Bonus: 5 pitfalls to avoid while developing your resume/CV
I wanted to take the opportunity to talk with you guys about making a professional resume/CV for scholarships. I do not claim that I am an expert on it but while making a resume for myself, I have had many professors from US universities offering their supervision and have had many successful meetings with them. And in all this process I have learned one thing and that is, the way you present yourself is very important in making a resume. If you present yourself professionally there is a better chance you will hear back from the professor than if you present yourself average but are a student who has really excelled in all fields than you have a lesser chance of being noticed.
So with that, let us discuss Do and Don’t of making a resume (My experience is related to US-style, please don’t consider this format for a country where some other format is recommended but you can follow the points if they suit you).
Making a Resume that Stands Out
1) Highlight Your Education
Always state your education, the institutions you received your degree from and GPA if you are comfortable sharing (I recommend if your GPA is less than a 3.0 to not share on your resume because a professor may not want to read through your resume after seeing that your GPA was less than a 3.0.)
2) List Relevant Skills While Making a Resume
Make sure you have some skills mentioned that are highly relevant to your field of interest. Like as a biochemist, the skills I know that are relevant are performing site-directed mutagenesis, designing primers using PCR and Rt-PCR, working in an organic chemistry lab, I as well know how to use different chromatography techniques, formulating esters, using NMR, IR. I hope this example was sufficient to inform what I mean by highlighting skills
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3) Write your professional summary.
Very briefly explain what you have done in the past, how that relates to what you are doing in present and ways you will combine it to perform future research.
4) Your work experience is extremely important.
If you never had hands-on experience with instruments than it is time to find an internship that allows you to do that. Theoretical knowledge is crucial but the application of that knowledge is the soul. It is like a car and key, if you have either one it is not much beneficial not until you have both
5) Show your TA/RAship Experiences while Making a Resume
It is impacting if you have had some TA, RA roles. So if you had any assistantship experiences, mention those while making a resume, if not then that is fine as well.
6) Highlight your Research Assistant work experience
In making a resume, you should list what did you do during your last assignment as a research assistant. What did you perform, for example, I worked in Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Microbiology Research labs so I will highlight what techniques I learned in those labs
7) Show Your Research in Making a Resume
If you performed any projects, highlight them, if you did any poster presentation, highlight those as well. Like I had 2 poster presentations, one on ubiquitin and ubiquitination and another one on Coronaviruses causing SARS, MERS, AND COVID-19
Mention all your internships or any design projects that you have worked on. It is worth mentioning what you tried to accomplish, by that I mean, recently I was working on a clean water project, so we were trying to find out the source of water contamination. If you are a Microbiologist or a Biochemistry you are probably aware of the Water filtration technique and calculating CFU. We also tried to isolate the bacterium to ensure it was not Vibrio Cholera so try to mention if you did a poster in a few lines about the poster and what was presented
9) Mention your accomplishments.
The more your accomplishments, the better you stand out. If you won any research grant if you were awarded financial aid or full-ride scholarship, and high achievement award, or gold medal, silver medal, or bronze medal.
Mistakes to Avoid While Making a Resume
1) Do not mention your relationship status (No one cares about it especially the recruiting committee)
2) Do not mention your religious affiliation, there is no need for it.
3) Do not put hobbies that have no relation with what you want to do, do not put things like cricket player, tennis player or hobbies that have nothing to do with that you are going to do in future
4) Do not LIE. It is a red signal that does not do that. It is not professional and you will easily be caught with no problem
5) Do not copy-paste. Imagine them running your resume through a plagiarism checker. And they discover you just copy-pasted from goggle, it will really undermine you.
When you approach a professor, please do not approach them the way you approach some seniors here. Do not use the word “HEY” (It is so unprofessional). Do not ask them at what GPA they accept students (very wrong question to ask).
Final Words on Making a Resume
Again this is the best summary I could work on as I do not want this post to be dozens of pages long. We can have a session on it if some people still have difficulty. So do not consider this an exhaustive list of tips for making a resume, it is the best summary I could come up with. If you have questions please feel free to write down.
I hope you’ve liked our detailed guide on making an impressive resume for a scholarship application. You may find our comprehensive guide on sending emails to professors useful for further reading.
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