By Aja Frost for BioSpace.com
If you’ve ever compared resumes with people who don’t work in the life sciences field, you might have noticed theirs aren’t very similar to yours.
Yes, the basic components (name and contact information, experience, and education) are the same—but apart from that, a resume for a biopharm job should look pretty different.
1. Technical Skills
Many biotech and pharma roles require very specific skills, so it’s incredibly important that you have a section dedicated to what you can do (even if that information also appears organically under the “Experience” section). You might want to consider breaking your skills up into “Lab” and “Software;” for example, under the former, you’d list “Antibody engineering,” while under the latter, you’d include “Advanced Excel.”
Highlighting the publications you’ve contributed to is a fantastic way to quickly show the hiring manager you’re knowledgeable, informed and active in the community. If you’ve written too many articles to fit them all, choose a blend of the most relevant and the most prestigious. Let’s say you’ve written for a very well-known journal. Even if the subject was unrelated to the job you’re applying for, you should include the citation, because it will build your credibility. However, balance it out by including an article that was related to the new position. And, show the person reading your resume this is a limited selection of work by titling the section “Selected Publications.”
3. Speaking Engagements
Along similar lines, it’s expected that you’ll add the relevant talks, seminars and lectures you’ve given. When you’re sending in a CV, you can (and should!) list all of your speaking engagements, but on a resume, you won’t have the space. Pick the presentations that are the most impressive and topical. The ones you choose should vary based on what role you’re applying for; however, a good rule of thumb is to always include at least one recent speaking engagement.
4. Professional Affiliations
Many people working in the life sciences are very involved in outside activities, from networking groups to non-profit organizations and mentorship opportunities. If you’re a member in one of these groups, put that on your resume to show your passion about the industry doesn’t end with your job. If you’ve got room, you should also think about listing other professional associations, such as your college fraternity or sorority, your professional development organizations, and so on.
The most impressive resumes will have even more: patents, notable contributions to the field, honors and awards, research experience and so on. When composing your resume, don’t worry whether something is “supposed” to be included—if it’s related to the profession and shows your qualifications, it should be included.
With these sections on your resume, recruiters and hiring managers will be able to quickly see that you’re a serious candidate.