Here are the top Research Assistant skills to include on your resume.

Research Assistants support researchers during experiments and data collection using a specific blend of required technical and soft skills. They can work in a variety of settings, including academic, medical, financial, and corporate. 

If you're in the process of securing a Research Assistant position, your resume needs to emphasize the Research Assistant skills required for success. Below, we address the top Research Assistant skills to include on your resume and where to include them.

What is a Research Assistant?

As the title implies, a Research Assistant assists research experts in survey, laboratory, and other types of social science research from the preparation stage to the findings and publication stages. They work as part of a research team that uses studies and experiments – and the findings from those studies and experiments – to develop theories and gain insights into the subject being researched.  

Research Assistants are often tasked with developing research guidelines and interviewing study subjects. As data science professionals, Research Assistants  also assist in experimental quality control, data analysis, and data management, as well as help prepare study findings for publication.

Research Assistant skills for a resume

To grab the attention of a hiring manager, your resume needs to have a healthy blend of hard and soft Research Assistant skills. 

Hard or technical skills are the skills that indicate you have the know-how to get a job done. They're easily measured and acquired through training and education. 

Soft or people skills are the skills required to support a healthy work environment – they support our ability to work well with others. They're not tangible in nature, so they're not easily measured. However, they are vital to career success and improved upon over time through experience. 

Top Research Assistant technical skills

Let's take a look at the top hard skills for a Research Assistant. Some of the most critical are:

  • Research methods

  • Data collection and analysis

  • Results preparation

  • Data visualization

  • Research ethics

Research methods

Research Assistants must be familiar with the various types of research methods used. These include methods like surveys, interviewing, focus groups, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, observation, mixed methods, experiments, and longitudinal research. 

Data collection and analysis

Data collection and analysis is a foundational element to research and evaluation processes. Research Assistants must understand how to use data mining software and be able to interpret results appropriately. 

Results preparation

Preparing results is a common task that falls under the purview of a Research Assistant's roles and responsibilities. Applying appropriate processes and principles to prepare and present results with validating evidence is critical for this career path.

Data visualization

Sharing results using visualization techniques helps others better understand the data being presented. That's why many Research Assistants share results and findings using data visualization software and tools, like charts and graphs.  

Research laws and ethics

There are very strict rules when conducting experiments, especially when people are subjects in the study. As a Research Assistant, you must be knowledgeable about the various laws and ethical requirements when conducting and publishing research in your field. 

Additional Research Assistant resume hard skills

Here are some additional Research Assistant hard skills for success:

  • Safety and infection control standards

  • Quality control

  • Planning and scheduling

  • Interviewing

  • Process improvement

  • Microsoft Excel

Top Research Assistant soft skills

Now, let's review some of the critical soft skills required for a Research Assistant to be at the top of their game. They include:

  • Communication

  • Teamwork

  • Critical thinking

  • Attention to detail

  • Integrity


Research Assistants must have exemplary verbal and written communication skills. For one, their roles involve the need to actively listen to research instructions from team members and when taking in data during interviews. They also need to be able to effectively communicate with team members throughout the research and evaluation process to discuss challenges, processes, findings, and more. 

Team player 

Research is often conducted in a team setting, making the ability to work well in a team essential. Research Assistants need to collaborate and connect with other team members to help things run as smoothly and productively as possible.  

Critical thinking

Given that data analysis and evaluation is an essential function of assisting in research, it goes without saying that critical thinking is an in-demand skill for this role. Being able to ask the right questions, consider possible outcomes and solutions, analyze options, and make decisions are all important aspects of critical thinking. 

Attention to detail

As a research assistant, you must be detail-oriented. When conducting research and experiments, it is paramount to follow the process and requirements precisely and without straying off course. Every detail matters, and one mess-up can flaw the entire experiment, often requiring the need to start over, which costs valuable resources. 


Honesty and trustworthiness are essential in any position and are especially important when conducting research. People need to be able to trust that you'll honor the process and be forthcoming about results, even when they're not favorable. 

Additional Research Assistant resume soft skills

Here are some additional Research Assistant soft skills that employers tend to look for in candidates:

  • Organization

  • Problem-solving

  • Adaptability

  • Time management

  • Initiative

  • Decisiveness

  • Creativity

  • Proactivity

  • Interpersonal skills

Tips to enhance your Research Assistant skills

Regardless of where you're at in your career, there's always room for growth. Whether you're new to the field or more advanced, adding to and enhancing your list of research skills can give you a leg up on the competition. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Identify the skills you'd like to improve. The first step in enhancing your research skills is identifying your current skill set. From there, which skills would you like to improve, and what new skills would you like to acquire? 

  • Register for additional training. Once you know the skills you'd like to improve upon or acquire, you can research training opportunities that focus on those skills. There are lots of free online training courses and certifications focused on the research field. For example, if you'd like to learn new data analytics tools, look for data analytics courses or certifications. Or maybe you'd like to enhance your Microsoft Excel skills, so you register for a course that focuses on that software. 

  • Shadow or observe research specialists. A great option to improve Research Assistant skills is to ask to shadow or observe researchers while they work. Seek out researchers who research topics of interest to you or who apply the types of research models that you'd like to learn more about. 

Where to include skills on a Research Assistant resume

It's best to incorporate Research Assistant skills throughout your resume. Consider the following tips to help you do so:

  • In your resume summary, mention a few of your top skills that best align with the job description. 

  • Emphasize your skills throughout your Work History section. When highlighting soft skills, it's more impactful to show how you used them to achieve results instead of merely listing them. 

The following achievement, for example, speaks to the soft skills of leadership, analytical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and organization. Including such an achievement is a more robust choice than simply listing these skills in a skills or core competencies list. 

“Presented research results to a team of 20 potential investors using Microsoft Excel graphic analysis tools, leading to enhanced understanding of complex data sets.”

  • A core competencies list at the top of your resume that sits just below your resume summary is a great way to increase your resume's potential to get past an employer's applicant tracking system , while also grabbing the attention of hiring managers. Incorporating your top 9 to 12 core competencies – focused primarily on technical Research Assistant skills – is best. 

Expert tip:  Tailor your resume to the Research Assistant job description for each application you're considering. Incorporate the skills you have based on what each employer is specifically seeking. 

Include the best Research Assistant skills to stand out

Now that you have a comprehensive list of Research Assistant skills, use it as a practical tool to craft a resume that will grab the attention of hiring teams. You'll be well on your way to landing your next Research Assistant job and advancing your career in no time. Best of luck! 

Are you confident that your resume represents your Research Assistant skills in the best light possible? If not, consider submitting it for a free resume review to boost your confidence!

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