Analytical Chemistry, Life Science & Engineering Recruitment

Entering the job market as a brand new graduate can feel hard and competitive, we’re not going to sugar coat that. So here are our expert tips to help you stand out and hopefully secure that all important first industry job!

CV Writing & Layout

In the Beginning -Profile/Objective

After your contact details, it is important to write a short statement (couple of sentences) detailing a little overview of you and your career aim.

This should be tailored according to the role you're applying for - Why are you interested in the role and why you would be good at it? Don’t assume the reader knows this, make it obvious!

Then it's all in the Degree Details!

You’ve spent 3, 4 or even 5 years studying it, so don’t be shy about it. You’ve invested a lot of time (& money) so it surely deserves more than a single line of degree title and grade on your CV?

In the world of a recent scientific graduate, your most recent degree qualification is your current ‘work experience’ when applying for an industry role. It deserves pole position on your CV, not behind any part-time job experience!

Each university sets their own course modules and lab projects which can differ greatly depending on where you studied. Don’t assume the reader of your CV will know what was covered - they will be recruiters, HR professionals and Scientists, but most definitely not university rankers or experts like UCAS or The Times!

So what do I include?…

  • Lab techniques - what lab skills did you study or gain hands-on experience with? i.e. ELISA, HPLC, SEM etc, these are what recruiters/companies are looking for. Include any techniques that you understand or can use confidently
  • Final Project(s) – These are typically where you gain the most hands-on experience, also where you have the most independence – so talk about it.
  • What did it consist of, what was the aim?
  • What did you get to do/learn during it?
  • Did you have to devise something from scratch or optimise it? i.e. develop a new method, prepare samples etc
  • What were your responsibilities?
  • Did you have to work in a group? Did you get any networking opportunities?
  • Any stand out moments? – Any top marks, awards, extra responsibilities or tasks, conference attendance? (even if it was virtual)
  • Industry placements – where, for how long, what did you do? Skills/techniques - what were your responsibilities?

Previous Employment

At this stage in your career your education details come first – Degree(s), A-levels and possibly GCSEs (but not individually listed, a summary is fine)

Any previous employment should follow. It’s best to include all of your experience; it doesn’t matter if it’s not related to science or where you ideally want to be.

It can demonstrate a number of positive qualities;

  • The ability to work in a team
  • Able to handle fast-pace/high pressure environments (e.g. hospitality, retail)
  • Customer facing/client interaction skills (telesales/bar work etc)
  • Able to multi-task and that you are hard-working

The list goes on, studying and holding a part-time job, even if it's just between terms demonstrates drive and experience in a workplace environment, so do include it!

If you haven’t had any previous employment do not worry, try to include any volunteer experiences or other extra-curricular activities you’ve been involved in and perhaps divulge more detail about your university course and group interactions, this can also demonstrate a number similar positive qualities such as a team skills.

Hobbies/Interests

Any groups, sports or university projects you were part of are great to mention here. Also include your hobbies and interests – just a couple of sentences will suffice -it gives your CV more of a personal feel and again can demonstrate a number of soft skills too - these are things like good communication skills, time management & team work etc.

Then What...?

Get your CV uploaded to a few large job boards and specialised recruitment companies - such as VRS Recruitment!

And you're all set to go and hit that job market, Good Luck!!


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