By: Andrei Kurtuy, guest contributor, Co-Founder & CCO of Novoresume.com
For any career, you need a strong resume to help get your foot in the door and lab technicians are no exception. But as someone in the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) field, you may find yourself at a loss about where to begin.
That’s mostly because much of the resume advice out there targets more conventional office jobs, rather than science-related ones.
So, what lab skills are employers looking for? And how do you list them?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
Not only are there plenty of lab skills that will make your resume stand out to potential employers, but we’ll also show you how to list them effectively.
9 Best Lab Skills for Your Resume
#1. Aseptic technique
The be-all and end-all skill of any lab technician is their aseptic technique. Keeping your workspace clean and your samples free of contamination is the most important skill that any lab will be looking for, which makes it a must for any lab technician’s resume.
#2. Attention to detail
Lab technicians need to be more attentive to detail than most other professionals because their work affects everyone else in the pipeline. Laboratories need people who literally know how important microscopic details are. Getting the tiniest detail wrong while analyzing a sample, for example, could lead to a wrong diagnosis, so paying attention to the details and noticing things others might miss is crucial.
#3. Data entry
Data entry is a transferable skill that comes in handy for many professions, including lab technicians. Whether you’re proficient in a popular product like Microsoft Excel or you’re familiar with specialized software unique to the lab you’ve worked at before, this is worth mentioning. It’s likely you’ll be tracking samples and updating a database at some point in your career.
#4. Equipment maintenance
Knowing how to use a microscope is essential, but keeping your lab equipment clean and running smoothly is just as important. Each lab might have its own unique set up so don’t worry if you don’t know how to use everything. Your employer will appreciate your willingness to learn how to keep the equipment clean and functioning, not your existing know-how.
#5. Analytical skills
Lab technicians are constantly required to conduct scientific investigations on the job. They have to collect samples and analyze them for reliable results. Keeping up with relevant industry trends and developments is another way to keep your analytical skills sharp and be able to improve the quality of the lab’s procedures.
#6. Customer service
Politeness, patience, and clear communication go a long way as medical lab technician skills. Any customer service training you’ve attained might help you tremendously here. Whether you’re taking samples from a patient yourself or conveying lab results in lay speak, customer service will be a key element of your workflow in any lab.
Lab technicians are among those professionals who are constantly applying math in their work. Math is an important skill for a clinical lab technician since it comes in handy with various job responsibilities, including unit conversions and making solutions from powder.
While you might spend some time all on your own, hunched over and analyzing a particular sample, your job will mainly consist of working with others. It’s never just you in a lab, which is why your employer will likely be looking for someone who can be an active and helpful member of a team, rather than a lone wolf.
Ultimately, every lab is different and the most important skill you can bring to the table is your ability to adapt to a new environment. Adaptability is the measure by which you will thrive in any lab you end up in. Employers know you probably won’t be an expert at everything in the job description but your ability to learn and understand new protocols is a must.
How to List Lab Skills on Your Resume
Now that you know which lab skills are in high demand, it’s time to make your resume.
Keep in mind the position you’re applying for and use the job listing as a reference – does it mention specific skills? Start there.
You can group your skills by subcategory, such as soft skills (problem-solving, time management, communication) and lab technician hard skills (equipment calibration, sterilization, software proficiency).
For an entry-level lab technician resume, some very basic skills like pipetting might be worth mentioning. If you’re going for a more experienced position, skip the basics – your employer expects you to know them already.
Make sure to add any of your research or fieldwork and mention the techniques you’ve used! Whether it’s specific equipment or interesting projects, it could make a no-experience lab technician resume stick out from the crowd of other applicants.
And here they are, the nine skills that can greatly benefit every lab technician out there.
Pick out the ones required from the position you’re applying for, list them following our tips above, and you’ll be landing your next lab gig in no time!
Looking for assistance with placement? Reach out to our team today!