Research skills are highly prized across a wide spectrum of industries. The fact is that researchers are invaluable for many employers. After all, new ideas often come only after exhaustive analysis of existing practices. Is it any surprise then that many of the most innovative companies in the world look for employees who possess these skills? The good news is that most of us possess at least some research skills. Unfortunately, too many of us don’t recognize those skills or why they matter to employers. In this post, we’ll help you identify your research skills and show you how to include them on a resume.
What Are Research Skills?
Research skills are all those skills needed to investigate and analyze a subject and then communicate your findings to others. In short, there is no simple easily-defined skill that encompasses all these talents. Instead, your ability to research involves the effective use of a range of other skills. Most of these skills relate to critical thinking in some way. They involve accumulating information and using it to draw reasoned conclusions. Naturally, those conclusions need to be conveyed to others with effective communication skills.
Employers value these skills because they are essential to progress. Innovation only comes from research and inspired insight. As a result, companies that rely on innovation to remain competitive tend to rely on employees who are talented researchers. Obviously, there are entire fields of industry that use researchers only for that purpose. In a more general sense, however, research skills are widely used by many different types of employees. And they use them in almost every industry in the marketplace.
How to List Research on a Resume
Including research on your resume:
For research, summarize your accomplishments in a brief section. You should include a description of your role in the research, the topic that you were exploring, and some information about your findings. For example,
Research Project, Economics Department, Dynamic University, Dec 2017 – Apr 2018
Key participant in research project examining blockchain technology’s potential impact on financial intermediation. Explored use case studies for cross-border payment systems, intrabank transactions, and microtransactions for e-commerce.
- Designed model simulation to study blockchain-based payment system
- Worked in tandem with Alpha and Delta Finance to create simulated intrabank transfers using digitalized tokens
- Studied e-commerce script integration for cryptocurrency payments
- Member of 3-person team tasked with presenting findings to 2018 National Banking Technology Conference
Example of Research Listed On a Resume:
You can also combine your research with other sections:
- Research and Publications
- Research and Professional Development
- Educations and Research
We wrote a good post here on how to include publications on a resume.
Some Important Research Skills Your May Already Possess
When listing research skills on your resume, it’s important to remember that most of them won’t be core skills for the job you’re seeking. Unless you’re applying for a job as a researcher, these skills will basically be transferable skills. That means that they might not be essential for the position but will certainly enhance your value as a potential employee.
To better understand your own research skills, it’s important to be able to identify them. Here are some common and valuable research skills that many employees possess. Chances are that you have used at least some of these skills in your career. For example:
- Attention to detail. This seemingly simple skill is one that employers truly appreciate. People who possess an ability to note even the smallest details can be invaluable for identifying problems and creating solutions.
- Planning and scheduling skills. Every research project starts with a plan and a schedule. This is also one of those transferable skills that has application throughout nearly every industry.
- Data collection skills. Good research depends upon good data. If you’re a skilled data collector, that talent will be useful for any company’s research needs.
- Problem-solving skills. At some level, all research is about solving problems. Whether it’s a graduate thesis or a corporate study, there’s always a question that needs to be answered.
- Technical skills. Proficiency with computers and other technology is an essential skill for modern research.
- Critical thinking skills. Data collection is useless if no one ever considers what that data means. That analysis requires critical thinking and the ability to analyze and draw conclusions.
- Project management skills. Can you manage projects in an orderly and effective way? Every research project requires effective management.
- Communication skills. Whether it’s an oral presentation or a written report, research findings always need to be communicated to others.
Make Your Research Skills Work for You
Finally, do more than just list your research skills in your resume. Put them to use. Research the company you’re trying to join, and mention things you’ve learned in your cover letter and interview. That can not only showcase your research abilities but will demonstrate your real desire to join their team. In the end, that can be the best way to improve your odds of landing that great job you need.