Research assistant CV examples for this year

Research assistants play an important role when helping academics. How do you create a CV that shows this?

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Table of Contents

  1. How to write the perfect research assistant CV
  2. What should I highlight in a research assistant CV?
  3. The structure of a research assistant CV
  4. Do’s and don’ts for a research assistant CV
  5. FAQ: Research assistant CV

How to write the perfect research assistant CV

Research assistants work with academics to deliver successful research projects and are essential to the research, planning, writing, and completion of academic reports. Give yourself the best shot at this position with the best CV you can produce. Here’s how you can show off your skills and experience with a research assistant professional CV.


What should I highlight in a research assistant CV?

Research assistants need to show hiring managers and recruiters that they have the necessary subject knowledge and hard skills to complete tasks. This includes data collection, working with academics, researching, and writing reports. 
 
Research assistants are required to have a good understanding of the end-to-end process of a research project. This means they need to show they understand how to take a project from its planning stages to completion. Recruiters and hiring managers also want to see that candidates have good written communication skills and research skills, helping them carry out the tasks listed in the job description.

The structure of a research assistant CV

First, your CV structure will depend on the format. The  chronological format focuses on experience, functional principles on skills, and combination on  both, so choose a format that shows off your best qualities.
 
Although your CV will be organized differently depending on the format, it will usually include all the sections outlined below, as well as optional sections such as certifications or achievements.
 
Header
 
The CV header section presents all of your contact information. This gives the hiring manager and the recruiter all they need to provide you with updates about your application. Include your name, location, phone number, and email address.
 
If you have links to a professional networking site like LinkedIn or to research projects, you can also include them here. 
 
Professional summary
 
The professional summary section contains two to three statements that summarize the contents of your whole CV. This gives the hiring manager all they need to know from a quick glance, such as total work experience, specialist skills, achievements, and more. 
 
The perfect CV will have an objective that grabs the hiring manager or recruiter’s attention, so think about some information that might encourage them to read on or invite you to an interview. 
 
Skills
 
If you’re a recent graduate looking for a research position, then your skills section will need to be strong, even if you have a chronological CV. 
 
This section should contain a good mixture of hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are skills necessary for carrying out typical research assistant tasks. Soft skills are intangible skills combined with personality traits that show how you approach work, and handle working with others. 
 

Consider including these bullet points if you can’t think of the right skills to sum up your abilities. You can pick up these skills during your education, experience, or certification:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Project management 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Data entry 
  • Data analysis 
  • Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word)
  • Statistical analysis 
  • Teamwork
  • Technical skills 
  • Quality control 
  • Written and verbal communication 
  • Knowledge of different research methods 
  • Planning 
  • Python

Work history

 
The work experience section is usually a record of your previous research experience in reverse chronological order. Reverse chronological means candidates work backwards from their most recent employment experience. This ensures you provide the hiring manager or recruiter with the most up-to-date examples. 
 
Include your employer’s details like company name, location, and the dates you started and finished working there. Use bullet points to describe your primary duties and key accomplishments while working as a research assistant. 
 
Education
 
As research assistants are heavily involved in education, this section is significant. Graduate research assistants will usually need a degree to qualify for a research role. Provide details on specialised coursework and projects that relate to the position you want, as well as your highest academic achievement. If you’re in the process of getting your degree, add an expected graduation date.


Do’s and don’ts for a research assistant CV

Do: 

  • Research which keywords are associated with the role. This can help you navigate applicant tracking systems (ATS) that are designed to search your CV for specific keywords – you may have to ‘tick the box’ of referring to specific lab equipment, for example, or show your understanding of research software like SPSS. In general, it’s a good idea to reference keywords from the job description since this shows you have read it carefully. 
  • Consider using CV templates for inspiration on the right fonts, format, and length of your CV. 
  • Research the job advertisement if it’s still available. The advertisement may outline which skills and experience their ideal candidate has. This can help you understand what skills and experience to prioritize in your CV. 

Don’t: 

  • Write your CV without the help of a CV builder
  • Include your CV high school GPA. This may be irrelevant information. 
  • List experience that isn’t related to a research assistant job. This might throw off the hiring manager and harm your chances of gaining a research assistant position.

FAQ: Research assistant CV

Q: What should I do after I finish writing my CV?

Proofread your CV once you’ve finished. As written communication skills are essential for a research assistant candidate, your CV should showcase your written skills. A CV with no spelling, punctuation, or grammar issues may succeed!

Q: Should I use a cover letter in my application?

Cover letters are great tools for giving hiring managers more in-depth information about your research assistant skills and why you’re the ideal candidate for the role. Even though employers will usually tell you if you need to include a cover letter, you should consider including one anyway. This can help you express your enthusiasm for the role, highlight your most impressive qualities and encourage the hiring manager to invite you to an interview. 

Q: I only have experience as an undergraduate research assistant. Can I write a CV without lots of knowledge on a research team?

You can write a CV without lots of experience as an undergraduate student. You should choose a functional CV format that focuses on your skills, allowing you to talk about what skills you have gained during your education. Also, consider noting both academic and extracurricular.

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