-starter, and that means you’re someone they want to hire.

Numbers, numbers, numbers

Could science even exist without numbers? Maybe when Aristotle wrote Physics in the 4th century BC, the field had yet to become subject to the rigors of quantification. But that’s not exactly recent history.

You know who else appreciates numbers? The person hiring you.

So don’t just write “directed a team of researchers.” Instead, write something along the lines of “directed a team of 12 researchers on 3 projects.”

Especially in today’s data-driven world, quantification is nearly synonymous with truth. Quantify your contribution whenever possible to improve your resume.

Talk about promotions

Since you’re applying for a senior scientist position, it’s unlikely you just finished undergrad—or even grad school. How did you get to this position? If you ever earned a promotion, do yourself a favor and include it here.

Promotions are universally understood as indicators of being exceptional. If your previous boss recognized your excellence, that won’t be lost on the person reading your resume.

Another facet here is that promotions demonstrate an ability to thrive and grow. That’s something that everyone wants in a new hire, especially for a senior role.

Don’t forget about dates

If you took a gap year or two, you may feel a temptation to scrub this out of your resume by neglecting to include specific dates. That’s not a winning strategy.

When a recruiter looks at a resume without dates, their mind instantly goes one place: “what is this person trying to cover up?”

Losing their trust equates to losing the job.

Education

You spent a lot of time studying to get where you are now. For senior scientists especially, highlighting a strong educational background is critical to getting the job.

Write down the schools that you attended, the degrees you earned, and your final GPAs. This is also the perfect spot to include certifications. While this will vary depending on what kind of scientist you are, certifications from respected institutions like NIH go a long way.

The final note here is to avoid listing incomplete degrees unless you’re currently pursuing them.

Keywords

We’re almost there. This final section of your senior scientist resume is the coup de grace. Once they finish reading it, they’ll want to start composing the email asking you for an interview.

Use keywords that show your competence, professionalism, and hard-earned skills. These skills can be both hard, technical skills as well as soft skills like interpersonal ones.

Here are some examples:

  • Supervision
  • Collaboration
  • Analysis
  • Experimentation
  • Innovation

On top of that, list the different technologies that you use in your job. This can be coding languages like R, Python, or MATLAB; simulation tools such as Synergia; or even ordinary productivity tools like MS Office Suite.

That’s all there is to it. This is your last chance to make a good impression, so make it count.

Give yourself an edge by requesting a professional resume

You’ve studied statistics. You know that certainty is hard to come by, but that you can take steps to tilt the odds in your favor.

Get all the edge that you can in your job search by requesting a professionally composed senior scientist resume from Leet Resumes.

Get in touch today to start the process. We’ll work with you to craft a 100% personalized resume that you can use to blast off your career, even if you’re not a rocket scientist.

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