Writing a Resume that will get you an Interview in Marine Science and Conservation Careers

By November 5, 2016 November 7th, 2016 Speak Up For Blue Podcast

Speak Up For Blue Podcast

The resume is an important part of your application to getting the job you want for your Marine Science and Conservation Career. Find out how to write one properly to increase your chances to getting an interview.


This episode is all about how to build a proper resume for the Marine Science & Conservation career path that you are choosing. I find a lot of people write resumes in the wrong way. They only summarize the work they’ve done. They don’t put together a resume that actually helps the potential employer, human resource manager, or hiring manger to decide whether they qualify for the position, or not. When you write, complete, and submit a resume, you have to make sure that the person in charge of hiring doesn’t have to make any assumptions about the work you’ve done. If they’re guessing, you don’t win. The whole point of the application process is to get the interview. So, when the hiring manager looks at your resume, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to place you in the “interview” pile. If you allow the potential for assumptions to be made, your resume winds up in the trash.

The internet is a tough thing to crack when you’re looking to apply for jobs. The internet has allowed people from all over the world to access and apply to job ads, as long as they’re authorized to work in that location. That means the job seeker market is more saturated. Competition is fiercer. If you don’t put in the right type of application that sets you apart from everyone else you will not get the job you want. If you think about it, on average, a company will get hundreds of resumes for ONE position. Think about those odds. You NEED to make sure to set yourself apart from the rest. You have to make it stupid easy to have the hiring manager put you in that interview pile. Only about 5% of the applicants will even make it to the interview rounds. Their time is limited. They don’t want to interview hundreds of people. They pick the cream of the crop. They have their tricks: tests, role-playing activities, and the list goes on. The resume supports what you said with the cover letter, which I mentioned in episode 228. The resume goes into more detail (obviously) not only detailing the work you did, but, when you did it, for which organization, how long you worked on it, your tasks, duties, and responsibilities; anything remarkable that you put into effect, and skills and experienced you gained that pertain to the job you’re applying to. That is the key. Make sure your resume is customized to each job you apply for. Because each job will be asking for something different.

Here is how I style my resume. The style doesn’t matter, as long as you include the key information.

  1. Contact information (name, phone, email, etc.)
  2. Education: undergrad, masters, Ph.d, post-docs. When you received the degree, from what institution, 3-5 sentences of your work towards your degree. If you are just graduating, I would suggest noting your courses. But, don’t just put the title of your course, put down what you learned in those courses that pertain to the job you’re applying for. For example: “Conservation Biology” we did data analysis on how to properly track and document whale sharks, and the influence of ecotourism on whale sharks. ***BUT DON’T LIE***
  3. Work Experience: date, date range, title, place. Three sentences of the job description. Bulleted list of skills I gained or exercised while working at that job that pertain to the job I am applying for. Skills that will help to set me apart from the competition, because I’ve already done it. Be as specific as possible. Don’t be afraid to list a summer job, or school job that you had *if* the skills pertain to the job you’re applying for.
  4. Special projects
  5. Computer Skills
  6. Certificates: SCUBA, small vessel, CPR, SVOP.
  7. Different papers or articles that I’ve contributed to, or written myself.

The structure or order doesn’t matter as much; the CONTENT is what is the most important.

The best tip I have found: between the first two sections (Contact, and Education) put in a section called: Skills and Assets that specifically pertain to “Job Title” these will be bullet form sentences and statements where you specifically address each qualification that is requested in the job description. Start with the required qualifications. Keep it simple. One sentence, maximum two. WHY or HOW you have this qualification. Do this for each required and preferred qualification. This provides the hiring manager with a quick win, to see at a glance how and why you should wind up in the interview pile.

Take a listen to the episode to find out how to write the proper resume for Marine Science and Conservation.

Next week…we’ll talk about the interview.

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