Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist
resume bullet points

Join Isaiah as he explains why resume bullet points are important for PhDs to get hired in high-paying industry roles

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

  • First, Isaiah discusses what mistakes PhDs commit while crafting bullet points in their resume 
  • Next, Isaiah reveals why PhDs need to craft better resume bullet points to be hired into the industry
  • Finally, Isaiah explains what recruiters want to see in PhD resumes

From This Week’s Show… 

What Mistakes PhDs Commit While Crafting Resume Bullet Points

Your resume is your marketing document. The most challenging part of putting the resume together is carefully crafting the bullet points. Think about the last resume or academic CV you created. What did you write for the bullet points? Was any research involved? You either found a job posting you liked or merely thought about a job title you liked and started crafting bullet points.  

Points that you assumed would sound impressive for that job based on your past experience. Focused on the complex technical skills you learned in academia. Emphasized the number of years of experience you had in your PhD field or other academic field. Didn’t talk to a company who was actually hiring for the role.  

You probably didn’t even look at a job posting carefully.  Just skimmed the posting to get a “feel” for the role. Didn’t perform keyword research.  Or data inquiry. Just you pulled stuff from your memory at the time. This unstructured and sloppy resume strategy is a losing strategy. Hence, your resume is not getting any responses from industry employers.

Why PhDs Need To Craft Better Resume Bullet Points

Communicating your PhD value to the employer in the language of the industry is imperative. Get serious about the information you are writing on your resume. Look at every bullet point from the viewpoint of your audience: the employer. What is the number one thing they care about over everything else? It’s your ability to get hired. To learn the role quickly. Get along with everybody else on the team and fit in with the overall culture of the company. This is what industry employers care about first.

 They want to know that if they hire you, you will not disrupt their current team or their current processes. They care more about what is working already. And who is working for them already than anything you can bring to their organization. The hiring manager’s own job is on the line if they hire a PhD who torpedoes the company’s already highly functioning team. Therefore, your resume will be carefully evaluated to ensure that you are not just another awkward, arrogant or defensive PhD coming out of academia. The only way to ensure that you understand what is important to industry employers is to start every bullet point with transferable skills that these employers prize most. 

What Recruiters Want To See In Your Resume

Transferable skills are most important. Quantified results are a close second. Recruiters and hiring managers are amused when they see a resume that starts with “10 years of experience in…”. Experience must match achievement. Industry employers ask, You have a PhD? So what? If you have the exact skills the position calls for? So what? You worked with a Nobel laureate? So what? 

Ask yourself “So what?” over and over again as you write your resume bullet points until you get to a result that matters. And then quantify that result. What good are your skills if you haven’t used your skills to achieve anything? Who cares if you have “10 years of microbiology experience” or similar? What have you achieved during those 10 years? Anything at all? 

Academia rewards tenure (not anymore given the free fall of tenure positions in academia), not industry. The good news is you have achieved meaningful results in your academic career. Acknowledge them. The exact result you have achieved matters less than your understanding of the importance of results, And your ability to communicate your results. 

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.

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