Forensic Chemist Resume Example & Writing Guide

Use this Forensic Chemist resume example and guide to improve your career and write a powerful resume that will separate you from the competition.

Forensic chemists are highly specialized scientists who use chemistry to solve legal cases. They’re often called upon to analyze blood, urine, or tissue samples in order to identify an individual’s presence at a crime scene, or to determine whether a substance is an illicit drug or prescription medication.

Forensic chemists might also help police identify suspects by testing fingerprints or footprints, or by examining ballistics or DNA evidence. And although they’re often called on to present their findings in court, forensic chemists rarely work alone. Many of the job duties they perform require collaboration with other forensic scientists and law enforcement officials.

If you love science and enjoy solving complex problems, a career as a forensic chemist might be right for you. Here are some tips plus an example resume for reference when writing your own resume as well as some example resumes for reference.

Michael Garcia
Phoenix, AZ | (123) 456-7891 | [email protected]

Driven, detail-oriented forensic chemist with experience in crime scene investigation, evidence analysis, and drug identification. Proven ability to work independently and under pressure to meet tight deadlines. Seeking a challenging position that will allow me to use my skills and knowledge to help investigate crimes and protect the public.

University of California, Davis Jun '10
M.S. in Forensic Science
University of California, Davis Jun '06
B.S. in Chemistry
Company A, Forensic Chemist Jan '17 – Current
  • Performed qualitative and quantitative analysis of drugs, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, explosives, food additives using GC/MS and LC/MS instruments.
  • Analyzed samples for controlled substances (e.g., marijuana, cocaine) in urine by immunoassay methods such as EMIT or ELISA.
  • Assisted with the development of analytical procedures to ensure accuracy and precision of results and assisted in the training of other forensic chemists on new techniques and methodologies used in the laboratory.
  • Participated in quality control activities including proficiency testing program participation and internal audits to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and agency policies & procedures.
  • Provided expert testimony regarding findings at depositions, hearings, grand jury proceedings, preliminary examinations, trials or administrative hearings as required by law enforcement agencies within the jurisdiction served by the crime lab where employed.
Company B, Forensic Chemist Jan '12 – Dec '16
  • Analyzed and interpreted data from chromatographic separations, spectrophotometric measurements, radiochemical assays, and other analytical techniques
  • Prepared samples for analysis using a variety of methods including filtration, centrifugation, acidification, and addition of reagents
  • Conducted qualitative and quantitative analyses on drugs/metabolites in urine (LC-MS/MS), blood (GC-MS), hair (ICP-OES) and other matrices
  • Performed quality control testing on incoming samples to ensure that they met acceptable criteria before proceeding with testing
  • Maintained equipment by performing routine maintenance as needed; troubleshooting malfunctions when necessary
Company C, Forensic Science Technician Jan '09 – Dec '11
  • Analyzed and interpreted evidence collected from crime scenes.
  • Performed various tests on evidence to determine its nature and identify any possible clues.
  • Prepared reports detailing the findings of the analysis and presented them to law enforcement officials.

Industry Knowledge: Chemistry, Forensic Science, Toxicology, Drug Analysis
Technical Skills: NIST, GC/MS, FTIR, HPLC, GC, Mass Spec, UV/Vis, HPLC, MS, NMR, TLC
Soft Skills: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Time Management, Teamwork

How to Write a Forensic Chemist Resume

Here’s how to write a forensic chemist resume of your own.

Write Compelling Bullet Points

Bullet points are the most effective way to showcase your experience and qualifications. And when it comes to bullet points, the more specific and detailed you can be, the better.

For example, rather than saying you “analyzed chemicals,” you could say you “analyzed chemicals using gas chromatography to identify unknown compounds for use in criminal investigations.”

The second bullet point is much more specific and provides more detail about what exactly you did and the type of work you did.

Identify and Include Relevant Keywords

When you apply for a forensic chemist role, your resume is likely to go through an applicant tracking system (ATS). This program will scan your resume for certain keywords related to the job, like “drug analysis” or “DNA analysis.” If your resume doesn’t include enough of the right terms, the ATS might disqualify you from the pool of applicants.

To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, use this list of commonly used forensic chemist keywords as a starting point:

  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • GC-MS
  • Atomic Absorption
  • Spectroscopy
  • Spectrometry
  • Forensic Science
  • FT-IR
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Atomic Spectroscopy
  • Chromatography
  • Nitonation
  • Analytical Techniques
  • Natural Gas
  • Forensic Analysis
  • NMR
  • Drug Analysis
  • Gas Chromatography
  • Petroleum
  • High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers
  • Analytical Method Development
  • Materials Science
  • Chromatographic Analysis
  • Isotope Ratio Dating
  • Characterization
  • Microscopy
  • Mass Spectrometry Imaging

Showcase Your Technical Skills

In order to be a successful forensic chemist, you need to be proficient in a number of technologies. This includes programs like Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), data analytics software, and scientific research software. Additionally, forensic chemists need to be familiar with laboratory equipment and how to use it effectively.


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