Networking

Why networking should be the focus of your job search efforts and how to do it the right way.

How To Get A Referral Without The Messy Emotions

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Towards the end of my PhD, I felt like I was racing time. And time was winning. I was frantically trying to wrap up loose ends in my research, finish writing my thesis, all the while trying to find a job. I knew I wanted a job in industry. In fact, I knew exactly the job I wanted. I just didn’t know how to get there. I was sending my resume off into the abyss of the internet, but I wasn’t getting any replies. I couldn’t fathom what I was doing wrong. The whole thing felt pointless. Now, looking back…

5 Insider Rapport Building Tips (or, How To Make In Person Networking Non-Dreadful)

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Like many PhDs, I’m an introvert. That means my tendency is to avoid face-to-face interactions at all costs. But when it came time to search for a job in industry, my introverted tactics weren’t working. I was reaching out to people online, even getting a few responses, but in the end, all my efforts fell flat. After months of this, I was right where I started – unemployed. Then, I started noticing what my colleagues were doing; the ones that were getting job referrals and interviews at least. They weren’t just reaching out to people online, they were also attending…

6 Credible Networking Scripts That Make Employers Pay Attention

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Just as “location, location, location” is the mantra of real estate, “networking, networking, networking” should be your mantra during your industry job search. During the final year of my PhD, I finally conceded – the only way I was going to get a job in industry was through networking. So, like many PhDs, I fired up my computer, hopped on LinkedIn, and clicked the blue “connect” button until my fingers ached. I sent out the same message to each new contact telling them about all my wonderful accomplishments before I asked them for a job. You know what happened after…

Master The Informational Interview (And How To Land A Referral)

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

By the time I started my industry job search, I was desperate. I was nearing the end of my PhD and I was consumed with what seemed like a million last-minute tasks – final experiments, last drafts, and defense presentations. I felt like I didn’t have the time to dedicate to my job search. And what little effort and time I did put into it was haphazard. My attempts involved repeatedly clicking the LinkedIn “Connect” button and uploading the same resume to any online job posting I could find. To make matters worse, I wasn’t even sure what job I…

6 Ways PhDs Waste Their Time At In-person Networking Events (And What You Should Do Instead)

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Networking in person is key to getting a job in industry. Despite knowing this, I avoided doing it at all costs during my PhD. I tried it a few times at scientific conferences, but nothing happened. It seemed pointless. Not only that, but it was down-right scary. And so, like many PhDs, I gave up. I allowed myself to make excuses. I thought “I’m way too busy to attend all these networking events”… or, “I don’t need to network – if I just send out enough resumes online, I’ll surely land a job”. But boy, was I wrong! I can’t…

5 Cheesy Networking Gimmicks To Avoid

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

During my PhD, I knew that networking was the key to getting a job in industry. And so, I did what every other PhD I knew was doing… I went to conferences equipped with a copy of my resume and a handful of business cards. Then, during breaks, I would follow the crowd out onto the vendor floor. I would wander around aimlessly looking for a vendor that wasn’t busy. The problem was, so was every other PhD that was looking for a job. At the end of a conference, if I handed out all my business cards and shook…

7 Things PhDs Should Always Do When Networking Online

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

If you want to get a PhD-level industry position, you need to set up a networking strategy and invest in your professional relationships. You can build rapport with someone else by networking in person, either at networking events, or over a cup of coffee. However, online networking is another powerful tool you can use to reach out to industry professionals and start a conversation. Do you know how to turn a LinkedIn connection into a job referral? If you don’t, you’re in trouble and are probably missing out on some great opportunities. Take for example the following story a member…

The Wrong Job Search Workflow Most PhDs Follow (& What To Do Instead)

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Many PhDs think that getting an industry job is similar to the academic process. They spend a significant amount of time writing peer reviewed journal articles and grants. So, it makes sense for them to spend large amounts of time writing and rewriting their industry resume. They probably had to give oral presentations and conclude their PhDs by going through a dissertation. So, they focus on what they think is the industry equivalent of this process, which is preparing for an interview. Academia teaches that if you go through the publication process, and an oral defense, you will be successful…

The 3 Components Of A Professional Job Search Profile

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

The components of your professional job search profile are important. If you want to transition into industry, you need to talk the language of industry and show that to potential referrals and employers. You probably already heard me say this, but do you know what it actually means? It means you need to know how you are portraying yourself from the very first moment you start planning your transition. Even before you start applying for jobs. If you are looking to transition into industry, but are applying to positions using an academic CV instead of an industry resume, you are…

5 Job Search Time Wasters That PhDs Should Stop Doing Immediately

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Feeling discouraged with your job search strategy? Have you uploaded hundreds of resumes without hearing back from employers? Are you starting to think you are not cut out for an industry position? This happens to many PhDs at some point in their transition journey.  They don’t know how to execute a correct job search strategy. So they waste lots of time doing things that don’t yield any result. Then get discouraged. An industry job search is maddening. As PhDs we are never trained rigorously on how to do it in academia. Most PhDs are never trained on how to execute…

The Number One Reason PhDs Fail To Get Hired In Industry

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Today, I want to talk about the number one reason you are not being hired. You might think it’s because you are overqualified or underqualified for your target position. Or that you just can’t get hired because you lack industry experience. But the number one reason you are not getting hired is because you are invisible to industry hiring managers and recruiters. They simply don’t know who you are or the value you bring to the table. Understanding and accepting this should encourage you to change the way that you approach your job search.  Only then will you increase your…

Stuck And Purposeless In Academia? Here's What To Do

By: Isaiah Hankel, PhD

Feeling purposeless and stuck? Every PhD will reach a point in their academic career where they have to reconnect with their purpose. Maybe you realize that you are not doing what you are doing for the right reasons. That you are working towards some else’s goal. Maybe you feel that achievements like a new publication or the title of “Doctor” are some sort of carrot that you have to chase without having a clear end in sight. This is especially true at the end of your academic career, where you have spent years working towards your PhD, or chasing endless…