How To Write a Biology Resume

Whether you’re writing a biology resume for a Ph.D. program or your next job opportunity, it must include your research interests, laboratory skills, and industry applications. Highlight your involvement in key studies, published materials in industry journals, and contributions to the discipline. Get tips on how to pull all of this into a cohesive and engaging resume below.

  • Entry-level
  • Mid-career
  • Senior-level
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1. Write a dynamic profile summarizing your biology qualifications

Think of the profile section of your resume as the abstract for a journal article. It’s short and to the point. But it still includes everything the hiring manager needs to know to determine if they should keep reading.

Your profile should include your current job title or the one you’re seeking and how many years of experience you have. Include any specializations or areas of interest, such as clinical research, virus mutations, or metabolic diseases.

Senior-Level Profile Example


A Senior Biologist and Researcher with over 10+ years of professional experience, specializing in drug discovery, laboratory research, vitro assays, and cell-based assays. A proven track record of developing and leading research teams to conduct comprehensive studies of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases to support drug development.

Entry-Level Profile Example


A Biologist with entry-level experience specializing in environmental science, ecology, data visualization, and laboratory testing. Adept at supporting environmental studies and research projects to analyze the ecological effects of human development.

2. Showcase your biology experience

When you’re writing the professional experience section of your resume, emphasize your strongest accomplishments. Include what you did and why it was important. Be sure to include data or metrics whenever it makes sense. This will establish a sense of scope for the hiring manager and enhance the impact of your bullet points. For example, saying you “managed a team” doesn’t provide as much information as saying that you “managed a team of over 10 biologists and researchers in a laboratory setting for a multi-million dollar clinical trial.”

Be specific when describing your professional achievements. Biology is a broad field, so provide details to paint a clearer picture of your biology expertise. Depending on your discipline, you may want to specify the types of assays you worked with during research projects or the type of laboratory equipment you were utilizing to conduct experiments.

Senior-Level Professional Experience Example


Senior Research Scientist, Excelulor Inc., Boston, MA

May 2016 – Present

  • Manage a team of 20+ molecular biologists, scientists, and researchers to perform clinical research on the cellular immune response to Covid-19 variants, including conducting studies on the efficacy of vaccines after four months of inoculation
  • Lead the development of a 12-month research study comparing the accuracy of PCR, rapid PCR, and rapid antigen tests in detecting viral molecules
  • Coordinate all aspects of laboratory operations, refine quality control measures to ensure data integrity, and maintain compliance with Covid-19 safety guidelines

Entry-Level Professional Experience Example


Junior Biologist, Clean Energy Inc., Atlanta, GA

May 2021 – Present

  • Conduct environmental studies on wetland habitats to assess the impact of development projects on wildlife for a renewable energy company
  • Coordinate with a team of biologists to perform field investigations on potential environmental risks and ensure compliance with environmental protection laws
  • Gather, interpret, and present data on findings using data mapping techniques to aid key decision-makers in evaluating risk factors and project roadmaps

3. List any education and certifications relevant to biology

Hiring managers are often looking for candidates with specific areas of expertise and certain relevant degrees and certifications. Listing your education, including your major and institution, ensures a hiring manager knows if you’re a good fit.

For example, a molecular biologist with experience in assay development may be a better fit for a position than a biologist who specializes in environmental science and wildlife. Having the correct degree is also critical for candidates going on to graduate school or doctorate programs.

Education

Template

  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] | [Graduation Year]

Example

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Molecular Biology
  • University of Boston, Boston, MA | 2016

Certifications

Template

  • [Certification Name], [Awarding Organization], [Completion Year]

Example

  • Administrative Assistant Certification, National Career Certification Board, 2013

4. Include a list of skills and proficiencies related to biology

One of the most important goals of your resume is to show the hiring manager you have the skills they’re looking for. But reviewers spend an average of just a few seconds per resume, so make it easy to see your qualifications with a bulleted skills list.

Biology is such a varied field that this list could be extremely long, so limit yourself to five to 10 skills most relevant to the position. Here are some options you may want to consider:

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Assay development Biochemistry
Biology Cell-based assays
Clinical research Data analysis
DNA testing Drug discovery
Ecology Environmental science
Flow cytometry Microbiology
Molecular biology Laboratory operations
Laboratory safety Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
Project management Quality assurance
Quality control Research

How To Pick the Best Biology Resume Template

Templates are great tools that can make the resume creation process substantially easier. Ensure the design you choose has clear headers for each section, including the profile, professional experience, key skills, and education pieces. It should also have your contact information in the header.

Resume templates for science-based disciplines should be clean and professional, so stay away from flashy fonts or anything too creative. Don’t forget to download the completed resume as a PDF to ensure the formatting is preserved.

Biology Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Entry-level
  • Mid-career
  • Senior-level

Robert Sanderson
(123) 456-7890
[email protected]
123 Your Street, New York, NY 12345

Profile

A Microbiologist with over five years of professional experience, specializing in PCR testing, cell-based assays, clinical research, and laboratory operations. A strong history of coordinating with laboratory teams to execute complex research projects. Adept at identifying process improvement opportunities to improve quality control in dynamic research environments.

Professional Experience

Biology Research Associate, BioTech Inc., New York, NY
May 2018 – Present

  • Analyze bacterial metabolites and enhance quality control by optimizing laboratory protocols to standardize experiments
  • Coordinate with a team of four researchers to develop pre-clinical studies, including data collection and analysis for cell numbers of bacterial strains
  • Develop and implement quality assurance measures and laboratory operations to improve data integrity during PCR and DNA testing

Biology Research Associate, Gen Corp., New York, NY
May 2016 – May 2018

  • Conducted cell-based assays and research studies in support of pre-clinical trials, which included driving process improvements to enhance DNA extraction procedures
  • Collaborate with the research team to perform laboratory testing to simulate human antibodies in response to bacterial infection

Education

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Biology
Columbia University, New York, NY  September 2012 – May 2016

Key Skills

  • Biology
  • Gas Chromatography
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Cell-Based Assays
  • Laboratory Operations

Frequently Asked Questions: Biology Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for biology resumes?-

Using action verbs on a biology resume helps emphasize your achievements and create a dynamic resume that’s more engaging to read. However, it’s easy to start repeating yourself — particularly if you have years of experience to include. Use the options below to vary your word choice and choose specific language that accurately describes your experience.

Don’t forget to check the job description for any verbs you can include to further target your resume.

Action Verbs
Analyzed Calibrated
Cultured Dissected
Documented Extracted
Formulated Genotyped
Harvested Identified
Interpreted Isolated
Measured Modeled
Observed Published
Quantified Recorded
Sampled Validated
How do you align your resume with a job description?-

Many biology careers are expected to see faster-than-average growth through 2032, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For example, the job outlook for biological technicians over that time period includes 5% growth. Those working in in-demand fields such as virus research could see even more openings.

Maximize your chances of success by aligning your resume with the job description. For example, a resume for a position as a research associate should include different skills and verbiage than one for a college biology professor.

What is the best biology resume format?-

If you have years of lab experience or are a senior-level applicant, the reverse chronological format is probably the best option to highlight your qualifications and experience. This places your most recent and relevant experience first while demonstrating your career progression. Combination formats may be more flexible and offer more options to ensure your technical skills and professional achievements are represented.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume
A cover letter lets you add a personal touch to your application and make a connection with the hiring manager. It gives you the opportunity to highlight relevant experience, describe a professional accomplishment, or express your enthusiasm for the position — all of which can help you stand out. Find examples and templates you can use in our research assistant cover letter guide.
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Frank Hackett

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Frank Hackett is a professional resume writer and career consultant with over eight years of experience. As the lead editor at a boutique career consulting firm, Frank developed an innovative approach to resume writing that empowers job seekers to tell their professional stories. His approach involves creating accomplishment-driven documents that balance keyword optimization with personal branding. Frank is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PAWRCC).

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