Your resume is a part of your application. It is by far not the most important part, but here are some things you should know on structure and content.

The common thread behind most of this advice is to keep your resume focused and to the point. Your resume will be read by people who have to read many other applications, thus they have a limited amount of time to read yours. Your readers’ time is better spent understanding all key points in a short resume than skimming boring details in a long one.

Remember that this guide is written to apply to everyone, and as such it is entirely normal that parts of the advice below will not apply to you, such as resume sections that are not relevant because you have nothing to put in them.


The top of your resume should have at least your name and e-mail. Include professional accounts such as GitHub and LinkedIn. You do not need to include your physical address, your phone number, personal accounts such as Facebook or Twitter, or any other personal information. You should not include your marital status, your photo, or any other information that could be perceived as biasing readers.

Only include an “objectives” statement if you have something very unique to say that isn’t better said in your statement of purpose. Do not include vague and pompous descriptions such as “Outstanding Alumni of XYZ University”.

Since you’re applying for a research job, start with an “Education” section that includes your university degrees, including ongoing ones, most recent first. Each degree should list the name of the degree, the field, your grade average, and extra information such as the title of your thesis if you did one. If your degree’s grading scheme is not obvious to international readers, you can include a quick explanation, such as “1 is the best grade, 5 is the worst”. Do not include high school or lower, it’s a waste of space.

After education comes your research experience. Describe any and all research experience you have, such as internships and projects during your undergrad, most relevant first. If you have publications already, add a section for those, with each publication in citable format. You can usually find a way to cite your publication when viewing it online; if not, write the title, the authors, the venue, and the year.

After research experience comes the rest of your work experience. Describe jobs you’ve had and what you did, most relevant first. This can include jobs at a university that aren’t directly related to research, such as being an assistant for a course.

If you have done significant volunteering work, you should include it in a “Volunteering” section. Describe clearly what the work was about, and try to tie it to the position you’re applying for. For instance, successfully mentoring undergrads is great if you’re applying for a PhD.

If you have done personal projects that are relevant to your application but don’t fit in research or work experience, add a “Projects” section with those. However, only do this if the projects are sizeable and reflect well on you. There is no point in listing every course project you’ve done as part of your undergrad.

If you have obtained awards or other achievements, such as a “great course assistant” award or the podium of some hackathon, you should include these in an “Achievements” section.

Mention the languages you speak and your level in them somewhere. These levels should be formal ones if you have obtained certifications, such as “C1”, or informal descriptions otherwise, such as “Conversational” or “Fluent”.

You could in theory include competitions you’ve participated in, relevant courses you’ve taken, specific skills you have, societies you are a member of, extra-curricular activities you’ve done, and your hobbies. However, by this point your resume is likely quite full already, and these sections are usually not worth the space they take. If you can, fit these inside other sections instead, such as mentioning the programming languages you used in your work experience.

Do not include a list of references, or “references available upon request”, or other such sentences, unless this is specifically requested by the position you’re applying to.


When describing past experience, keep the description focused and measurable. What exactly did you achieve? Did you use specific techniques or tools to achieve it? Are there any metrics you can give that quantify what you did? For instance, if a piece of research you helped with was published in a peer-reviewed venue, mention that. If your work led to measurable improvements in performance, user satisfaction, or any other metric you can quantify, mention that.

Keep everything consistent throughout. For instance, do not use “Jan 22” in one place and “November 2021” in another. The number of lines in the descriptions of degrees and experience should be consistent. If you can make the length of the lines consistent, that’s even better.

Include links when relevant, such as the repository of a project. Use hyperlinks on text when it is nice to be able to click on it but not essential if someone prints your resume. For instance, your GitHub username should be a hyperlink to your GitHub profile.

Your resume will be read by scientists, who expect evidence for claims you make. Avoid “skills” sections that aren’t backed up by the rest of the resume, such as claiming “time management” or “problem solving” as skills. Merely being a member of some association says little about you unless you can back it up with, for instance, some work you did there. Do not self-evaluate your skills, such as bars from 0 to 100% or stars from 1 to 5, unless you have some very good reason to do so; remember that one person’s 90% is another person’s 20%, and the readers have no idea if you’re the former or the latter.

Triple-check your writing for grammar and spelling, and get your resume proofread by your friends.


Keep it to one page if at all possible, and two pages if you really do have a lot to show. “A lot” means education, research, work, important projects, important achievements, and languages. Do not use two pages just to show off every last programming language or piece of software you know, or to list all of your awards in middle school.

Some stylistic work can help keep a resume to one page, such as using a template where section titles are next to the sections rather than above them, or even a two-column template if really necessary.


You can find plenty of templates online for software such as MS Word and LaTeX. Use whichever one you think looks good, with whatever software you prefer using. The only thing that matters is whether all of the content you want to include fits on a page while looking reasonably good.