My Scientific Resume: Handling Publications

Creating a scientific resume can be confusing. There are hundreds of sites on the Internet that are dedicated to advice on resume writing, but those sites will likely not address the unique challenges a scientist faces. “What am I supposed to do about my publications?” is one of the major questions scientists have when creating a resume. Whether you’re putting together a professional resume for the first time, updating your resume, or attempting to convert your C.V. into a resume, how to handle publications is a question you may have had difficulty answering. And while papers are not the only things that are important to an industry hiring manager, they are important.

As a representative of a group of industry scientists, recruiters, and hiring managers who built, let me help you with these questions.


You may have heard differing advice about publications and resumes such as, “Leave them out entirely,” “Put them in an addendum,” or, “Just include an abbreviated publication list that highlights your ‘high-profile’ papers.” Let me say clearly, include all of your publications. They are the proof of what you claimed in your resume. They confirm your productivity.


Too often people want to reference their publications using a style like Science or Nature which have very abbreviated forms. Or, they will use a mixture of formats and abbreviations. The best advice is to use a format that is in the style of a well-known journal in your field making sure to include the title of the article. (With a hundred resumes to read, a hiring manager is unlikely to look up the volume and page of the journal you have listed to see the subject of your paper.) Be sure you abbreviate the names of journals correctly. If you need help with the style and format of your publications, use this webpage: Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers


The common advice that “your resume should be limited to one (or two) pages” does not necessarily hold for scientific resumes. Remember, you’re not just creating a resume, you’re creating a scientific resume. Since your publications are really proof of the accomplishments and productivity noted earlier in your resume, they can cover as many pages as needed. As a graduate student or postdoc, that may not be very many. If it pushes your resume to three or four pages, it is fine. Perhaps you have had a long and active research career and your publication list requires many, many pages. If you feel it runs too long with papers, patents, abstracts, talks, etc. (10+ pages), then you may choose to include those items in an addendum.

Likely, you still have questions about publications (type size, the order in which to present them, how or if to highlight your name, etc.). Publications are important and should be treated so. If you want to have an industry-friendly resume and find that you need help answering these and other questions, then you should visit Invest in the tools and the answers you need. was created by scientists for scientists. It was designed specifically to help scientists enter or advance in industry. Here you will get answers to your questions, get tools (such as the P.R.E. Resume Worksheet which leads you to identify relevant accomplishments beyond your publications), and shows you how to rethink and re-present your research experience in a way that will be well received by a hiring manager.

You even have the option to have your resume professionally reviewed and returned with comments!

Let the experts from help get you the job you want by providing you with the answers you seek, the tools you need, and the real-life examples you want for creating a clear, powerful, industry-friendly resume.

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