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Successful Industry Professionals


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PhD Job Search Cheeky Scientist

A PhD Job Search—What’s Normal And What’s Not

“Thank you for submitting your resume but the position has been filled.” This is the only response I received after several months of applying to PhD jobs online. I submitted dozens of resumes and only heard back that one time. It was embarrassing. At least I thought it was embarrassing. Years later I found out that only 5% of resumes submitted online ever receive a response, good or bad. Just 5%! I assumed I would always get a response after submitting my resume, even if it was negative. I also assumed that there were at most 20-30 other people applying [...]

Industry Resume

10 Things Smart PhDs Do NOT Put On Their Industry Résumés

What are you supposed to do when you send hundreds of résumés out and get nothing back but a few automated responses? This is the question I was trying to answer my last year of graduate school. I literally sent out hundreds of résumés. I posted my resume to Monster.com and waited for the tidal wave of industry job offers to roll in. Yeah…that didn’t happen. I polished up a generic résumé and uploaded it to dozens of industry job websites. I remember getting on Pfizer and Baxter’s websites, clicking the job opportunities tab, and seeing all the industry job openings. [...]

Industry Success

77 Things Getting My PhD Taught Me About Industry Success

My first interview for an industry position happened during my last year of graduate school over a steak burrito. The owner of the company cancelled on me 4 times and then called me late one night and told me to meet him for lunch. He asked me a few questions then gave me the job. This wasn’t what I expected. I thought that I’d be flown out to the company headquarters for a couple of days, give a chalk talk with people in blue and grey suits and then be given a formal offer that, in my mind, resembled an international treaty [...]

You Are Not Alone

Dear PhD, You Are Not Alone. Everyone Is Uncertain In Academia.

I snuck out of lab early the week after finishing my comprehensive exam to go on a job interview. I’d made up my mind—I was dropping out of graduate school. That’s right. I was going to leave with my Masters degree, get a job, get paid, and leave the academic grind behind. I was so excited about the possibility of escaping that I couldn’t hold a thought in my head. The interview went well and I was given an offer. Wow. That was much easier than I thought. But wait—things just got real. Now, I really had to drop out. [...]

Job Candidates PhD

7 Advantages PhDs Have Over Other Job Candidates

“Big companies don’t want to hire PhDs because they’re overqualified and too independent.” This is what a career counselor told a room full of students my third year of graduate school. It was 7pm in the evening and we all had to show up to a late night seminar series that the University was holding for graduate students. Okay, we didn’t have to show up but it was strongly encouraged. So I signed up. The first night was about business ethics, which basically amounted to the guy saying don’t launder money and don’t steal office supplies. The second night was [...]

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