Tailoring your resume as a HDR student

Academic and industry resumes
One size does not fit all when promoting the value of your higher degree to potential employers with your resume.

Ask yourself:

  • What kind of position am I targeting - academic or industry?
  • What is of most interest to the employer? Use the selection criteria in the job description as a guide.
  • Where should the emphasis be, for example, on academic, technical or transferable skills?  This will determine the length and structure of your resume.


  • Academic qualifications – level of achievement and subject specific knowledge
  • Research interests – past, present and future. Consider a “Research Profile” as opposed to a “Career Objective” section.
  • Research reputation and impact – publications, citations, conferences, public engagement. If a very long track record consider an appendix for less relevant content or organise into sub headings around relevance
  • Your ability to apply for and attract funding – include grants, scholarships, prizes and awards (make clear what they were awarded for if that’s not clear in the title)
  • Teaching experience – lecturing, tutoring, mentoring, supervision & any formal teacher training
  • Administrative experience – marking, course coordination, program management, committees, outreach like Open Days
  • Technical skills and subject specific knowledge
  • The academic language and terminology of the discipline, but don’t abbreviate (spell it out before using acronyms)
  • There is no set length for an academic resume but still follow the principles of tailoring your content for relevance and conciseness


  • Relevant research experience, technical skills & publications (summarised)
  • Any commercial applications or industry research partnerships
  • Quantifiable outcomes and where possible translate the language of your research field to equivalent terms in your target industry
  •  Interests or extra-curricular activities can make you appear well-rounded


  • Relevant transferable skills – focus on what you do, not what you know
  • Demonstratable knowledge of the industry/commercial awareness
  •  Key words in job advertisement - use the language of the industry to describe your skills set
  • If a full time HDR student, include that as a “job” in your experience section
  • Focus on outcomes as a general indicator of achievement orientation.  Quantify and qualify  eg: “3 refereed articles in leading international science journal” rather than a detailed publications list
  • Depending on the length of your work history consider dividing into “Relevant/Industry Experience” and “Other Employment”
  • Join an industry relevant professional association to include on your resume. Membership will demonstrate your commitment & interest in the new profession you are entering
  •  Keep your non-academic resume between 1-4 pages in the Australian context.

For more detailed advice look out for the following Careers Centre workshops during semester:

Writing an Academic Resume and Cover Letter: Higher Degree Research Students

Writing an Industry Resume and Cover Letter: Higher Degree Research Students

Search and register for workshops on Careerhub

See also the Careers Centre web site for links to a wide range of HDR job search resources, including sample resumes and cover letters.