Some researchers will require you to send a resume when you email them in order to gauge your interests and skill set. It is absolutely okay if you have not had previous research experience when you email a professor. However, if you have some previous experience or would like to demonstrate your strengths, a resume will provide a succinct explanation about who you are.
Resumes essentially consist of five parts:
- Introduction (Name, Contact Information, etc.)
- Academic History (Schools you have attended, GPA, classes you've taken, standardized testing scores, ranking, etc.)
- Extracurriculars (Things you do besides school: orchestra, tennis, jobs, etc.)
- Skills (Can be: coding languages, spoken languages, Microsoft/Google skills, etc.)
A very important part of resume building is formating, generally the more professional looking, the better. Several formats can be found online, and all you have to do is input the information.
- Full governmental name, make sure to capitalize.
- Put a current mailing address.
- Make sure to put a professional email that you check consistently.
- Mobile number that you are okay receiving texts from.
- List your academic history from most recent to least, make sure to add the dates in which you attended those institutions.
- List the GPA you received at that specific institution.
- List the relevant classes you have taken at each institution. If you are applying for science research, it is generally better to list the STEM-related and advanced-level courses you have taken, like AP.
- If you have taken standardized tests (ACT/SAT/AP), it can be good to list those scores.
NOTE: This section is purely used to demonstrate your academic interests. Keep in mind that grades are not everything, you can still find research without the stereotypical good grades and GPA.
- Make sure to list the grades in which you participated in.
- Mention your role in the extracurricular activity (ex. competitor, executive director, founder, manager, etc.)
- Briefly go over your achievements in the specific activity, descriptive language can be used here to present the activities in which you participated in.
- Make sure to list the time commitment of each extracurricular activity and the time duration in which you participated in it.
This portion is very simple. Mention the title of award, description of the award, and when you received the award.
There are generally extra portions of the resume you can add depending on the field in which you are interested in and the purpose of the resume. Normally, there are additional sections like skills or talents you have. In those sections, you can add things you know how to do or use (ex. languages, programming, abilities, etc.). If you have any special experiences, you can add those as well (ex. presentations). The purpose of a resume is to show off your personal abilities!