Are you ready to take the next step in your molecular biology career?
Working in the field requires a deep understanding of living cells and a strong scientific background. If you’re ticking all the boxes, then you need to prove this on your CV.
To help you do this, we’ve put together a writing guide and molecular biology CV example that are more detailed than a biological diagram. Make the most of these tools during your job search.
Molecular Biology CV example
This is a good example of a Molecular Biology CV which contains all of the information that a hiring manager will need to be impressed, and presents it in a well- structured, easy-to-read format.
Take some time to study and understand this CV, and refer to it throughout the writing of your own CV for best results.
Molecular Biology CV layout and format
In today’s fast-paced job market, recruiters and employers are often short on time. If they can’t locate the information they’re searching for within a few seconds, it could result in them overlooking your application.
Tips for formatting your Molecular Biology CV
- Length: Two sides of A4 makes for the perfect CV length, though one page is okay for less experienced applicants. This forces you to make sure that every single sentence adds value to your CV and ensures you avoid unnecessary info.
- 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: The saying ‘less is more’ couldn’t be more applicable to CVs. Readability is key, so avoid overly complicated designs and graphics. A subtle colour palette and easy-to-read font is all you need!
- Photos: Headshot photos aren’t required in a CV by most employers, but some creative and artistic industries like to see them. If you decide to include one, make sure you look smart and professional in the picture.
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As you write your CV, work to the simple but effective structure below:
- Name and contact details – Pop them at the top of your CV, so it’s easy for recruiters to contact you.
- CV profile – Write a snappy overview of what makes you a good fit for the role; discussing your key experience, skills and accomplishments.
- Core skills section – Add a short but snappy list of your relevant skills and knowledge.
- Work experience – A list of your relevant work experience, starting with your current role.
- Education – A summary of your relevant qualifications and professional/vocational training.
- Hobbies and interests – An optional sections, which you could use to write a short description of any relevant hobbies or interests.
Now you understand the basic layout of a CV, here’s what you should include in each section of yours.
Begin by sharing your contact details, so it’s easy for employers to give you a call.
Keep to the basics, such as:
- Mobile number
- Email address – It should sound professional, with no slang or nicknames. Make a new one for your job applications if necessary.
- Location – Simply share your vague location, for example ‘Manchester’, rather than a full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Remember to update them before you send your application.
Molecular Biology CV Profile
Recruiters and hiring managers are busy, so it’s essential to catch their attention from the get-go.
It should be a short but punchy summary of your key skills, relevant experience and accomplishments.
Ultimately, it should explain why you’re a great fit for the role you’re applying for and inspire recruiters to read the rest of your CV.
CV profile writing tips:
- Make it short and sharp: Recruiters have piles of CVs to read through and limited time to dedicate to each, so it pays to showcase your abilities in as few words as possible. 3-4 lines is ideal.
- 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: You only have a small space for your CV profile, so avoid writing down your career goals or objectives. If you think these will help your application, incorporate them into your cover letter instead.
- Avoid generic phrases: “Determined team player who always gives 110%” might seem like a good way to fill up your CV profile, but generic phrases like this won’t land you an interview. Recruiters hear them time and time again and have no real reason to believe them. Instead, pack your profile with your hard skills and tangible achievements.
Example CV profile for Molecular Biology
What to include in your Molecular Biology CV profile?
- Experience overview: 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?
- Targeted skills: Employers need to know what skills you can bring to their organisation, and ideally they want to see skills that match their job vacancy. So, research your target roles thoroughly and add the most important Molecular Biology skills to your profile.
- Key qualifications: Be sure to outline your relevant Molecular Biology qualifications, so that anyone reading the CV can instantly see you are qualified for the jobs you are applying to.
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Core skills section
Next, you should create a bullet pointed list of your core skills, formatted into 2-3 columns.
Here, you should focus on including the most important skills or knowledge listed in the job advertisement.
This will instantly prove that you’re an ideal candidate, even if a recruiter only has time to briefly scan your CV.
Important skills for your Molecular Biology CV
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – Familiarity with widely-used laboratory techniques such as PCR to amplify a specific DNA sequence, enabling further molecular analysis.
Gel electrophoresis – Familiarity with techniques used to separate DNA, RNA or proteins based on size and charge, allowing for further molecular analysis.
DNA sequencing – Determining the precise order of nucleotides in a DNA molecule, allowing identification of genetic variations and mutations.
CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing – Utilising molecular tools to manipulate DNA sequences, allowing targeted modifications of genes for research and therapeutic purposes.
Microscopy – Utilising microscopes to visualize and study cells, tissues and other biological samples at high magnification and resolution.
Data analysis – Collecting, managing, and analysing large datasets generated from molecular biology experiments, and using statistical software to interpret results.
Cell culture – Maintaining and propagating living cells outside of their natural environment, allowing for the study of cellular processes in vitro.
Western blotting – Familiarity with techniques used to detect specific proteins in a sample, enabling the identification and quantification of proteins of interest.
Spectrophotometry – Utilising spectrophotometers to measure the absorption or transmission of light by a sample, allowing the quantification of DNA, RNA, and proteins.
Molecular cloning – Making identical copies of a DNA sequence, enabling the production of large quantities of DNA for further molecular analysis.
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Work experience section
Recruiters will be itching to know more about your relevant experience by now.
Kick-start this section with your most recent (or current) position, and work your way backwards through your history.
You can include voluntary and freelance work, too – as long as you’re honest about the nature of the work.
Structuring each job
Lengthy, unbroken chunks of text is a recruiters worst nightmare, but your work experience section can easily end up looking like that if you are not careful.
To avoid this, use my tried-and-tested 3-step structure, as illustrated below:
Start with a 1-2 sentence summary of your role as a whole, detailing what the goal of your position was, who you reported to or managed, and the type of organisation you worked for.
Using easy-to-read bullet points, note down your day-to-day responsibilities in the role.
Make sure to showcase how you used your hard sector skills and knowledge.
Finish off by showcasing 1-3 key achievements made within the role.
This could be anything that had a positive effect on your company, clients or customers, such as saving time or money, receiving exemplary feedback or receiving an award.
Sample job description for Molecular Biology CV
Work as part of the medical virology laboratory at The Department of Health, processing, isolating, and identifying viruses to support real-time public health research.
- Perform virus isolation and identification procedures using molecular methods, including real-time RT-PCR
- Conduct nucleic acid extraction to detect various viruses, including Influenza, COVID-19, Mumps, Measles, Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya
- Follow standard operating procedures and appropriate Bio safety protocols
- Determine additional testing needed and route specimens appropriately
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Education and qualifications
Next up, you should list your education and qualifications.
This can include your formal qualifications (a degree, A-Levels and GCSEs), as well as sector-specific Molecular Biology qualifications and/or training.
While school leavers and recent grads should include a lot of detail here to make up for the lack of work experience, experienced candidates may benefit from a shorter education section, as your work experience section will be more important to recruiters.
Hobbies and interests
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.
A strong, compelling CV is essential to get noticed and land interviews with the best employers.
To ensure your CV stands out from the competition, make sure to tailor it to your target role and pack it with sector-specific skills and results.
Remember to triple-check for spelling and grammar errors before hitting send.
Good luck with the job search!