Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Biological Scientist Resume

Updated 13 March 2023

Biological scientists conduct research to understand different life processes by studying living organisms and their relationship to the environment. As a biological scientist, you can work at universities, government departments or within private laboratories exploring new research areas. Learning how to create a well-written biological scientist resume can give you a greater chance of securing the job. In this article, we explain what a biological scientist does, outline steps for writing a resume for this role, offer some writing tips and provide a resume template and an example for your reference.

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

What does a biological scientist do?

Biological scientists observe and investigate the physical characteristics, structure, morphology and chemistry of living organisms. Their role involves assessing the interrelationships of living things and their environments, including identifying, studying and classifying different types of animals, plants and ecosystems. Their responsibilities can include collecting samples, sketching organisms and taking photographs and measurements. Many biological scientists specialise in one area of biology, such as microbiology, genetics, biochemistry or zoology.

Related: What Does a Molecular Biologist Do? (With FAQs)

Find biological scientist jobs

How to write a biological scientist resume

The following are some steps you can take to write an effective biological scientist resume:

1. Provide your contact information

When writing your resume, list your contact details at the top so an employer can contact you easily. Include your full name, phone number, email address and location. You can also include a link to a professional networking site.

Related: What Does an Animal Scientist Do? (With Skills and Job Tips)

2. Write your professional summary

A professional summary allows employers to see quickly if your skills and knowledge match the requirements for the role. You can use this section for summarising your experience in biological science and for demonstrating your strengths. Aim to include your relevant skills and duties that match with the job description. For example, if an employer is seeking a biological scientist specialising in genetic research, mention your experience in this field. The following are some examples of professional summaries for this role:

  • Example 1: Results driven biological scientist with six years of experience in molecular biology research. Strong project management, communication and presentation skills and proven leadership abilities.

  • Example 2: Senior biological scientist with over 10 years of experience leading large teams of scientists in applied zoology research projects. Knowledgeable in overall laboratory maintenance and excellent data analysis, research and writing skills.

Related: 8 Rewarding Careers in Science to Consider (With Benefits)

3. Detail your work experience

In this section, mention your current and previous jobs or internships to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. Include the job title, employment dates and employer name and location. Under each position, include any key responsibilities or achievements to help a hiring manager understand your capabilities. When listing your responsibilities, aim to start with an action verb that describes the task and its impact.

For example, instead of writing introduced new laboratory record system, you could write introduced new laboratory record system that optimised research methods and increased data analysis accuracy by 15%. This allows a hiring manager to see what value you may bring to their organisation. Using bullet points for this section also makes it easier to scan so that a hiring manager can quickly identify your suitability for the role.

Related: How to Show Work Experience on Your Resume (With Example and Tips)

4. Highlight your relevant skills

Use the skills section to demonstrate your relevant soft and technical skills in biological science. Your soft skills for this role may include communication, analytical thinking, organisation, initiative and attention to detail. Employers are likely to seek candidates with good knowledge of biology and maths, along with specific technical skills related to your area of specialisation. For example, relevant skills for a molecular biological scientist may include good knowledge of cell culture, data analysis, knowledge of specific lab equipment and molecular biology techniques, technical report writing and being able to perform various tests, such as DNA tests.

Related: How to Improve Your Attention to Detail in 4 Steps

5. Describe your educational background

Biological scientists typically require completion of an undergraduate degree in science with a major in biology. Biology is a broad field of study, so focus your knowledge by choosing a specific area, such as marine biology, immunology, cell biology, zoology, biochemistry or molecular biology. If you wish to work in applied research, many employers may seek candidates with a postgraduate degree. When listing your education, start with your most recent qualification and include the name of the degree and where you studied.

Related: How to List Education on a Resume (Template and Example)

6. Include your certifications

If you've completed specific certifications related to different biological specialisations, include this in a certifications section. An example could be a Graduate Certificate in Molecular Biology. When listing your certifications, include the certification name, name of the organisation and year of completion.

Tips for writing a resume for a biological scientist role

The following are some tips you can use when creating your resume:

Review other resumes

Before writing your resume, review resume examples to help you learn about good formatting and select keywords and content. Search online for examples or ask your colleagues if you can review their resumes. If you have a mentor, consider asking them if they can share their resume, or contact your professional network.

Related: Resume Format Guide (With Examples)

Read the job description

Reading the job description before you start writing your resume can help you tailor it. Look out for keywords to include, such as key requirements, areas of specialisation or qualifications the employer is seeking. Try to use the exact language, which can be helpful if an employer uses an applicant tracking system (ATS) to help with their recruitment process. For example, if a job posting is seeking candidates with experience using a specific type of computerised lab equipment and you have this background, mention this in your work experience or skills section.

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

List positions in reverse chronological order

In your work experience section, list your roles in reverse chronological order. Start with your current or most recent position and work backwards. Listing your experience this way allows a hiring manager to see your most recent responsibilities and achievements and visualise your career progression.

Proofread your resume

Submitting a resume that's error free can help make a positive impression on a hiring manager and show that you have good attention to detail. Read your resume after drafting it to check for spelling, grammar, punctuation or formatting issues. Consider reading your resume aloud, asking a friend or family member to check it for you and using spell-checking software.

Related: Research Scientist Resume: Tips, Template and Example

Resume template for a biological scientist role

Here's a template to use as a reference when writing your own resume:

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

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


(For the most recent role, list 5 experience items. For previous roles, list 3.)

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

  • (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 or Territory]

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

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

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

[Degree and Major] | [Name of School or University]

Certifications (optional)
[Certification Name], [Host Organisation] – [Year completed or expiration date]

Resume example for a biological scientist role

Use the following example resume as a helpful guide when writing your own:

Charlotte Wilson, MSc (Molecular Biology) 55 5 555 5555 | | Brisbane, Queensland

Professional Summary

Molecular biological scientist with over five years of experience undertaking significant research projects for major universities. Excellent leadership, project management and analytical skills with significant experience presenting at conferences and speaking engagements and sharing research findings with colleagues, students and partners.


Biological Scientist | June 2019–Current
Central West University | Brisbane, Queensland

  • perform and interpret multiple real-time tests to detect and characterise potential pathogens in samples, recording details for ongoing analysis

  • implement best practice molecular biology test methods, improving accuracy and reducing weekly time spent on analysis by 15% on average

  • operate specialised equipment, including electrophoresis units, gas chromatographs, high-pressure liquid chromatographs, phosphor imagers, thermocyclers and fluorescence-activated cell sorters

  • train and oversee junior team members, including checking analyses, providing feedback and offering guidance and suggestions to improve their research skills

  • develop and update protocols for the management of viruses for all employees

Biological Scientist | January 2017–May 2019
Victoria State University | Melbourne, Victoria

  • maintained sample integrity from DNA extraction using best practice techniques

  • extracted RNA and DNA from cells and tissues to analyse and monitor new environments

  • supervised and directed five laboratory technicians

Communication | Attention to detail | DNA sequencing | Antibody/protein engineering | Teamwork | Organisation

Master of Science in Molecular Biology | Queensland Central University

Bachelor of Science in Biology | Queensland Central University

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