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Handshake student stories, Resumes and cover letters

The tools Elizabeth used to get hired at an elite research lab

Check out the resume template that helped them land their dream job.

Landing a fulfilling job can feel a bit like chemistry—what reaction might result from this resume combined with that experience and just a dash of networking? So naturally, Elizabeth, who double majored in biochemistry and molecular biology at Boston University, was up to the task of figuring out the perfect formula.

Using Handshake, a strong resume, and a whole lot of hard work, they built a roster of professional experience that ultimately let them to a cancer research support associate position in an elite research lab. Keep reading to learn how you can replicate their success!

Elizabeth developed a passion for science long before college, but they began pursuing research in earnest while pursuing their bachelor's degrees in biochem and molecular bio. They worked in several academic labs during these undergrad years, but as graduation quickly approached, Elizabeth began to feel anxious about building professional experience outside the confines of campus. So, they turned to Handshake.

“I tried to utilize all the Handshake profile features to fully capture my work and academic history which I think really enhanced my page," Elizabeth remembers. They made sure to fill out their Handshake profile completely, adding relevant items to their:

  • Interests (Job Interests, Cities, and Job Hunt Status)
  • Work & Volunteer Experience
  • Pronouns and Demographic Info
  • Organizations & Extracurriculars
  • Skills
  • Courses

Elizabeth also made sure that their profile was marked “visible” to employers, students, and alumni, so that employers who were looking for candidates with similar experience could find them.

Finally, to ensure that they could take advantage of Handshake's "Quick Apply" feature, Elizabeth kept an up-to-date, ATS-friendly resume on their Handshake profile at all times. They'd update their resume and Handshake profile with new details after each term ended, so that both always showed the most accurate representation of themselves as a candidate. With all of these factors in place, Elizabeth started seeing the traction they needed to land a role outside of academia, which helped build experience to further their career in research lab settings.

“I submitted an application for a research technician position at a small biotech company… the CEO reached out via direct message and asked if I was still interested in the role. The position was really exciting because I had only accumulated research experience in academic labs prior to that.

[After that role] I accepted a full-time position at MIT.”


Elizabeth's biotech lab experience was a great opportunity for learning that ultimately teed Elizabeth up for their role in cancer research at MIT after graduation. “It was flattering that my experience with cancer research and cell culture stood out on my Handshake profile and supported my candidacy for the role!”

If you want to replicate Elizabeth's formula, be sure to fill out your Handshake profile to the fullest, and keep an updated resume (filled with action words and demonstrable skills) in your documents! Visit your school's career center for personalized resume guidance, or you can check out the template that Elizabeth used below:

Download PDF ↗

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