Microbiology is a thriving field, which means there are lots of career opportunities and chances for progression for qualified professionals.
But as this is a more specialist role, you need to make sure your CV effectively showcases your relevant skills and qualifications.
To help you do this, we’ve pulled together our top CV writing tips, complete with an example microbiologist CV.
- Microbiologist CV example
- Structuring and formatting your CV
- Writing your CV profile
- Detailing work experience
- Your education
- Skills required for your Microbiologist CV
Microbiologist CV example
Before you start writing your own CV, take a look at the example Microbiologist CV above to give yourself a basic understanding of the style and format that recruiters and hiring managers prefer to see.
Also, take note of the type of content that is included to impress recruiters, and how the most relevant information is made prominent.
Microbiologist CV structure and format
Think your CV is just about words? Think again.
Facilitate ease of reading by working to a simple structure which allows recruiters to easily navigate your experience.
- Length: While there’s no ‘official’ CV length rule, the majority of recruiters agree that less is more. Aim for two pages of A4 or less. This is just enough room to showcase your suitability to the role, without overwhelming recruiters with irrelevant or excessive content.
- Readability: Help out time-strapped recruiters by formatting your CV for easy reading. Using lots of bullet points and lists will help them to skim through your info, while clearly formatted headings will allow them to navigate towards the content which is most useful to them.
- Design: Don’t waste time adding fancy designs to your CV. It generally adds no value to your application and may even end up distracting recruiters away from the important written content.
- 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.
Structuring your CV
When writing your CV, break up the content into the following key sections, to ensure it can be easily digested by busy recruiters and hiring managers:
- Contact details – Always list these at the very top of your CV – you don’t want them to be missed!
- Profile – An introductory paragraph, intended to grab recruiters attention and summarise your offering.
- Work experience / career history – Working from your current role and working backwards, list your relevant work experience.
- Education – Create a snappy summary of your education and qualifications.
- Interest and hobbies – An optional section to document any hobbies that demonstrate transferable skills.
Now I’ll guide you through exactly what you should include in each CV section.
CV Contact Details
Make it easy for recruiters to get in touch, by heading your CV with your contact details.
There’s no need for excessive details – just list the basics:
- Mobile number
- Email address – Use a professional address with no nicknames.
- Location – Just write your your general location, such as ‘London’ or ‘Cardiff’ – there’s no need to put your full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL
Microbiologist CV Profile
Your CV profile is basically a short introductory paragraph, which summarises your key selling points and highlights why you’d make a good hire.
So, write a well-rounded summary of what you do, what your key skills are, and what relevant experience you have.
It needs to be short, snappy and punchy and, ultimately, entice the reader to read the rest of your CV.
Tips for creating an impactful CV profile:
- Keep it brief: Aim for a short, snappy paragraph of 3-5 lines. This is just enough room to showcase why you’d make the perfect hire, without going into excessive detail and overwhelming busy recruiters.
- Tailor it: Before writing your CV, make sure to do some research. Figure out exactly what your desired employers are looking for and make sure that you are making those requirements prominent in your CV profile, and throughout.
- Don’t add an objective: Career goals and objectives are best suited to your cover letter, so don’t waste space with them in your CV profile.
- Avoid cliches: Clichés like “blue-sky thinker with a go-getter attitude” might sound impressive to you, but they don’t actually tell the recruiter much about you. Concentrate on highlighting hard facts and skills, as recruiters are more likely to take these on board.
What to include in your Microbiologist CV profile?
- Summary of experience: Recruiters will want to know what type of companies you’ve worked for, industries you have knowledge of, and the type of work you’ve carried out in the past, so give them a summary of this in your profile.
- Relevant skills: Make your most relevant Microbiologist key skills clear in your profile. These should be tailored to the specific role you’re applying for – so make sure to check the job description first, and aim to match their requirements as closely as you can.
- Essential qualifications: Be sure to outline your relevant Microbiologist 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
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.
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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
Whilst writing your CV, it’s essential to look at it from the eyes of a recruiter.
If they’re met with giant blocks of text which are impossible to navigate, they might get frustrated and skip onto the next CV.
Instead, make use of the 3-step structure shown below, to give them a pleasant reading experience.
Provide a brief overview of the job as a whole, such as what the overriding purpose of your job was and what type of company you worked for.
Follow with a snappy list of bullet points, detailing your daily duties and responsibilities.
Tailor it to the role you’re applying for by mentioning how you put the target employer’s desired hard skills and knowledge to use in this role.
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.
After your work experience, your education section should provide a detailed view of your academic background.
Begin with those most relevant to Microbiologist 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
Although this is an optional section, it can be useful if your hobbies and interests will add further depth to your CV.
Interests which are related to the sector you are applying to, or which show transferable skills like leadership or teamwork, can worth listing.
On the other hand, generic hobbies like “going out with friends” won’t add any value to your application, so are best left off your CV.
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Essential skills for your Microbiologist CV
Tailoring your CV to the roles you are applying for is key to success, so make sure to read through the job descriptions and tailor your skills accordingly.
However, commonly desired Microbiologist skills include:
Scientific knowledge: You need to have strong knowledge of microbiology topics related to your role
Critical-thinking: It’s important that you are able to think about problems or challenges in the right way and solve them methodically
Attention to detail: Microbiology is the study of small microorganisms, most of which can’t be seen by the naked eye; this is why meticulous attention to detail is crucial
Communication skills: Microbiology can be a varied role in which you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively, whether that’s listening, speaking or writing
Presentation skills: It’s likely that at some stage, you’ll have to present your findings either to your team, senior staff or perhaps to bigger crowds at lecturers or industry events
Writing your Microbiologist CV
Creating a strong Microbiologist CV requires a blend of punchy content, considered structure and format, and heavy tailoring.
By creating a punchy profile and core skills list, you’ll be able to hook recruiter’s attention and ensure your CV gets read.
Remember that research and relevance is the key to a good CV, so research your target roles before you start writing and pack your CV with relevant skills.
Best of luck with your next application!