If you love to learn, expand your knowledge and solve problems and hypotheses, then a role as a researcher is perfect for you.
But while this is the ideal job for pursuing your interests, it can also be a very competitive role depending on the industry you want to work in.
So, in order to impress the recruiters, you need to put together an impressive CV that showcases your research skills – and you can use our top tips and example CV below to help you do this.
- Researcher CV example
- Structuring and formatting your CV
- Writing your CV profile
- Detailing work experience
- Your education
- Skills required for your Researcher CV
Researcher CV example
The above CV example demonstrates the type of info you should be including within your Researcher CV, as well as how to display this information in a way which looks professional and is easy for time-strapped recruiters to read.
This is the standard you should be aiming for, so remember to refer back to it throughout the CV writing process.
Researcher CV structure and format
Your CV is the very first impression you’ll make on a potential employer.
A disorganised, cluttered and barely readable CV could seriously decrease your chances of landing interviews, so it’s essential to make sure yours is slick, professional and easy to navigate.
- 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: Recruiters appreciate CVs that they can quickly scan through without trouble. Ensure yours makes the cut by formatting your headings for attention (bold or coloured fonts should do the trick) and breaking up long paragraphs into smaller chunks or short, snappy bullet points.
- 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: Recruiters can’t factor in appearance, gender or race into the recruitment process, so a profile photo is totally unnecessary. Additionally, company logos or images won’t add any value to your application, so you’re better off saving the space to showcase your experience instead.
Structuring your CV
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 I’ll guide you through exactly what you should include in each CV section.
CV Contact Details
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.
Researcher CV Profile
It’s ideal for busy recruiters and hiring managers, who don’t want to waste time reading unsuitable applications.
Think of it as your personal sales pitch. You’ve got just a few lines to sell yourself and prove you’re a great match for the job – make it count!
Tips for creating an impactful CV profile:
- Keep it brief: 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: The biggest CV mistake? A generic, mass-produced document which is sent out to tens of employers. If you want to land an interview, you need to tailor your CV profile (and your application as a whole) to the specific roles you’re applying for. So, before you start writing, remember to read over those job descriptions and make a list of the skills, knowledge and experience the employers are looking for.
- Don’t add an objective: You only have a short 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 cliches: “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.
What to include in your Researcher CV profile?
- Summary of experience: Demonstrate your suitability for your target jobs by giving a high level summary of your previous work experience, including the industries you have worked in, types of employer, and the type of roles you have previous experience of.
- Relevant skills: Highlight your skills which are most relevant to Researcher 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 Researcher 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, Use our CV builder to add pre-written content that has been created by recruitment experts, and proofread by our team.
Core skills section
In addition to your CV profile, your core skills section provides an easily digestible snapshot of your skills – perfect for grabbing the attention of busy hiring managers.
As Researcher jobs might receive a huge pile of applications, this is a great way to stand out and show off your suitability for the role.
It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points and be made up of skills that are highly relevant to the jobs you are targeting.
Work experience/Career history
Now it’s time to get stuck into your work experience, which should make up the bulk of your CV.
Begin with your current (or most recent) job, and work your way backwards.
If you’ve got too much experience to fit onto two pages, prioritise space for your most recent and relevant roles.
Structuring your roles
Your work experience section will be long, so it’s important to structure it in a way which helps recruiters to quickly and easily find the information they need.
Use the 3-step structure, shown in the below example, below to achieve this.
Start with a brief summary of your role as a whole, as well as the type of company you worked for.
Use bullet points to detail the key responsibilities of your role, highlighting hard skills, software and knowledge wherever you can.
Keep them short and sharp to make them easily digestible by readers.
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.
Although there should be mentions of your highest and most relevant qualifications earlier on in your CV, save your exhaustive list of qualifications for the bottom.
If you’re an experienced candidate, simply include the qualifications that are highly relevant to Researcher roles.
However, less experienced candidates can provide a more thorough list of qualifications, including A-Levels and GCSEs.
You can also dedicate more space to your degree, discussing relevant exams, assignments and modules in more detail, if your target employers consider them to be important.
Interests and hobbies
The hobbies and interests CV section isn’t mandatory, so don’t worry if you’re out of room by this point.
However, if you have an interesting hobby, or an interest that could make you seem more suitable for the role, then certainly think about adding.
Be careful what you include though… Only consider hobbies that exhibit skills that are required for roles as a Researcher, or transferable workplace skills.
There is never any need to tell employers that you like to watch TV and eat out.
Essential skills for your Researcher 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 Researcher skills include:
- Data collection: As a researcher, you must be able to source and gather data from a range of different sources
- Critical thinking and analysis: It is not enough to simply collect data; you also need to be able to analyse this and determine what it means in relation to your project
- Reporting: Once you’ve gathered the information you need, you will be required to create reports based on your findings, taking into account the different audiences who might read them
- IT skills: Whether you’re conducting research online, inputting data, writing your report or presenting your findings, you need to have a grasp on popular software packages such as Microsoft Office
- Organisation: When you’re juggling deadlines, budgets and lots of data, you need to be organised at all stages to ensure you stay on top of these large volumes of information from different sources
Writing your Researcher CV
Creating a strong Researcher 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!