Catherine Sorbara, Ph.D.
Catherine Sorbara, Ph.D.

Cathy has a PhD in Medical Life Science and Technology and is COO of the Cheeky Scientist Association. Cathy is passionate about science communication including translating science to lay audiences and helping PhDs transition into industry positions. She is Chair of Cambridge AWiSE, a regional network for women in science, engineering and technology. She has also been selected to take part in Homeward Bound 2018, an all-female voyage to Antarctica aimed to heighten the influence of women in leadership positions and bring awareness to climate change.

Articles Written By Catherine Sorbara, Ph.D.

These Are The 5 Parts Of A Gold Standard PhD Level Industry Resume (Does Your Resume Have #3?)

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

If you are submitting your resume to online job postings or to job portals then is very likely that your resume is never seen by a person. Jobscan reported that 98% of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking software. Many large to medium sized companies use ATS systems as well. When companies get thousands (or tens of thousands for companies like Microsoft or Google) of resumes every week they rely on these systems to weed out unqualified candidates. But if your resume is not optimized then you could get rejected, even if you are a qualified candidate. Baruch College reported…

Make A Great First Impression With These 7 Interview Attire Tips For PhDs

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

From the moment you enter the grounds of the company, your interview has begun. Everything from the way you act to the way you are dressed will factor into the hiring decision. And you don’t get a second chance. According to an article published in Psychological Science, people decide if someone is trustworthy within 100ms. So the way you present yourself the very first time you meet someone is of the utmost importance.

I Finally Started Getting Contacted By Employers On LinkedIn When I Updated These 5 Parts Of My LinkedIn Profile

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

LinkedIn is filled with opportunities for you to not only connect with and learn from industry professionals, but to find job openings. According to LinkedIn, 30,000 companies in the U.S. use LinkedIn to recruit, and over 3 million jobs are posted on LinkedIn in the U.S. every month. So if you are not seeing opportunities and you are not being contacted by employers, the problem is your profile, not a lack of job openings.

These 7 Resume Mistakes Are Keeping You From Getting Hired In Industry As A PhD

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

A good resume is not going to get you a job, but a bad resume can prevent you from being hired. At the heart of your job search is networking. Networking, not with the goal to meet as many people as possible, but with the goal of making real connections with industry professionals and learning about their careers. Only 3% of job candidates have a referral, so you immediately become a more exclusive candidate if you have one. But once you do hand over that resume it needs to be excellent. It needs to engage the reader and keep them…

Increase Your Hireability As a PhD By Knowing These 7 Industry Trends

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

You have the skills that an employer needs in a new hire, but you must know how to showcase those skills and you need to learn how to stay up to date with the latest industry trends. The ‘soft skill’ of commercial acumen or business acumen develops out of a strong understanding of current market trends. By constantly staying informed about what is happening in your industry you can make sound decisions for a company. So you need to start learning about the latest trends in your industry.

5-Step Guide To Writing A Professional Resume In 2019

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

Nature reported that in just 2 years the number of science postdocs alone grew by 150%. Universities are graduating huge numbers of PhDs every year and these highly trained PhDs end up taking postdoc positions because that is what they are ‘supposed to do’ next. But instead of the postdoc leading to a professorship or some other faculty position, PhDs are getting stuck in the postdoc phase. The study referenced above found that 10% of all postdocs have been a postdoc for more than 6 years. And recently, Phys.org reported that this is a trend that has been going on…

Employers Stopped Seeing Me As "Just An Academic" When I Started Attending Earnings Calls

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

As an academic PhD, you have probably never even heard of an “earnings call”. But, as you transition into industry, it’s important that you become more well-versed in industry concepts — such as earnings calls, because industry needs employees who have good business acumen. 65% of business leaders said that a lack of business acumen strongly inhibits the execution of company strategies (BTS). If you develop strong commercial and business acumen, you can be a great asset to a company. And, listening to earnings calls is a great strategy to develop and improve your business acumen.

Stop Getting Rejected For PhD Jobs By Learning These 7 Business Concepts

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

57% of business leaders reported that soft skills are more important than technical skills (LinkedIn). Skills like leadership, communication, collaboration and time management were at the top of the list. Business intelligence also made the top 20 list of in-demand skills. When companies have a pool of talented job candidates, having a solid understanding of business can make you the top candidate. 41% of Chief Human Resources Officers cited business acumen as the most lacking skill when sourcing new talent (Consultancy UK). Your PhD makes you a highly desirable candidate. And, a solid business understanding will put you right to…

I Was Desperate For A Job During My Negotiation And It Cost Me $10,000/Year

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

Negotiating increases starting salary by an average of 13.3% (Glassdoor). That means if your initial offer was $80,000, simply engaging in a basic negotiation could raise your salary to above $90,000. All you have to say is, “Thank you so much for the offer. I am so excited to join the company. But, I was hoping for a high salary. What’s possible?” That simple sentence can earn you $10,000. But, the majority of people don’t negotiate. Only 46% of men and 34% of women negotiate their salary (Robert Half). The vast majority of people are completely missing out on the…

I Made 7 Ridiculous Errors At My Onsite Interview. Here’s What They Were.

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

You’ve made it to the in-person interview stage. Now is when you can really shine and show the employers why you are the best candidate, because many of the top skills employers want are difficult to convey on paper. The most sought-after transferable skills are leadership, communication, collaboration, and time management (LinkedIn). The way you perform at your in-person interview can demonstrate whether or not you possess these in-demand skills. The skill you will be able to demonstrate best during an interview is communication. Simple communication mistakes can lead to rejection, where 50% of hiring managers would not hire someone…

5 Unexpected Challenges I Faced After Getting Hired

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

In this Q&A Evguenia Alechine, PhD discusses what she does as a scientific editor and how this position is meaningful to her. She also discusses how transitioning into industry brought out her management skills and allowed her to develop her strengths even further.

Why PhDs (Like Me) Fail Video Interviews - Here’s What To Avoid

By: Catherine Sorbara, PhD

75% of companies are using video interviews in their hiring process (The Society For Human Resource Management). And, 56% of talent professionals and hiring managers say that new interview tools are the top trend impacting how they hire (LinkedIn). This includes video interviews — both 2-way and 1-way video interviews. Using video interviews and AI can reduce hiring time from weeks to days, and can reduce the number of pre-hire questions from hundreds to just a handful (Deloitte). Many companies are using the combination of video and AI, by using services such as HireVue, to screen candidates. Video interviews are…