How to Write a Great Chemistry Resume

Looking to land a job as a chemist? Use industry-specific tips and templates to perfect your chemistry resume and secure your dream job in this exciting field!

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How To Write a Great Chemistry Resume

The chemistry field is extremely competitive. With the number of applicants far outweighing the number of jobs available, your resume takes on extra importance. And as the first thing the hiring manager sees, it’s vital your resume spotlights your best attributes and encourages them to offer you an interview.

This guide will show you:

  • What chemistry skills to highlight on your resume
  • How to structure your chemistry resume
  • Tips for writing an effective chemistry resume
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What to Highlight in a Chemistry Resume

Your chemistry resume should underline your specific area of expertise in the chemistry field. Depending on the role you’re applying to, you’ll want to feature any relevant experience with process chemistry, organic synthesis, chemical analysis, equipment calibration, and other related laboratory procedures.
 
Your education and training will also be of interest to hiring managers. List your highest level of educational qualification and any relevant chemistry certifications in the education section. This will further demonstrate your specialisms in the field.
 
Don’t just focus exclusively on chemistry skills, however. It’s also important to emphasize soft skills such as communication and teamwork, especially where the role involves working with other chemists and lab technicians.

Structure of a Chemistry Resume

The structure of your chemistry resume will vary depending on your chosen resume format. You have three options:

  • Chronological — This format emphasizes work experience.
  • Functional — This format focuses on skills.
  • Combination — This format balances skills and work experience.

The chronological format is the preferred resume format of most hiring managers. It’s also the format we use in the chemist resume example below.

 
Contact Details
 
Add your contact information to the page header at the top of your resume. This includes your:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Professional email address
  • Address
  • Professional profile link, such as your LinkedIn

Present this information clearly so that the recruiter can easily reach out to you should they wish to progress your application.

 
Resume summary or objective
 
The resume summary (or objective) provides a brief overview of your key skills and experiences. While a resume summary covers your current skillset and top achievements, a resume objective also adds a statement of your career aspirations. 
 
If you already have several years of professional experience in chemistry, a resume summary will work best. For recent graduates looking for their first chemist job, consider a resume objective.
 
Skills
 
Use the skills section to tailor your resume to the needs of the role. Read through the job description and pick out five or more skills to include in your resume.
 
Some hard skills you might consider include:

  • Organic chemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemical engineering
  • Formulations
  • NMR spectroscopy 
  • UV-vis spectroscopy
  • Quality control
  • HPLC
  • Gas chromatography
  • Wet chemistry
  • Working with lab equipment
  • Computer skills, such as Microsoft Excel

And here are some soft skills:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Project management
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Communication

Aim for a mix of soft and hard skills, with slightly more weighting on role-specific chemistry skills.

 
Work history
 
In the work experience section, list all chemistry-related job titles held over the past 10 years. For each position, focus on the tasks and accomplishments that are most relevant to the role you’re applying to. List these as bullet points.
 
Use examples and statistics to support your points. For example, this could be the number of new food products you developed, or a percentage by which you improved laboratory efficiency.
 
Education
 
If you have a master’s or bachelor’s degree in chemistry, list it in the education section. Only include your highest level of education. You can also add relevant certifications in this section.


Do’s and Don’ts for a Chemistry Resume

Use these resume writing tips to impress potential employers.
 
Do:

  • Quantify your achievements. Where possible, use statistics and performance data in the work experience section. This will add credibility to your claims.
  • Tailor your resume. Respond to the job description by updating your resume summary, work history and skills sections for each new position you apply to. Always follow the lead of the job description and pinpoint skills and requirements you should address
  • Use a resume builder. Visit our Resume Builder tool and pick from a range of professional resume templates to get started. Then use our step-by-step tips to create a strong resume.

Don’t:

  • Use passive language. Instead of using phrases like ‘was responsible for,’ use action verbs like ‘led,’ ‘developed,’ and ‘organized’ to describe your accomplishments.
  • Include your GPA. Unless it’s exceptionally high, there’s no reason to add your college GPA to the education section. 
  • Forget to proofread. As a chemist, you know precision is key. Check for spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes before sending off your application.


FAQ: Chemistry Resume Example

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter for a chemistry job application?

Writing a cover letter is an important stage in your job search. Unless the job posting explicitly says not to, always include a cover letter as part of your application. The cover letter is your chance to expand on your skillset and further explain how you can fit what the employer needs.

Q: How can I write a chemistry resume without a lot of work experience?

If you lack professional experience, you can still use the chemist resume sample above as a template. Focus on any laboratory experience as a volunteer or intern. You can also place greater emphasis on your resume objective, education, and skills sections.

Q: How do I change my chemistry resume to apply to different jobs?

Always tweak your resume for each new role you apply to. Ensure that your resume summary (or resume objective) section fits the role and organization you’re applying to. The skills section should also feature specific skills listed in the job description, and your work history section should highlight responsibilities and accomplishments that play into what the job needs.

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