Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist
comprehensive job search

Join Isaiah as he shares the five key steps of the comprehensive job search process for PhDs to be hired into top industry positions

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah explains why PhD students should follow the comprehensive job search process
  • Next, Isaiah reveals how lack of specific keywords weeds phd resumes out of the system
  • Finally, Isaiah describes the 5 core steps of the comprehensive job search process

From This Week’s Show… 

Why PhD Students Should Follow The Comprehensive Job Search Process

Today , I will talk about a comprehensive job search guide for PhDs. If you could break down the job search process into steps, what would those steps be? The PhD job search process is extensive and mandates planning and determination. Each step has to be carefully planned and executed to land success. 

PhD job search is a multi-step strategy. Learning about only one or two steps will only let you reach a certain point and not the ultimate goal. You never stop at one step, you need to read it through all the way from beginning to finish.  Gather all the information about all the steps to know the scope of what is involved. You need to be prepared for the next step. 

Many PhDs don’t update their resume, they use the same resume for every other job posting. Some PhDs started targeting their resume to specific roles a few times. Then they stopped as it didn’t work. They just started using the same resume or they targeted it with a bare minimum amount of change. A perfect resume alone can’t get you the job but a bad resume can keep you from getting a job. Resume is the only document that is pertinent to all stages of the job search process. Even during the last stages of the interview, a resume is analyzed to finalize your candidature.  It is a very important document and has to be very specific. 

PhDs must follow a comprehensive pattern and set that into their schedule for achieving success.

Lack Of Specific Keywords Weeds PhD Resumes Out Of The System 

Some academic keywords are weeding PhDs out of the race. The applicant tracking system sidelines you when it can’t find the relevant experience as you have listed your academic job titles as graduate research & assistant postdoctoral fellow. Algorithms are smart today. It goes into your work experience section. And keys in on that title to compare it with the database that the employer has put in as important words. If there are no matches, you won’t proceed to the next step. 

Salary expectations are the second criteria. Hence, don’t leave that blank. If you do, you will be weeded out. There’s a strategy for filling in the salary expectations. So, you need to find out the salary of that position from a few websites. And take their average. Then decrease it by 10% and make that your top number for the salary range question. Now you can’t put zero in the bottom. So cut that top number at half. That’s your bottom range. 

Remember this early on in your job search, that you don’t negotiate unless you have a written offer. You just want to deflect. 

5 Key Core Steps Of The Comprehensive PhD Job Search Process 

Job titles, resumes, LinkedIn, referrals and interviews are the five core steps that need attention. You need to go through the entire process not just a part of it to ensure transition into an industry position of value. Recruiters don’t just hire people, they ensure that you are the perfect fit for the company and its culture. 

You have to choose your right resume format. Give a different resume to a recruiter because they know that you’re prioritizing them by putting those technical skills to the top. Therefore, you have to get your resume into a functional format, a recruiter format, a combination format, or a sidebar format. Then remove the phrases that have been seared into your resume from reading outdated articles. After that choose a few job descriptions of your interest and go through them with a fine-tooth comb. That will help you while creating your bullet points. Each bullet point must highlight your transferable and technical skill with the results accomplished. 

Highlight your skills but in corporate language. Hence, scan through a few job descriptions, look at the way the technical skills are highlighted. Then use the exact terminology to highlight the relevant skills on your resume. The ATS software is way too smart. Hence, don’t generalize your skills as, 10 years of experience in microbiology, team player, enthusiastic, you’re weeded out. They have databases of the words they’re looking for which can be found in the job description. 

Concrete numbers, results oriented bullet points will increase your credibility. 

** for the full podcast, check out the audio player above

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