How to Write a Great Chemistry CV

Looking to land a job as a chemist? Use industry-specific tips and templates to perfect your chemistry CV and secure your dream job in this exciting field!

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Chemistry CV
Chemistry CV
Chemistry CV

How to write a great chemistry CV?

The chemistry field is extremely competitive. With the number of applicants far outweighing the number of jobs available, your CV takes on extra importance. And as the first thing the hiring manager sees, it’s vital your CV spotlights your best attributes and encourages them to offer you an interview.

This guide will show you:

  • What chemistry skills to highlight on your CV
  • How to structure your chemistry CV
  • Tips for writing an effective chemistry CV
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What to highlight in a chemistry CV?

Your chemistry CV should underline your specific area of expertise in the chemistry field. Depending on the role you’re applying to, you’ll want to feature any relevant experience with process chemistry, organic synthesis, chemical analysis, equipment calibration, and other related laboratory procedures.

 
Your education and training will also be of interest to hiring managers. List your highest level of educational qualification and any relevant chemistry certifications in the education section. This will further demonstrate your specialities in the field.
 
Don’t just focus exclusively on chemistry skills, however. It’s also important to emphasise soft skills such as communication and teamwork, especially where the role involves working with other chemists and lab technicians.

Structure of a chemistry CV

The structure of your chemistry CV will vary depending on your chosen CV format. You have three options:

  • Chronological — This format emphasizes work experience.
  • Functional — This format focuses on skills.
  • Combination — This format balances skills and work experience.

The chronological format is the preferred CV format of most hiring managers. It’s also the format we use in the chemist CV example below.

 
Contact details
 

Add your contact information to the page header at the top of your CV. This includes your:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Professional email address
  • Address
  • Professional profile link, such as your LinkedIn

Present this information clearly so that the recruiter can easily reach out to you should they wish to progress your application.

 
Professonal summary or career objective
 
The summary (or objective) provides a brief overview of your key skills and experiences. While a summary covers your current skillset and top achievements, an objective also adds a statement detailing your career aspirations. 
 
If you already have several years of professional experience in chemistry, a summary will work best. For recent graduates looking for their first chemist job, consider an objective.
 
Skills
 
Use the skills section to tailor your CV to the role’s needs. Read through the job description and select five or more skills to include in your CV.
 

Some hard skills you might consider include:

  • Organic chemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemical engineering
  • Formulations
  • NMR spectroscopy 
  • UV-vis spectroscopy
  • Quality control
  • HPLC
  • Gas chromatography
  • Wet chemistry
  • Working with lab equipment
  • Computer skills, such as Microsoft Excel

And here are some soft skills:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Project management
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Communication

Aim for a mix of soft and hard skills, with slightly more weighting on role-specific chemistry skills.

 
Work history
 
In the work experience section, list all chemistry-related job titles held over the past 10 years. For each position, focus on the tasks and accomplishments that are most relevant to the role you’re applying to. List these as bullet points.
 
Use examples and statistics to support your points. For example, this could be the number of new food products you developed, or a percentage by which you improved laboratory efficiency.
 
Education
 
If you have a master’s or bachelor’s degree in chemistry, list it in the education section. Only include your highest level of education. You can also add relevant certifications in this section.


Do’s and don’ts for a chemistry CV

Use these CV writing tips to impress potential employers.

 

Do:

  • Quantify your achievements. Where possible, use statistics and performance data in the work experience section. This will add credibility to your claims.
  • Tailor your CV. Respond to the job description by updating your summary, work history and skills sections for each new position you apply to. Always follow the lead of the job description and pinpoint skills and requirements you should address
  • Use a CV builder. Our CV Builder tool provides a wide range of professional CV templates to get started. Then use our step-by-step tips to create a strong CV.

Don’t:

  • Use passive language. Instead of using phrases like ‘was responsible for,’ use action verbs like ‘led,’ ‘developed,’ and ‘organised’ to describe your accomplishments.
  • Include your grades. Unless you graduated with honours, there’s no reason to add your college grades to the education section. 
  • Forget to proofread. As a chemist, you know precision is key. Check for spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes before sending off your application.


FAQ: Chemistry CV examples

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter for a chemistry job application?

Always tweak your CV for each new role you apply to. Ensure that your professional summary (or career objective) section fits the role and organisation you’re applying to. The skills section should also feature specific skills listed in the job description, and your work history section should highlight responsibilities and accomplishments that play into the job’s needs.

Q: How can I write a chemistry CV without a lot of work experience?

If you lack professional experience, you can still use the chemist CV sample above as a template. Focus on any laboratory experience as a volunteer or intern. You can also place greater emphasis on your career objective, education and skills sections.

Q: How do I change my chemistry CV to apply to different jobs?

Always tweak your CV for each new role you apply to. Ensure that your CV summary (or CV objective) section fits the role and organization you’re applying to. The skills section should also feature specific skills listed in the job description, and your work history section should highlight responsibilities and accomplishments that play into what the job needs.

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