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What to Include in a Geology Resume

Like the geology resumes shown here, you own resume will vary according to the specifics of the position you're looking for and the company you're hoping to join. Your own experiences and certifications will also influence your final document, as will the details of your long-term career plan.

Owing to all these variables, there's really no single correct way to create and edit your resume, but there are a few basics that you'll need to include no matter what, and there are a few layout and presentation decisions that can strongly influence the outcome of your search. Like most of the geology resume samples in this set, you'll want your document to include subsections that represent each of the following categories of information:

  • Summary Section
  • Education Section
  • Work History Section
  • Special Skills Section

As you create and shape each one of these necessary subsections, you'll need to follow a few essential rules, but you'll also have a few opportunities to vary the script and bend the structure according to your own inclinations.

For example, you'll need to place your resume summary at the top of the page. But you can follow this section with either your education or your work history; there's no need to begin with your education if you don't feel that this move highlights your strongest credentials.

And as these geology resume samples indicate, you can also format your work history in either of two patterns: chronological or functional. The chronological structure will document each of your past positions in detail, presented in the order in which they occurred.

The functional structure, by contrast, will draw your reviewer's attention to your skills, abilities and potential contributions and away from the nuts and bolts of your previous jobs. Functional resumes usually begin with a list of these key contributions, followed by a quick review of past job titles with no attached dates or long description of specific responsibilities and accomplishments.

Chronological work histories are usually a better choice for candidates with no resume gaps, no lateral moves, and no potentially confusing career swerves. Functional resumes are better for candidates who have a few gaps, twists, and reversals in their progression from job to job, which are better explained in an in-person interview. Check the geology resume samples and notice the difference between the two.

How to Write the Geology Resume Summary Statement

As the geology resume samples in this set illustrate, a strong resume almost always begins with a strong, brief, clearly written summary statement. The summary should appear just under the contact information, and the entire section should not exceed about five lines of text. For geology and petroleum candidates, the summary should include a short description of educational credentials and technical skills. The section should also provide a quick forecast of the information that will appear in the document below.

In addition to the geology resume samples, you can use these example summaries as a guide:

Geological data analyst with eight years of experience collecting and evaluating cuttings and core samples. Demonstrated expertise with electrical, sonic, and seismic measuring technology, including 2D and 3D seismic interpretation, structural and Isopach maps, and velocity models. Five years of relational database and functional GIS experience.

Ambitious geological research assistant with expertise in groundwater research analysis, joint planning, and long term groundwater management. Familiarity with multiple agency databases and all aspects of municipal water resource extraction and allocation.

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How to Write the Geology Education Section

Again, as the geology resume samples indicate, your education section can appear anywhere in your document as long as it follows the primary information presented at the top of the page. This section can inserted below or above your work history and skills sections, and it can include as much or as little detail as you like.

But in all cases, the education section should highlight your academic credentials and should list each of your formal degrees and diplomas that you earned after graduating from high school. Document each degree, license, or certification you've earned, followed by the institution that granted this granted this honor and your course of study. If you choose, you can also list your completion dates and GPA, but these aren't typically required.

How to Write the Geology Work Experience Section

As mentioned above and demonstrated in the geology resume samples attached here, the work history section of your resume can be presented in either of two recognized formats: chronological or functional.

If you choose the chronological layout, you'll create a separate entry within this subheading for each of your relevant past positions, beginning with the most recent. Each entry will include your previous job title, the name of your employer, and a short bulleted list of your basic responsibilities during your tenure in that role. Be sure to integrate your most important victories and accomplishments in this position within the responsibilities as well. Explain how you went above and beyond or accomplished more than just the minimum for your previous employer. If you choose the chronological format, you'll also list start and end dates for each position.

The functional format, by contrast, won't require the dates or specifics of each of your old jobs. Instead, this layout will focus your reader's attention on the abilities and special talents that you'll bring to the table if you're hired. List these in an expanded skills section, and then follow the list with a work history section that delivers a quick overview of your most important and relevant past job titles. Don't add dates and feel free to omit the specific details of your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Action Verbs to Include in Your Geology Work Experience Section

  • Analyze
  • Extrapolate
  • Diagnose
  • Extract
  • Examine
  • Measure
  • Document
  • Perform
  • Drill
  • Map
  • Plan
  • Execute
  • Lead
  • Collect
  • Cut
  • Review
  • Coordinate
  • Present

How to Write the Geology Skills Section

The skills section of your geology resume should provide employers with an overview of your special skill sets, specifically the skills that aren't easily inserted into your work history section. These special skill sets should reflect the abilities outlined in the job description of the position you're applying for.

Use this section to document software experience, language skills, communication and public speaking skills, training and leadership skills, or planning and administrative skills that can highlight your selling points to a potential employer. Don't forget your use of database management tools, extraction and diagnostic equipment, or site-specific machinery. You'll also want to use this section to draw attention to first aid and safety skills, conservation skills, and any disaster preparation or prevention skills that you bring to the table.

If you're constructing a functional resume, be sure to make this section meatier than you would otherwise. You want this to be the place where you communicate how your abilities and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job.

TIP: Need a cover letter? Click here to view our Geology cover letters.

Should I Include References in my Geology Resume

For the most part, lists of references should not appear within the text of a professional resume. References are essential to the job search, without a doubt, and it's a good idea to assemble a list of names and contact information as soon as you launch your search, so you'll have it ready to hand over to employers when they ask for it.

But this list does not usually need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter, and it very rarely needs to be included within the same document. Carefully read the post for your target job and follow the instructions that your potential employers provide. If they ask for a reference list at some later point in the application process, submit the names of people who you trust. Choose former employers, clients, and coworkers who can be counted on to speak with accuracy and positivity when they're asked about your personality and work history. And of course, make sure these people know that you're listing them as personal references.

Geology Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid

As you review this collection of geology resume samples, keep an eye out for the moves that grab the most attention. And as you complete your own document, watch out for the kinds of mistakes that can undermine your chances of success.

Over-generalization: Don't let your resume become a bland laundry list of generic traits and personal qualities. Take note of the specifics required by the job, and then tailor your resume to reflect this pointed bits and pieces.

Applicability Problems: This field is also highly technical, and your target job may require specific software or equipment experience. Draw clear lines between what you can do and what you want to do, and be ready to answer a question like this: I see that you have experience with X, but can you explain how this experience applies to the position you're pursuing?

Missing Skill Sets: Don't forget to mention any detail that might help you land your target job. Too often, candidates leave out small but essential bits of information and regret this decision later on.

Job Prospects in Geology and Petroleum Extraction

Geological and petroleum technicians spend their workdays extracting, examining, researching and studying mineral and soil samples in order to support the exploration and extraction of natural resources. This position typically requires an associate's degree at the entry-level and pays a median salary of about $52,700 per year. Job opportunities in this area are growing slightly faster than the average across all industries, with a 15 percent increase expected between 2012 and 2022.
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