20 Measurable Results That Any PhD Should Add To Their Industry Resume
By the end of my PhD studies, I found myself in a very bad place.
I knew I wanted to leave academia, but I didn’t know how to set up an industry job search strategy. The only thing I could think of was uploading resumes online.
I kept doing that, but I never heard back from employers. I knew there was another world out there, but I had no idea how to crack into it.
Eventually, I became convinced that I had no value. That my PhD was useless. And I lost all my motivation.
I had undervalued myself so much that I started doing landscaping work and working as a janitor.
Believe it or not, the job itself I actually enjoyed because I could see the impact of my work. I felt that I had gained back the control that academia had taken away from me.
This kind of situation happens a lot to PhDs.
We feel that academia takes away our control, so we decide to leave, but we get confronted with the overwhelming process of getting a job outside academia, we don’t know where to start, and we end up devaluing ourselves.
If this has happened to you, know that you are not alone and that you are valuable in industry. You just need to identify the gaps in your knowledge and understand the process of setting up a successful job search strategy.
So, how do you reinvent yourself to show employers that you are a valuable industry professional? You start with your industry resume.
The Impact Of A PhD-Level Industry Resume
The number one problem that PhDs face when starting their job search is formatting the bullet points on their resume correctly.
Every bullet point should have a specific structure; it should start with a transferable skill, move into a technical skill, and end with a quantified result (an actual numerical value).
In this blog, I want to focus on the last part of the bullet points: the measurable result.
You might think that this is a very small part of the job process. That you should first focus on more general aspects of your job search.
But, after working with thousands of PhDs, I discovered that by learning how to quantify and communicate your impact, you will go through a mindset change that will positively impact all steps of your job search.
Academia teaches PhDs that we shouldn’t make any claims over our results. That we should always use passive language when talking about our achievements. That we should avoid confirmation bias.
But this is the exact opposite of what industry employers are looking for. They are looking for extreme confirmation bias. They are looking for candidates who are aware of their impact and know how to communicate it.
If you have a PhD or are getting one, you have achieved results, but you have been thought to ignore them.
Today, I want to give your permission to say that you have achieved results. To start going through that mindset change.
There Is A Proven Pattern To Adding Measurable Results To Your Resume
Coming up with a template of transferable skills that PhDs can use in their resumes was not an easy task.
Everybody has a different story. The PhDs in our programs come from different backgrounds and are targeting different positions. They have a different number of publications and collaborations.
However, after looking at hundreds of successful resumes, I started to see some patterns that came up over and over again.
This allowed me to create a list of measurable results that any PhD – no matter their story – can add to their resume.
20 Measurable Results That Will Increase The Impact Of Your Resume
Seemingly Simple Results Are Valuable In Industry
Academia has probably trained you to think that the only valuable results you have achieved are publications in peer reviewed journals, but you have produced a lot of different deliverables.
Reports, presentations, figures, and methodologies are valuable in industry and you should add them to your resume. Just make sure to match them with relevant transferable and technical skills and use the transition language provided in the bullets below.
- …resulting in # of ABC reports.
- …resulting in # poster presentations on ABC topic.
- …resulting in # publications including a publication in ABC journal.
- …as evidenced by # of ABC documents.
- …as evidenced by the creation of # methodologies including ABC methodology.
- …as evidenced by the innovation of # methodologies including ABC methodology.
Second Cohort – Collaborations And Interactions
Industry is a collaborative environment, so industry hiring managers place a special value on interpersonal and leadership skills.
Make sure to claim any results that relate to collaboration, mentoring and teaching, as these show that you can work in a team and can lead and inspire your coworkers.
Don’t let imposter syndrome convenience you that you cannot claim these results because you didn’t achieve them alone. Nobody achieves anything alone, everything is part of a collaborative process and industry employers know that.
Once you make it to the interview process, you can explain your involvement in more detail.
But you only have a couple of seconds to convince someone looking at your resume to give you that interview. Don’t lose that chance because you are afraid to take ownership of a collaborative result. Instead, take a look at the following bullets and add them to your resume.
- …as evidenced by # collaborations including a collaboration with ABC research group.
- …as evidenced by mentoring # professionals on ABC topic.
- …as evidenced by teaching # professionals on ABC topic.
- …as evidenced by TAing # professionals on ABC topic with a #% completion rate.
- …as evidenced by teaching # professionals on ABC topic with a #% success rate.
- …as evidenced by a cross-functional collaboration with # different labs.
Adapt Your Results To Include Industry-Specific Jargon
Another way to increase the impact of your results is to change the language to refer to industry jargon.
Take the term SOP (standard operating procedures). It might sound like a very industry-specific result, but it refers to protocols and methodologies.
Look at the bullets below and use them as an inspiration to include keywords like “optimization,” “discoveries,” and “systems” to your resume.
- …as evidenced by # of optimized methodologies including ABC methodology.
- …as demonstrated by # of SOPs on ABC topic.
- …resulting in # experiments that led to # discoveries in the ABC field.
- …resulting in # of discoveries including ABC discovery.
- …as evidenced by the development of # systems in the ABC field.
- …as demonstrated by the development of # ABC processes.
Adding Measurable Money-Related Results Will Show Employers That You Understand The Language Of Industry
If a company cannot generate revenue, it cannot stay in business.
This is a fundamental truth that all industry employees must understand. The best way to show that you understand this is to add measurable money-related results to your resume.
This includes any funding or grant received by your lab. Even if you didn’t write the grant yourself, you can tell that your work resulted in securing that money.
- resulting in # in grant funding on ABC topic.
- leading to the development of ABC system that resulted in # funding.
If you’re feeling a sense of imposter syndrome, and don’t know where to start your job search. Start with what you’ve achieved. Thinking about the measurable results that you can add to your resume will not only increase your chances of getting called for an interview, it will impact your psychology and your whole transition in a positive way. Look at the templates of the measurable results we have discussed in this blog, identify the patterns, and adapt them to your personal story. This will help you remember your value as a PhD.
If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.
ABOUT ISAIAH HANKEL, PHD
CEO, CHEEKY SCIENTIST & SUCCESS MENTOR TO PHDS
Dr. Isaiah Hankel is the Founder and CEO of Cheeky Scientist. His articles, podcasts and trainings are consumed annually by 3 million PhDs in 152 different countries. He has helped PhDs transition into top companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Intel, Dow Chemical, BASF, Merck, Genentech, Home Depot, Nestle, Hilton, SpaceX, Tesla, Syngenta, the CDC, UN and Ford Foundation.
Dr. Hankel has published three bestselling books and his latest book, The Power of a PhD, debuted on the Barnes & Noble bestseller list. His methods for getting PhDs hired have been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Nature, Forbes, The Guardian, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine and Success Magazine.More Written by Isaiah Hankel, PhD