Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel
Isaiah Hankel
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join Isaiah as he discusses the most common job search pitfalls that PhDs face and shows you how to overcome each of them

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

  • First, Isaiah presents the most common challenge PhDs face in their job search: not knowing where to start
  • Next, Isaiah explains why you need to improve your networking game if you want to overcome most job search pitfalls
  • Finally, Isaiah gives you pointers to ensure you avoid the final pitfall you will face before getting a job offer

From This Week’s Show… 

How To Avoid Staying Stuck In Academia

The average PhD job search lasts 18 months for those trying to do it themselves… but for some,  it can take 8 years or more. We’ve all met TAs or postdocs who’ve talked about leaving academia only to still be in the same role several years later.

The truth is, transitioning into industry is hard work! So today, I want to discuss some of the job search pitfalls PhDs face and how to overcome them.

The first challenge is knowing where to start. The key here is to figure out what’s important to you. What’s your ideal workday? What tasks do you enjoy doing?

Then, start finding companies that will allow you to have this lifestyle. Most people make the mistake of reversing these steps – they find a company or worse, job title only, that sounds interesting and then they try to adjust their lifestyle to fit a job description.

Job Search Pitfalls Related To Networking

Another pitfall that many PhDs encounter is the silent treatment, or as it’s referred to in industry, radio silence. You send out resume after resume but receive no replies.

Sound familiar? The problem isn’t your resume – it’s that your resume never gets looked at. 95% of resumes submitted online are never read.

To avoid this, you have to network and drive referrals – generating referrals is the only way to get your resume into the hands of the hiring manager.

This brings up another networking-based job search pitfall: talking to people but not being able to advance the conversation to the point where they get a recommendation for a job.

If this is you, my guess is that you’re either too afraid to ask for help or you’re coming on too strong.

If you’re not asking for help, keep it simple. Ask for insights on how they got hired and then ask for advice on how you can do the same.

If you’re asking people for help and not getting anywhere, change your approach – instead, ask for an informational interview. This way, you’re not asking them to do something for you; you’re asking for their advice.

The Final Job Search Pitfall

Even with a referral, many PhDs find it difficult to get an interview or they get the referral and the interview, but don’t get an offer.

Chances are, you didn’t convince the employer that you will immediately bring enough value to the table.

To increase your perceived value, you must show the employer examples of how you’ve solved problems in the past that are similar to the problems they need you to solve now – in doing so, you will prove that you are the best person for the job.

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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