Resume Tips for STEM CareersFebruary 16, 2021
STEM grads — those with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math — enjoy ample opportunity to enter fields with high levels of job demand. But to take advantage of the employment opportunities available, it’s essential to have a great STEM resume that best showcases your skills.
While you can start working from a STEM resume template, the best resumes are personalized to your career experience and to the job that you’re looking for. To make sure you’re maximizing your career potential, these tips will help you determine how to write a STEM resume that helps you stand out from the crowd.
1. Choose the right STEM resume format
In general, STEM resumes should follow a basic organizational pattern so potential employers can easily obtain the information they need. For example, your resume should:
- Start with your name and contact details at the top of your resume. Include a phone, mailing address and email address.
- Feature your education prominently. Your degrees and schooling history should be listed right below your contact details, and before any job experience, if you’re a recent grad with few relevant jobs.
- Outline your relevant coursework: If you’ve got little job experience, include this as a separate section on your resume so you can show you have the necessary experience to succeed in an entry-level position. If you already have practical real-world experience through an internship or relevant past positions, you can just briefly list coursework under education rather than creating a separate section for it on your resume.
- List your certifications and outline your technical skills. This should be found either at the very bottom of your resume if you don’t have many certifications or at the top after the section on Education.
- List your research credentials: If you’ve participated in research within your field, detail when and how you performed this work, as well as your specific relevant accomplishments.
- Outline past jobs or experience: This section should come after coursework and research credentials if you don’t have a long job history, or could be featured more prominently near the top of your resume if you have an impressive employment past.
Recent grads want to use this STEM resume format to stress the practical knowledge they obtained while in school so companies can develop confidence that they’re ready to put their skills to use on practical implications in a work environment.
2. Demonstrate your STEM skills and abilities
In STEM fields, ample technical knowledge is generally required in order to obtain a position. As a result, your resume should give extensive details about the knowledge you acquired during your course of study — as well as any past successes you’ve had applying your learnings in a real-world setting.
To help employers feel comfortable with your proficiency:
- List specific courses you’ve completed that are relevant to the position. For example, if you’re applying to a research position based on your biology background, you may want to list courses including Experimental Biology; Cell Biology; or Biological Chemistry.
- Be specific: If you have research experience or have worked in a related position in the past, give concrete examples of your accomplishments. If you were a research assistant who maintained lab equipment and performed tissue cleansing in a laboratory environment, explain exactly what your responsibilities were and how they helped to advance the project.
3. Tailor your resume to the position
When determining what STEM skills for resume to highlight or how to frame descriptions of your past successes, consider what the potential employer is looking for. Try to use keywords the job ad used, such as referencing the programming languages the employer requested proficiency in. This will mean preparing multiple step resumes tailored to each job you apply for, but it’s worth the effort to ensure you come across as the most qualified candidate.
STEM Resume Examples
While reading resume tips for scientists is helpful, it can also be useful to see an example of a STEM resume to get a better idea of the format and structure. Here’s what you may want your resume to look like, if you’re a recent graduate without much relevant job experience.
Contact Details (including email address)
School Name, Location
Expected or actual date of graduation
B.S. in Relevant Field, GPA: 4.0
B.A. in Relevant Field, CPA: 4.0
Cumulative GPA: 4.0
Briefly list courses relevant to the position unless you plan to feature this as a separate section because you don’t have a long employment history.
Certifications and Skills
This should be found here if you don’t have a lot of relevant job experience — or at the bottom of your resume if you do.
Names of certifications earned: List relevant ones here.
Proficient in: Specific topics you’ve mastered, which ideally match what the employer is looking for.
Experience with: Other topics or skills you’re comfortable with but that aren’t your specific areas of expertise.
Job Experience (if available) or relevant coursework
Name of employer (or course) and date of employment (or course completion)
Relevant description of the work performed.
Description of your role (such as research assistant) and where it was performed along with the date of the work and your specific accomplishments
Putting in the effort to craft a top-notch resume is almost always worthwhile. Hopefully, with a solid STEM resume, you’ll be able to get hired in a position of your choosing so you can put your degree to use quickly after graduation.