Written by Sean Roberts, Undergraduate Research Ambassador
Creating, editing, and sending out your resume can be very stressful; especially when its for a position that you really want. Describing your undergraduate research (UR) experience on your resume is a great way to make you stand out from the crowd of other applicants. Including your UR experience comes with its own challenges; but the four tips below will make sure the skills you developed from your UR experience shine through.
1. Create a detailed list of what you have done during your UR experience
Before attempting to describe your UR experience to employers, first create a detailed list of what you have done and accomplished in your experience. Think about specific tasks and accomplishments you have achieved, and think about skills that you have developed from your involvement. This list will help clarify the many things you can talk about on your resume.
2. Tailor your experience for the application
Including all aspects of your UR experience may sound good on paper, but identifying a few key accomplishments and skills from your research will allow more clarity and more room to describe your experience. Selecting the skills and achievements that best align with the desired position are a great way to convey how your previous experience will make you well prepared for the desired position.
3. Keep your audience in mind
Discussing your UR experience in detail can be the standout part of your resume, but only if your audience has the background knowledge to understand that experience. When describing your UR experience keep the audience that will be reading your resume in mind. For example, if you had a chemical engineering research experience, but are currently applying for a business internship, discussing your research with specific words and phrases may create confusion. Discussing the transferable skills that you learned, such as critical thinking and analytical skills, is a great way to express your involvement while avoiding confusion.
4. Edit, Proofread, and Repeat
This last tip applies to both your UR experience section and your resume overall; editing and proofreading your resume is critical to creating a polished final draft. Asking friends, lab mates, and career advisors to review your resume for errors and clarity is a great way to present a strong professional first impression to employers.
Describing your undergraduate research experience on a resume can be difficult, but following the above tips is a great way to create a clear description of your experience and skill set.