Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join us as we talk about…

In this week’s episode…

  • You’ll learn that your PhD is valuable, it’s your job search strategy that needs upgrading
  • Next you’ll learn 5 tips that will help you during your job search
  • Finally, you’ll learn that rejection is part of the job search process and beating yourself will only make it worse.

Stuck. Ignored. No one wants to read your resume. You almost got hired but then didn’t. Rejected. This is the experience of every PhD searching for a job at one point or another. The key is to not turn failure in your job search into thinking you’re a failure or you’re somehow not valuable.

You and your PhD are very valuable, it’s your job search strategy and network that needs upgrading. So today I want to tell you about 5 things we’re training our members on that are working really well for getting unstuck and, in many cases, are resulting in getting hired in a matter of weeks or months.

First, you need to try adding 3-8 word headlines to the top of your resume. AI resume filters love these headlines right now. Keep the headline focused on your key skills and make sure they match what’s on the job posting. These headlines are really just unique selling propositions whereby you combine two sides of your skill sets, one niche and one transferable, and then make sure it’s relevant to the job you’re applying to.

The headline should be at the top of your resume in 16-24 font and should be free of jargon – that’s right, steer clear of industry-specific jargon or acronyms that may not be universally understood. Instead, use plain language that can be easily comprehended by a broad audience. Examples include “Biomedical Research & Effective Project Manager” and “User Experience Research Skills & Cross-Functional Collaborator”. Both are niche skills followed by transferable skills. Note that you can get the job title you’re seeking, like “User Experience Researcher” into your headline by putting “Skills” at the end.

Second, watch employee counts on LI. Track the employee reported size of a company week to week on their company LI page to see if they’re really hiring. It’s better to get your resume in when there’s a net increase the week before than a net decrease.

Third, apply Sunday night or Monday morning. Your odds of getting an interview can go up as much as 43% (Talent Works). Most of us ignore the “when” of a job search, like when to apply. Hiring managers tend to pull resumes on Monday and spend the rest of the week calling the resumes they pulled.

Fourth, ask a gatekeeper if the job is available before applying. Up to half of the jobs posted today are ghost job listings – a listing the company has no intention of hiring or no intention of hiring anytime soon. A Microsoft Careers article added further evidence to this recently by saying that up to half the jobs posted online won’t be filled in the next 4 months. Send a few connection requests to gatekeepers with a simple message about the posting you saw and ask if it’s still available.

Fifth, prepare “Why you?” and “Why us?” answers before any interview. Create a list of 10 or more reasons why you can be the best fit for the job and 10 or more reasons why you really want to work at that company and in that specific position. Make sure you know the company’s value proposition, brand promise, their products, what they sell their products for, who their customer segments are, their cultural values, corporate strategy, mission statement and particular goals for the role you’re applying to before any interview.

Feeling stuck in your job search is very common. Beating yourself up only makes it worse. You and your PhD are very valuable. Change your approach and keep a strong mindset. Understand that getting hired is impossible without multiple rejections. Always be looking for higher level strategies like the ones presented today and you will get hired. It only takes one “yes”.

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