How to Write an Aquarist Resume in 8 Steps (Plus Template)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 19 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Aquarists provide care and maintain a quality environment for fish and marine mammals in captivity. They often work on conservation, breeding and educational programs. If you're applying for an aquarist position, knowing what to include on your resume can make it effective and help you secure an interview. In this article, we discuss what an aquarist resume is, list eight steps to write one and provide a template and example to help you create your own document.

What is an aquarist resume?

An aquarist resume summarises your qualifications, skills and experience that form part of your job application package, along with a cover letter and supporting documents. It's typically a one-page document that introduces you to employers as a professional fish and marine mammal expert. A well written resume can demonstrate your suitability for the job by highlighting all the aspects of your career that suit the position's requirements.

Related: Cover Letter Examples for Job Applications (With Tips)

How to write an effective aquarist resume

Consider following these eight steps to create your resume:

1. Review the aquarist job post

Before writing your resume, read through the aquarist job post to note any specific qualifications, experience or skills the employer is looking for. You can use the information you gather to tailor your resume to each job individually. Creating customised resumes for each application may raise your chances of getting an interview, as it's more likely that a hiring manager recognises you as a suitable fit for the position.

Related: 10 Careers in Oceanography: Definitions, Duties and Salaries

2. Identify and include industry-relevant keywords

When you apply for a job, your resume may go through the selection process via an applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS is an automated system that picks out resumes containing keywords relevant to an open position. Including phrases from the job post can raise your chances of the ATS recognising you as a suitable candidate. Making a list of industry standard keywords and using them throughout your document can help you align your attributes with those the role requires. Here are examples of relevant keywords for this position:

  • Aquaculture

  • Aquaponics

  • Aquariums

  • Aquascaping

  • Aquatic plants

  • Aquatic sciences

  • Biotechnology

  • Biotechnology applications

  • Filtration

  • Fish

  • Fish biology

  • Fish culture

  • Fish diseases

  • Fish nutrition

  • Fish keeping

  • Ichthyology

  • Natural aquarium

  • Ponds

  • Public aquariums

  • Reef tanks

  • Saltwater aquariums

  • Tropical fish

  • Veterinary medicine

Related: How to Use Resume Keywords to Improve Your Job Application

3. List your personal details

Start your resume by listing your personal details, such as your name and contact information. This can allow a hiring manager to contact you with information regarding the interview process. To make your name memorable, increase its font size and set it in bold. Providing your email address and telephone number gives the employer two reliable options for contacting you.

4. Include a professional summary

Following your contact info, include a professional summary. This is a two or three line paragraph that highlights your professional achievements, skills and goals as an aquarist. This section is important, as it's usually a hiring manager's first introduction to you as a candidate. Include measurable results to show the impact of your work and align your professional goals with the organisation's vision and objectives. A well written summary can show a potential employer how you could benefit their organisation and motivate them to read the rest of your resume.

5. Detail your work experience as an aquarist

Experience of working in the field is usually a requirement for an aquarist position. An employer may look for candidates who are familiar with methodologies and systems such as biospheres or aquaculture. When applying for an entry level position, be sure to mention all your volunteer work experience or internships.

If you've worked in the field before, you can list your previous jobs in reverse chronological order. Starting with your current or most recent position, outline your responsibilities in a bullet point format. To showcase your expertise, consider adding specific details and outcomes. For example, saying you managed aquariums may not be as strong as managed seven saltwater and freshwater aquariums with 100+ species of aquatic life, ensuring care and maintenance.

Related: 11 Benefits of an Internship (With FAQs about Internships)

6. Showcase your skills

To provide care for aquatic life, an aquarist typically requires sound technical skills. Highlighting the programs, systems and languages you're proficient at using can show a hiring manager you're a valuable candidate with the qualifications they're seeking. When listing your knowledge and abilities, aim to match those the organisation requires as closely as possible. You can do this by referring to the job listing, as it can show you which skills to highlight.

Aim to include both soft and hard skills. The former refers to interpersonal skills and work habits, such as communication or time management. Hard skills are abilities relating directly to your job. Here are some hard skills an employer may expect to see on a resume for this position:

  • Livestock purchasing

  • Fish husbandry

  • Breeding

  • Aquarium maintenance

  • Feeding and nutrition

  • Water quality testing

  • Coral propagation

  • Invertebrate care

  • Disease identification and treatment

Related: Hard Skills vs Soft Skills

7. Provide details of your education

Below your skills, list details of your relevant education. To become an aquarist, most organisations require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in an animal science field, such as marine biology, invertebrate zoology, aquaculture or animal nutrition. Provide the name of each degree and major, plus the name of the university. If you graduated within the previous five years, include your graduation date. If it was before that, you can leave that piece of information out.

Related: 20 Jobs That Work with Animals (With Salaries and Job Duties)

8. Add any certifications, licences or professional affiliations

Below the education section, you can list additional certifications you've gained. These may include scuba diving training, first aid training, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or other courses that may enable you to perform your duties safely. If you're a member of a professional aquarist association, you can mention it in this section, as it can add to your value as a candidate.

Resume template for an aquarist role

Here's a resume template you can use and customise for your aquarist application:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City], [State]

Professional Summary
[Two to three sentences that highlight years of experience, relevant skills, education or certifications and achievements as a professional].

Experience

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [State]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [State]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

Skills
[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

Education
[Degree and major], [Name of school or university]

Certifications
[Certification name], [Host organisation], [Year completed or expiration date]

Example resume for an aquarist role

Here's a resume example you can use to create your own:

June Bugler, BSc in Marine Biology +61 8 5550 0158 | j.bugler@email.com | Victor Harbour, South Australia

Professional Summary
Aquarist and marine biologist with over 12 years of experience in caring for over 100 species of aquatic life in both private and public aquarium settings. Proven ability to cultivate ideal habitats and maintain water quality, feed all livestock and keep tanks clean. Desiring an opportunity to contribute to the field of aquatics by offering advanced abilities in developing educational aquarium programs.

Experience
Aquarist | July 2016–Current
Fish4All Educational Aquarium | Victor Harbour, South Australia

  • Direct the development of new saltwater exhibits, developing an educational tour to train children about marine ecosystems, animal behaviour and environmental awareness

  • Provide tours to school groups to discuss marine food chains, habitat requirements of various species plus fish anatomy and physiology

  • Train and manage a team of over 20 volunteers to assist with daily tasks, including interacting with guests, cleaning exhibits and feeding the animals

  • Monitor fish health and maintain clean tanks, providing high-quality nutrition and medication as necessary

  • Prepare food for 150 saltwater fish and mammals, using specialised equipment and meticulously prepared recipes

Aquarist Intern | May 2014–May 2016
Everything Underwater Aquarium | Victor Harbour, South Australia

  • Tracked the growth of coral and adjusted the environment to ensure favourable conditions

  • Kept accurate records of livestock inventory, feeding, health and breeding

  • Ordered fish food, equipment and medicine as necessary

Skills
Aquarium maintenance | Coral propagation | Feeding and nutrition | Water quality testing and correction | Disease identification and treatment

Education
Bachelor of Science, Marine Biology | The University of Underwater Life

Certifications and affiliations
Open Water Diver, Deeper Scuba School, 2009
First Aid and CPR Competence Certificate, Keep Beating First Aid Training, 2022 (re-certified)

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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