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Resume Format for Clinical Research

by Ellie Williams

To land a position in the highly competitive world of clinical research, you need a succinct resume accessible both to fellow science professionals and hiring managers. Distinguish yourself as an accomplished scientist well-versed in the area of research the company specializes in, but don’t load your resume with so many details or so much jargon that someone from a non-scientific background can’t see how your qualifications apply to her workplace.

Multiple Skills Sections

Instead of lumping all of your skills together into one section, separate them into categories. This makes your resume easier to read and highlights your versatility. By showcasing each skill set individually, you ensure employers see the breadth of your skills and knowledge and you prevent certain talents from being overlooked. For example, you might create a laboratory skills section that describes your proficiency performing specific types of tests or analysis. Add a core competencies section that discusses personality traits such as problem-solving or leadership ability.

Make It Accessible

At many organizations, resumes pass through recruiters, hiring managers and members of the clinical research staff. Someone in human resources won’t have the in-depth clinical and technical knowledge of a fellow researcher, so your resume must be adaptable enough for non-scientists to understand. If it’s overloaded with scientific jargon and highly technical language, at the exclusion of anything else, some hiring managers might have a hard time seeing your strengths. Provide context for this information by describing results. For example, note that your efforts led to a new model for studying a particular disease.

List Accomplishments First

Instead of including a long list of job duties, focus on what you accomplished at each position and then note the tasks you performed. For example, perhaps you streamlined a specific testing process and saved the company money. Listing these achievements first ensures that potential employers not only see that you can fulfill your job duties, but also that you go above and beyond to make an impact at the organization. It also sets you apart. You might have performed the same job duties as a dozen other applicants, but you likely have accomplishments none of them can match.

Be Selective

Too much information can clutter your resume and draw attention away from your most relevant qualifications. For example, if you have a lengthy list of publication credits, create a section titled “Recent Publications” or “Select Publications.” List only your most recent contributions or those most closely related to the job and company to which you’re applying. If you’ve assisted with several types of clinical trials, concentrate on the ones most similar to those performed by the organization to which you’re applying.

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