Landing a good Clinical Research Associate role can be tough in today’s competitive job market, but having a strong CV will make it much easier.
This guide will show you how to write a winning CV, and even includes a CRA CV example to help you get started.
- Clinical Research Associate CV example
- CV layout and format
- Your CV profile
- Work experience
- Education section
Clinical Research Associate CV example (CRA)
This CV example demonstrates the type of info you should be including within your Clinical Research Associate CV, as well as how to format and structure the information in a way which looks professional and is easy for time-strapped recruiters to read.
This is the look and feel you should be aiming for, so remember to refer back to it throughout your CV writing process.
Clinical Research Associate CV layout and format
Think your CV is just about the content within it? Think again.
Facilitate ease of reading by using a simple structure which allows anybody to easily navigate your experience.
- Length: Recruiters will be immediately put off by lengthy CVs – with hundreds of applications to read through, they simply don’t have the time! Grabbing their attention with a short, snappy and highly relevant CV is far more likely to lead to success. Aim for two sides of A4 or less.
- Readability: By clearly formatting your section headings (bold, or a different colour font, do the trick) and breaking up big chunks of text into snappy bullet points, time-strapped recruiters will be able to skim through your CV with ease.
- Design: While it’s okay to add your own spin to your CV, avoid overdoing the design. If you go for something elaborate, you might end up frustrating recruiters who, above anything, value simplicity and clarity.
- Avoid photos: Ditch logos, images or profile photos. Not only do they take up valuable space, but they may even distract recruiters from your important written content.
For easy reading, write your CV to the following CV structure:
- Contact details – Make it easy for recruiters to get in touch with you by listing your contact details at the top of your CV.
- Profile – A short and snappy summary of your experience and skills, showcasing what makes you a good fit for the position.
- Work experience / career history – Note down all your work history, with your current position first, then working backwards.
- Education – A short list of your academic background and professional/vocational qualifications.
- Interest and hobbies – This is an optional section, which you can use to highlight any relevant hobbies or interests.
Now I’ll tell you exactly what you should include in each CV section.
CV Contact Details
Write your contact details in the top corner of your CV, so that they’re easy to find but don’t take up too much space.
You only need to list your basic details, such as:
- Mobile number
- Email address
- Location – Don’t list your full address. Your town or city, such as ‘Norwich’ or ‘Coventry’ is perfect.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Remember to update these before listing them on an application.
Clinical Research Associate CV Profile
This is a short introduction paragraph which summarises your skills, knowledge and experience.
It should paint you as the perfect match for the job description and entice recruiters to read through the rest of your CV.
Tips for creating an strong CV profile:
- Keep it concise: When it comes to CV profile length, less is more, as recruiters are often time-strapped. Aim for around of 3-5 persuasive lines.
- Tailor it: No matter how much time you put into your CV profile, it won’t impress if it’s irrelevant to the role you’re applying for. Before you start writing, make a list of the skills, knowledge and experience your target employer is looking for. Then, make sure to mention them in your CV profile and throughout the rest of your application.
- Don’t add an objective: If you want to discuss your career objectives, save them for your cover letter, rather than wasting valuable CV profile space.
- Avoid cliches: If there’s one thing that’ll annoy a recruiter, it’s a clichè-packed CV. Focus on showcasing your hard skills, experience and the results you’ve gained in previous roles, which will impress recruiters far more.
Example CV profile for Clinical Research Associate
What to include in your Clinical Research Associate CV profile?
- Summary of experience: Start with a brief summary of your relevant experience so far. How many years experience do you have? What type of companies have you worked for? What industries/sectors have you worked in? What are your specialisms?
- Relevant skills: Highlight your skills which are most relevant to CRA jobs, to ensure that recruiters see your most in-demand skills as soon as they open your CV.
- Essential qualifications: Be sure to outline your relevant Clinical Research Associate qualifications, so that anyone reading the CV can instantly see you are qualified for the jobs you are applying to.
Quick tip: If spelling and grammar are not a strong point of yours, make use of a writing assistant tool like Grammarly. It’ll help you avoid overlooking spelling mistakes and grammar errors and, best of all, is completely free!
Core skills section
Underneath your profile, write a core skills section to make your most relevant skills jump off the page at readers.
It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points of your relevant skills.
Before you do this, look over the job description and make a list of any specific skills, specialisms or knowledge required.
Then, make sure to use your findings in your list. This will paint you as the perfect match for the role.
Work experience/Career history
By now, you’ll have hooked the reader’s attention and need to show them how you apply your skills and knowledge in the workplace, to benefit your employers.
So, starting with your most recent role and working backwards to your older roles, create a thorough summary of your career history to date.
If you’ve held several roles and are struggling for space, cut down the descriptions for your oldest jobs.
Structuring your roles
If you don’t pay attention to the structure of your career history section, it could quickly become bulky and overwhelming.
Get in recruiters’ good books by creating a pleasant reading experience, using the 3-step structure below:
Begin with a summary of your role, detailing what the purpose of your job was, who you reported to and what size of team you were part of (or led).
Next, write up a punchy list of your daily duties and responsibilities, using bullet points.
Wherever you can, point out how you put your hard skills and knowledge to use – especially skills which are applicable to your target role.
Round up each role by listing 1-3 key achievements, accomplishments or results.
Wherever possible, quantify them using hard facts and figures, as this really helps to prove your value.
After your work experience, your education section should provide a detailed view of your academic background.
Begin with those most relevant to CRA jobs, such as vocational training or degrees.
If you have space, you can also mention your academic qualifications, such as A-Levels and GCSEs.
Focus on the qualifications that are most relevant to the jobs you are applying for.
Interests and hobbies
This section is entirely optional, so you’ll have to use your own judgement to figure out if it’s worth including.
If your hobbies and interests could make you appear more suitable for your dream job, then they are definitely worth adding.
Interests which are related to the industry, or hobbies like sports teams or volunteering, which display valuable transferable skills might be worth including.
Writing your Clinical Research Associate CV
An interview-winning CV for a Clinical Research Associate role, needs to be both visually pleasing and packed with targeted content.
Whilst it needs to detail your experience, accomplishments and relevant skills, it also needs to be as clear and easy to read as possible.
Remember to research the role and review the job ad before applying, so you’re able to match yourself up to the requirements.
If you follow these guidelines and keep motivated in your job search, you should land an interview in no time.
Best of luck with your next application!