Molecular Biology Skills (With Definition And Examples)
Updated 14 March 2023
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A molecular biologist is a professional who studies plants, animals and human genetics to uncover relationships, variations and interactions between them. These professionals use soft skills like attention to detail and technical skills like molecular cloning and statistical data analysis to complete research and studies. If you have an interest in becoming a molecular biologist, knowing about the essential skills these professionals use can be beneficial for a successful career. In this article, we discuss what molecular biology skills are, list some examples, discuss how to improve these skills and share tips to highlight these skills during your job search.
What Are Molecular Biology Skills?
Molecular biology skills are abilities that a scientist uses to design and conduct experiments and biological research samples at the cellular and molecular levels. Molecular biology is the study of molecules in relation to animals and humans. Molecular biologists use their skills to write reports on the results of their experiments for academic publications and scientific journals. In addition, these skills help a molecular biologist study gene expression at the molecular level and follow lab safety procedures. Often, these skills overlap with skills in closely related fields, such as biophysics, genetics, biochemistry and biology.
Related: How To Become A Molecular Biologist (With Duties And Skills)
9 Examples Of Molecular Biology Skills
Here are some examples of molecular biology abilities required for a fulfilling career:
1. Statistical analysis
Statistical analysis is an essential skill of a molecular biologist because it helps gather and evaluate quantitative data to determine patterns, trends, and other commonalities. It helps molecular biologists develop advanced healthcare technologies and medicines. Having a good understanding of the different components of data analysis and statistics is essential for this job role.
2. Molecular cloning
Molecular or gene cloning is an essential genetic process that works by copying DNA from a living organism. Molecular biologist uses this process to develop recombination versions of the non-functional genes to know the functioning of a normal gene. Often, gene cloning is helpful in gene therapies. It is also helpful to analyse the effects of mutation on a particular gene. Interestingly, molecular cloning produces genetically modified micro-organisms.
3. Experimental design
Another essential skill of a molecular biologist is experimental design. It involves creating a hypothesis, gathering findings and evaluating the required data. The ability to choose the design of the experiment is essential for producing breakthrough innovations. To create effective experimental designs, it is important to understand that you know how to manipulate and evaluate the scientific variables.
4. Public health knowledge and strategies
Often, a molecular biologist might benefit from having knowledge about public health tactics. This skill helps a professional create strategies related to public health. For instance, professionals with molecular biology experience might be qualified to create public awareness strategies and projects about food safety practices. Using their knowledge of molecular biology, these professionals can develop health initiatives related to different bacteria and viruses.
5. Measuring pH
A molecular biologist often measures the power of hydrogen or the pH of various substances. The pH of a substance measures the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Scientists can identify the unique chemical properties and make scientific decisions by measuring the pH. A molecular biologist might find a substance's pH level to test a city's water quality and evaluate the chemical reactions of various substances.
6. Computer skills
Often, a molecular biologist uses programs to develop computer models of the structures under study. Using computers can help these biologists create presentations and write reports based on their laboratory findings. The ability to use this software can help biologists get hired for a desirable roles and complete their job duties.
Related: Basic Computer Skills: Definition And Examples
7. Attention to detail
As molecular biologists analyse biological samples at the molecular and cellular levels, they require excellent attention to detail. This can help in making observations regarding the organism and structure they study. Also, as their research can lead to new discoveries, providing accurate details is important.
Related: Attention To Detail: Definition, Examples And Tips
8. Problem-solving skills
Molecular biologists often use their problem-solving skills to analyse how different molecular organisms work and understand their functioning. Where the experiment results do not match a hypothesis, problem-solving skills help these professionals understand its reason. Being a problem-solver can also help them solve issues that arise while conducting experiments.
Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions And Examples
9. Critical thinking skills
Employers prefer a molecular biologist with excellent critical thinking skills because it helps them ask relevant questions and draw inferences about their work. Being a critical thinker helps these professionals develop innovative medical solutions and understand complex concepts. These skills can help them review others' work and deduce meaningful analyses from data.
How To Improve Your Molecular Biology Abilities?
To improve your molecular biology abilities, consider taking these steps:
1. Enroll in classes
Depending upon your current education level, look for courses at a university or online. Some popular courses and subjects that can help you increase your molecular biology abilities include:
Related: Stem Cell Research Careers (With Salaries, Duties And Tips)
2. Get relevant volunteering or internship experience
Find a volunteer position where you can develop your molecular biology abilities. You can even consider internships in organisations because it helps you learn skills under the direct supervision of an experienced professional. You can look for internship and volunteering opportunities in different places, such as:
Private companies involved in scientific research
3. Join a professional network
A professional network comprises a group of experts in a particular field. Consider joining a professional network that focuses on molecular science, biochemistry and genetics. Through these networks, you are often likely to meet experienced professionals who can provide guidance and help you develop essential skills. Many professional networks organise networking and professional events and offer discounted training sessions to improve your skills.
4. Attend molecular biology conferences
Attending molecular biology conferences and workshops keeps you up to date with the latest trends and happenings in this field. Through these conferences, you have time to discuss research projects and understand the latest developments in molecular biology. Search for such events at universities, community facilities and research centers.
5. Earn a certification
A certification is an official recognition of your abilities. It is a great way to improve your skill set and learn more about the developments in the molecular biology field. Certifications help in boosting your credentials.
Molecular Biology Abilities In The Workplace
You can use your biology skills in the workplace in many ways, such as:
To assess information and data accurately: Statistical analysis skill helps a molecular biologist develop advanced medicines and healthcare technologies. This helps in publishing results and designing new experiments.
To communicate information effectively: A molecular biologist uses their communication skills when working with others and writing reports about their findings. Using written communication, these professionals can present their ideas clearly to others.
To collaborate well with other professionals: These professionals might work with interns, scientists and business people, depending on the workplace. Knowing how to work well and collaborate with others can help you find success in molecular biology.
How To Highlight Your Molecular Biology Abilities?
Use these steps to highlight your molecular biology abilities during your job search:
1. Highlight your skills on the resume
Your resume is a document that lists your educational qualification, professional experience and skills. When creating your resume, highlight your molecular biology abilities by including them in your resume summary, skill section and work experience section. Review the job description and include skills that an employer is looking for in candidates. To capture the employer's interest, provide examples of situations where your skills helped you excel in the workplace. This makes your resume applicant tracking system (ATS) compliant.
Related: How To Write A Biotechnologist Resume (With Example)
2. Mention your skills in the cover letter
Cover letters provide a detailed overview of your skills, competencies and experience to potential employers. It is a document that helps explain why you are a suitable candidate for a particular job role. Give details about the molecular biology studies and research you completed and how these skills helped you complete your job duties.
3. Talk about your skills during an interview
Your interview is where you can showcase your skills and demonstrate your proficiency in the molecular biology field. Prepare for commonly asked interview questions and explain how your skills might be helpful to the employer. When highlighting them in your answer, be specific about the skills that have helped you conduct research, develop new medicines and analyse laboratory results.
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