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Resume Skills for Political Science
Political scientists use research and critical analysis to study and interpret political processes. The training and knowledge obtained through political science are useful in the areas of academics, nonprofits and government. However, there are some basic skills that all political science resumes should include to strengthen your likelihood of success in whatever industry you pursue.
Researching skills are essential to working as a political scientist. You must be able to use various databases, resources and interview skills to gather information on particular topics. If you are a new college graduate, consider the research you completed while pursuing your degree. You most likely authored several term papers and projects and may have gained substantial experience using specific research databases. Include these skills on your resume to exemplify your ability to conduct research. If you are an applicant who has been in the workforce, include your knowledge of databases like LexisNexis and Westlaw. Also incorporate any experience you have with quantitative or qualitative research.
Once research is gathered, the political scientist must be able to analyze it. Analytical skills enable you to take a critical look at gathered data to identify trends and important details. You must also be able to think about logical conclusions and formulate possible solutions. Demonstrate your ability to analyze facts on your resume. As part of your work experience, include a brief statement about a situation where you were able to identify a problem and create a successful solution. Analytical skills can also be demonstrated through the creation of new programs or creative methods of completing a task.
Political scientists must be able to communicate their findings, making verbal and written communication skills essential. Include any accomplishments or experiences where you successfully communicated complex information to an audience. Writing jobs are useful in this skill set. If you wrote for a college newspaper or authored newsletters for a club, include this information as a demonstration of your abilities. Public speaking experiences are also appropriate to show that you are a proficient communicator. If this is not a skill that you have done in a work environment, consider your social environment as an alternative. Perhaps you were a regular presenter in church, or you facilitated organization meetings. These experiences contribute to your skill set. Include them in your political science resume.
The Team Player
Political science often entails working in a team environment to collaborate on a particular problem or issue. Your resume should reflect your abilities and experiences working in this type of situation. Be careful about using the phrase “team player." This term is too generic and does not give the potential employer a clear view of your skill set. Instead, include specific examples of your experiences in a team environment to demonstrate your willingness to participate in a group setting.
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Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.