CV Writing for Jobs In Science

How to write the perfect CV and covering letter.

CV Writing

Your CV is a very important document that sells your skills and abilities to potential employers. This information should enable you to put together the right CV for the right situation.

If you are finding that you are applying for jobs, but are failing to get interviews, it could be that your CV is at fault and you are underselling yourself.

Science CV Layout

You should select a layout with which you are happy. 

Preparation is important. You should be concise, but do not miss out any vital information.


Science CV Length

There is no correct length for a CV, however, the length should reflect your skills and experiences. We suggest:

Level Attained CV Length
GCSE/’A’ Levels/Equivalent No more than 1 side of A4
Recent Degree/HND/HNC No more than 2 sides of A4
Experienced/PhD Variable


Personal Information

As a minimum include your address, home telephone number, mobile number and Email address.  Also state your nationality / eligibility to work in the UK and if you have your own car, say that you have your own transport.  State your availability / notice period if you have one too. 


Email Address

If you have a inappropriate or silly email address, set up a new account specifically for job searches, and check it very regularly.  Also check the junk mail folder so as not to miss out on any inportant emails from companies and agencies you have applied to. 

When applying for scientific jobs concentrate on any scientific employment, listing responsibilities and achievements.

Place other temporary or holiday jobs together, e.g.  

2011-2014: Various temporary jobs

If you have no employment experience in the scientific field increase the detail about your science education, i.e. focus on your strengths in science.  



To save vital space simply use the phrase “available on request”. If your CV does spill on to another page, references could be included.  If the job advert requests references, make sure they are included.


When you have completed your CV, please register your CV with Jobs in Science


Science CV Types


Non Science Graduate CV

There is no need for personal information to take up more than a fifth of a page of A4.

All GCSE/’A’ Level results should be included.

Any relevant work experiences should be included.

Interests should be highlighted.


Science Graduate CV

Again there is no need for personal information to cover more than a fifth of a side of A4.

Include an aim, such as “ To find employment as a junior scientist or technician to launch my scientific career”.

Concentrate on your most recent education, i.e. your degree, giving details of your course title, result, outline of courses.  Include details on any final year projects, listing scientific techniques used.  Possibly list relevent modules to the job you are applying for, and certainly included actual laboratory techniques you used.

Only give brief details of GCSE’s, e.g. “8 GCSE’s-including Maths, English and Science.”

For ‘A’ Levels, just give your results.


Post Science Doctorates

You should still follow the basic CV format, i.e. only a fifth of a side of A4 on personal information and truncated early education.

Your degree should still be important but do not include as much detail.

The majority of your CV should be taken up with your research information. However do not neglect the fact that you have been working for 3-4 years and you may have developed other, non-scientific skills in organisation/presentation/management/etc..

Include papers, conferences or presentations.

When registering with an agency it is often a good idea to send in 2 CV’s. One is a full CV which can be used when looking for jobs, and the second is a “dumbed down” version which could be used for securing temporary work to see you through. The latter should contain a statement saying you are prepared to do any work.


Experienced Science CV

People with experience in the scientific industry still need to pay attention to their CV. Many people undersell themselves by missing out too much detail.

Your work experiences should make up the majority of your CV (work details should be placed before education). The more experience you have the longer the CV can be. If you have had many jobs, concentrate detail on the jobs that are most relevent to the position you are applying for. 


Agency CV’s

These should be of a more general nature.

When sending your CV it is often advisable to send with it a an extra sheet with a list of laboratory / scientific skills gained at university or in industry. Include even minor skills because Agencies often use computerised databases to search for suitable candidates and this may aid your selection.

Also indicate in a covering letter whether you are prepared to relocate, if you have your own transport (and how far you will commute) and an approximate wage requirement (remember that the average new graduate working in science gets around £14000 - £16000).


When you have completed your CV, please register your CV with Jobs in Science


Science CV Style

Choose a sensible font.  Use a font which most computers can read – i.e Times New Roman in font size 12.

Use the same font all the way through.

Underline or embolden points but do not do both (and be consistent).

Check all spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Bullet points/concise lists are good.

Science Covering Letter

When applying for jobs it is often required for you to send in a covering letter along with your CV.  An alternative is to adjust or tailor your CV to the job you are applying for. Please make sure you keep a note of which CV you have sent to which company.

A covering letter gives you a useful opportunity to highlight parts of your CV that are of particular relevance to the position for which you are applying.

You should also aim to state what you wish to gain from employment with this company, e.g. following my degree I wish to continue in the scientific environment and increase my knowledge of science.

Also, this is a good chance to say what you can offer the company. Use positive words, e.g. enthusiasm, dedication, energetic, hard work, team working, flexibility. You need to come across as though you have something to offer the company.

Always address the letter to the correct person and make sure the name is spelt correctly.

Science CV Do's and Don'ts



  • REMEMBER, your CV is a selling document. Its purpose is to get you an interview.
  • Include email address and mobile number on your CV.
  • It must be brief, to the point and demonstrate continuity.
  • Use MS word or PDF as your format.
  • Presentation is important.
  • Check spelling, punctuation, grammar etc.
  • Read the details of the post carefully and tailor your CV to meet the requirements of the job.
  • Stress the skills you have which are particularly relevant for the post you seek.
  • Be positive about your achievements.
  • Include all previous experience, in reverse chronological order, do not leave gaps.



  • Be creative - stick to a standard format.
  • Use colourful background or designs on your CV.
  • Write about yourself in the third person, i.e. he has worked to a consistent level, etc.
  • Attempt to be humorous.
  • Self praise excessively.
  • Overdo your hobbies - if you have no hobbies use space for other details. Do try to include hobbies relevant to the job, such as those demonstrating teamwork and commitment.
  • Use large print.


Register Your C.V.

Register When you have completed your CV, please register your CV with Jobs in Science.

For more information about CV Writing for Jobs In Science please contact us on 01827 312411 / 01827 312394 or email us at