Transition Report On-Demand

Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel
Isaiah Hankel
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

The premier podcast by industry PhDs. With thousands of monthly listeners, the Cheeky Scientist Radio podcast is dedicated to helping PhDs transition into their first or next industry position. Every episode provides leading edge insights on how PhDs can avoid career failure and job search rejections, and instead attract hiring managers and recruiters to get hired into top industry jobs. Recent shows cover industry resumes, LinkedIn profiles, creating a job search strategy, identifying surging career tracks and avoiding dead end career tracks, successfully preparing for and passing phone screens, video interviews and site visits, and much more. This show features top industry PhDs in 50+ different industry positions. Subscribe now and listen.


Handling Awkward Pre-Recorded Video Interviews

Friday January 27, 2023

Join Isaiah as he discusses the challenges of pre-recorded video interviews and explains how you can ace your next one Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah introduces PhDs to pre-recorded interviews, an emerging trend in recruiting process Next, he covers what kind of questions you can expect to be asked in a pre-recorded interview Finally, Isaiah breaks down some of the major hurdles PhDs face when it comes to making a good impression on a pre-recorded interview From This Week’s Show… PhDs Are Seeing An Uptick In The Number Of Pre-Recorded Video Interviews Employers Are Asking For If you haven’t already encountered a pre-recorded video interview in your industry job search, just wait – you will.  Pre-recorded video interviews are gaining in popularity, so chances are, you’re going to have to do one.  So, start preparing now.  If you go into this kind of video interview unprepared, even though it’s pre-recorded, it’s going to be painfully obvious.  There Are Things You Need To Be Aware Of Before Your Next Pre-Recorded Video Interview The most important thing to realize is that you can’t just stop and start over if you mess up.  You only get one chance…

How To Ruin A Video Interview

Wednesday January 25, 2023

Join Isaiah as he covers what it takes to execute a successful video interview and shares tips for impressing potential employers virtually Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah takes a look at the growing prevalence of video interviews in the post-pandemic job market Next, he gives 3 tips to avoid the biggest mistakes PhDs make during their virtual interview Finally, Isaiah closes by explaining that video interview etiquette can outweigh a candidate’s qualifications From This Week’s Show… Many PhDs Go Into Their Video Interview Completely Unprepared The last few years have forced companies to change how they conduct interviews.  Video interviews are now standard. In fact, a recent report showed that 60% of HR managers report having used or are currently using video interviews in their hiring process.  That’s because they’re faster, more efficient, and can often be more telling than a paper resume or audio-only phone call.  From a company’s standpoint, video interviews strike the perfect balance between utility and efficiency.  The problem is, for many PhDs, video interviews are more nerve-wracking than interviewing in person.  It’s weird seeing your own gestures and expressions while you talk; its uncomfortable hearing your own voice; it’s challenging…

Expert Negotiation Tactics From An Ex-FBI Agent

Monday January 23, 2023

Join Isaiah as he breaks down negotiation tactics that PhDs can use to get the salary they deserve. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains that PhDs need to advocate for the salary they’ve earned Next, he shares 3 interview tactics from expert FBI negotiator and author Chris Voss Finally, Isaiah gives several examples that PhDs can use in their next salary negotiation From This Week’s Show… As A PhD, You’re Not Going To Inherently Get Paid What They’re Worth. You Need To Advocate For Yourself Studies show that over 50% of the general public take the first salary they’re offered.  PhDs are no exception.  In fact, PhDs are some of the least likely people to negotiate their starting salary.  That’s because, as a PhD, you’re never taught to express your value and you’re used to taking whatever you can get from academia.  So today, I’m here to remind you: As a PhD, you have an incredible set of skills, and you should be compensated appropriately.  Failing to understand your worth not only hurts your starting salary, but it can also damage your earning potential for years to come.  So, how does even the most reluctant…

Build A Professional Brand Employers Care About

Friday January 20, 2023

Join Isaiah as he explains how to get to know your professional brand as a PhD – and how to sell it to employers. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah takes a look at professional brands and explains why they can be hard for PhDs to embrace Next, he shines a light on things you’re doing right now that other people already recognize as your professional brand Finally, Isaiah shares ways to mold your brand into something that reflects both your strengths and your goals From This Week’s Show… A Professional Brand Helps You Differentiate Yourself From Other Candidates Every day, we’re inundated with brands.  Social media shows us targeted ads for brand-name clothing, electronics, appliances, study materials – the list is endless. Whether you like it or not, brand name ads are here to stay – because they work.  The good news is that you can use these same tactics to sell your own professional brand to employers.  Many PhDs hate the idea of selling themselves.  They think selling themselves – their brand – means they’re selling out.  Academia teaches you that thinking outside of the collective “we” to focus on the “I” – what…

In A Networking Slump? Reshape Your Web

Wednesday January 18, 2023

Join Isaiah as he explores a common networking issue PhDs face, and then breaks down how to troubleshoot it. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah takes a look at why networking slumps are common among PhDs Next, he explains why 99 out of 100 networking problems can be traced back to having this kind of connection Finally, Isaiah shares the best way to untangle your networking web and start seeing results from your professional network From This Week’s Show… Networking Can Feel Like A Full-Time Job, And Having Nothing To Show For Your Efforts Can Be Hard Does the time and energy you spend on networking seem pointless?  You’re connecting with people in your field, even turning your basic connections into meaningful professional relationships, but still, there you sit – jobless and hopeless?  If so, you’re in a networking slump.  Networking slumps are common among PhDs.  To figure out why your network isn’t paying off, start with a basic diagnostic.  Take a high-level look at your network structure. What shape do you see? Do you see an array of nodes closely linked by a redundant web of interconnecting lines – one that resembles a ball of…

4 Must-Know Economic Concepts 

Monday January 16, 2023

Join Isaiah as he breaks down economic concepts PhDs need to be familiar with in industry and how to communicate this knowledge to employers. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains why an understanding of finance and economic principles is important in industry – and why many PhDs don’t have a strong grasp on these principles Next, he breaks down four economic concepts that industry employers expect applicants to have knowledge of Finally, Isaiah discusses ways that you can translate your academic experience with budgets and managing money into industry experience From This Week’s Show… As A PhD, You’re At A Disadvantage In Your Industry Job Search If You Can’t Demonstrate That You Understand Economic Principles Studies show that most people are never taught to manage money. They have no formal training on how to save or budget – in school or otherwise.  And sadly, for many, this knowledge gap persists into adulthood.  But understanding economics is invaluable when it comes to succeeding in industry.  You need to understand the role that economics play in the day-to-day of a company to get hired into industry.  Whether you’re applying to an R&D role, MSL role, Technical Sales…

The STAR Method Of Interviewing (Even Amazon Uses It)

Thursday January 12, 2023

Join Isaiah as he explains the STAR Method and how you can learn to use it to impress employers during an interview. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah breaks down why knowing how to answer questions, not memorizing specific answers or situations, is the key to impressing employers during an interview Next, he discusses the specifics of the STAR Method, a technique designed to ace behavioral interview questions Finally, Isaiah shares a few concrete examples that highlight the methodology in action From This Week’s Show… The STAR Methodology Can Guide You Through The Answer To Tough Interview Questions As a PhD, you have a diverse portfolio of skills and experience – things that look great on a resume. The question is, are you able to speak to these skills and experiences – out loud, and in an engaging way? Like anything, the key to interviewing well is to understand the right methodology behind it. When it comes to the right methodology for interviewing, use the STAR method. It stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Let’s start with S – situation. This is where you provide context. Say you’re asked, “What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced,…

Why Cover Letters Aren’t Dead (But Yours Might Be)

Wednesday January 11, 2023

Join Isaiah as takes a look at what makes for great cover letters and explains the questions they should answer about you as a candidate. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah shares some facts about cover letters and the big impact this single page can make on your job search Next, he takes a look at some of the questions your cover letter should answer for employers Finally, Isaiah talks about what it takes to write a compelling cover letter that makes hiring managers take notice From This Week’s Show… “Optional” Isn’t An Option When It Comes To Cover Letters You may think cover letters are a relic of the past, but a recent report from ResumeLab tells a different story. A staggering 83% of hiring managers said they consider cover letters to be an important part of their hiring process. Many hiring managers agreed that a cover letter can land you an interview even when your resume, on its own, doesn’t make the cut. What about when a job posting doesn’t require a cover letter, you might be asking yourself. Should you send one anyway? According to the same survey, 77% of recruiters say they…

How To Negotiate With Recruiters

Monday January 9, 2023

Join Isaiah as he explores the three steps job seekers will work through with their recruiters in order to land the perfect role Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explores why recruiters can be so beneficial to your job search, plus best practices for making the most of your relationship with them Next, he covers the 3 steps that recruiters walk job seekers through to find and interview for the perfect role Finally, Isaiah explains what it takes to negotiate a killer salary with your new employers and how a recruiter can help From This Week’s Show… Recruiters Don’t Get Paid Unless You Get Hired, So They’re Motivated To Help Find a Great Role For You There are three phases to negotiating with professional recruiters. The first phase is the initial contact. Typically, the first interaction between you and a recruiter will be a 20- to 30-minute conversation where the recruiter describes the position. During this interaction, they’ll gauge your interest. They’ll explain the role, the ballpark salary, and the company. If you’re not interested in the position, be polite and explain what you are looking for. Offer to help your recruiter find a great candidate…

How To Annoy A Recruiter (Don’t Do This)

Friday January 6, 2023

Join Isaiah as he shares the quickest ways to make a recruiter dread seeing your name pop up in their inbox. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah shares some statistics that demonstrate why a recruiter is such a valuable tool in your job search Next, he explores 5 things job seekers unknowingly do that can put them at odds with their recruiter Finally, Isaiah concludes by explaining that a good relationship with a recruiter can unlock doors in your job search – as long as you treat their time like a precious resource From This Week’s Show… There Are 5 Common Breaches Of Etiquette You Want To Avoid If You’re Working With A Recruiter The first mistake PhDs make is they try to make small talk. No recruiter has time for that. They have goals to meet – their job is to connect job seekers with job openings. So, right off the bat, start by adding value. And value in this circumstance is more direct. All they care about is whether you’re a good candidate for the positions they’re trying to fill. So, in your first message – heck, in your first sentence – tell them…

11 Most Emotionally Draining Parts Of Your Job Search

Wednesday January 4, 2023

Join Isaiah as he shares some emerging trends in life science PhDs can use to demonstrate their industry knowledge to employers Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah shares that one of the best ways to show employers in life science that you’re engaged in your industry is to be able to discuss emerging trends Next, he provides some insight into several exciting developments that life science PhDs should be aware of Finally, Isaiah reminds life science PhDs that part of preparing for a job interview is to stay up-to-date on industry news and advancements From This Week’s Show… Showing Interest In And Being Able To Discuss Industry Trends Demonstrates Value To Employers One of the best ways to impress industry employers is to show them that you understand what is trending in their industry. Today, I want to focus on the life science industry. Life Science PhDs Have So Many Exciting Industry Developments To Explore The first trend we see in industry is a growing interest in cellular agriculture. In previous years, gene-editing tools like CRISPR and cellular engineering technologies were in the spotlight. Now the focus has turned towards cellular agriculture, or Cell-Ag for short.…

11 Most Emotionally Draining Parts Of Your Job Search

Friday December 30, 2022

Join Isaiah as he breaks down what to expect from a new industry career – from onboarding to your first 6 months. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah explains that onboarding, for many PhDs, is a mystery Next, he shares 5 things that every PhD should keep in mind when they begin the onboarding process Finally, Isaiah explains how knowing what to expect about your early days with a company can set you up for success down the road From This Week’s Show… Onboarding Takes New Employees Anywhere From 3 To 6 Months PhDs entering industry for the first time are often shocked by the onboarding process. Some think onboarding involves months of basic administrative tasks. Others think they can hit the ground running. Neither of these preconceptions is accurate. What is accurate is that successful onboarding is the key to a successful and long-lasting career. An employee that starts a new job with misguided expectations will likely feel disappointed and alienated; they also risk not meeting the expectations of their employer. Don’t let this be you. Make sure when you enter industry you’re equipped with the correct mindset and the right set of expectations. Let’s…

5 Steps To The Ultimate Functional Resume

Wednesday December 28, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explores the benefits of a functional resume for PhDs – plus a few tips to make yours stand out to employers. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah takes a look at the functional resume format and explains why it’s superior for PhDs with limited professional experience Next, he directs attention to 3 strategies that a functional resume needs to apply to be successful Finally, Isaiah reviews the architecture of a finished functional resume from top to bottom From This Week’s Show… A Functional Resume Highlights The Quality Of Your Experience – Not The Quantity Many PhDs mistake resumes for CVs – they chronologically list their work experience, achievements, and skills, being sure not to leave out a single detail. But a chronological resume that’s simultaneously irrelevant and cramped isn’t going to land you an industry job. You have to change how you present your experience. This is where the functional resume comes in. Word Cloud Tools Help You Frame The Skills You Have In Words That Employers Are Looking For A functional resume can take your one sad section of Graduate Research Assistant or Postdoctoral Fellow experience and turn it into 3…

Resume Facts All PhDs Must Know

Friday December 23, 2022

Join Isaiah as he shares resume facts and figures that PhDs transitioning into industry need to know in order to stand out in their job search. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah shares some surprising facts about resumes that PhDs transitioning into industry should know Next, he provides some helpful guidelines to keep in mind when PhDs craft their resume Finally, Isaiah offers tips on how to make PhD candidates stand out with a few easy-to-implement resume hacks From This Week’s Show… PhDs Are Often Surprised That Their Degree Is Not Enough While simply submitting a resume may have landed you a summer job at a local coffee shop, getting a PhD-level industry job requires much more. An industry job search at your level can be complex, but there are some simple frameworks that will help you allocate your time and resources effectively. The 80-20-10 Principle Is One Of The More Important Resume Facts To Remember Let’s start with the 80-20-10 principle. The number 80 represents the 80% of industry jobs that are never advertised online. Most positions at small- to medium-sized companies are never advertised at all. Of the jobs advertised by large companies, many…

Jobs For Extroverted PhDs

Wednesday December 21, 2022

Join Isaiah as explores career options for extroverted PhDs who love to collaborate and connect with others. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah assures extroverted PhDs that they can still leverage their degree beyond the bench Next, he identifies some of the soft skills extroverted PhDs possess that make them a perfect fit for collaborative roles Finally, Isaiah explores 4 careers perfect that allow PhDs to capitalize on their outgoing personality From This Week’s Show… Extroverted PhDs Might Not Be Happy In Independent & Isolated Lab Roles Many people assume all PhDs are introverts. This of course, is not true. Plenty of PhDs get energized by being around people. If you find independent research to be lonely and monotonous; … if you thrive on other people’s energy; … and if you’re hungry for a job that allows you to work collaboratively with others … then these 4 industry positions might be for you. There Are Plenty Of Roles Perfect For Extroverted PhDs The first is the Medical Science Liaison role. If you love talking about science more than you like doing science, this is the perfect position for you. The second career I’m going to discuss…

11 Most Emotionally Draining Parts Of Your Job Search

Monday December 19, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explains why PhDs in sales positions make perfect sense for any type of business in industry. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah dismisses the idea that PhDs are overqualified or ill-suited for sales roles Next, he examines the skills and strengths that make PhDs in sales positions so successful Finally, Isaiah explains that you don’t need any additional training – you already have all the skills you need to succeed in this in-demand career From This Week’s Show… You Don’t Need Sales Experience To Succeed In Sales Once upon a time, many companies were hesitant to hire PhDs for sales positions. But this is no longer the case. That’s because products, particularly in the medical and biotech fields, are increasingly more complex. This means companies are in greater need of people with technical expertise. After all, how is someone supposed to sell something they don’t understand? That’s why PhDs are particularly well-suited to sell drugs, reagents treatments, software, instruments, and other equipment and devices. PhDs In Sales Only Need To Believe In The Product They’re Selling To Excel The most important part of being an effective sales professional is believing in what…

Employers Give PhDs A Failing Grade On Job Search Skills

Friday December 16, 2022

Join Isaiah as he examines PhD job search skills, employer expectations and how the two can meet in the middle. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah compares how PhDs rate their own job search skills on scale of 1 to 5 Next, he shares how that number compares to the score employers would give a PhD’s resume and interview performance Finally, Isaiah shares where the disconnect lies between a PhD’s perception of their job search skills and reality From This Week’s Show… Surveys Reveal That Most PhDs Have Awful Resumes There’s a serious disconnect between how most PhDs think they’re doing in their job search and how they’re actually doing. A recent survey of more than 1600 PhDs who were engaged in a job search over a 6-month period found that 80% of those surveyed had no idea what job they even wanted. How can you possibly succeed in your job search if you don’t even know what you want? You can’t hit a target you don’t set. There’s no way to measure your progress if you don’t have any clear goals.  In the same survey, these PhDs were also asked to rank their industry resume…

Scary Academic Statistics PhDs Should Know

Wednesday December 14, 2022

Join Isaiah as he explores startling academic statistics surrounding PhD graduates and their career outlooks. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah touches on surprising academic statistics about PhDs and their career outcomes after graduation Next, he identifies the misconceptions PhDs have about what it takes – and how long it takes – to start their industry career Finally, Isaiah covers the 2 most important things you need to do to keep from becoming another academic statistic From This Week’s Show… Academic Statistics Paint A Bleak Picture Of The Future For PhD Graduates In the last two years, data from 1600 PhDs were collected over a 6-month period. Among those included, 34% said they were currently graduate students, 27% reported being in postdoc positions, and nearly a quarter said they were unemployed. Only a small sliver of PhDs were principal investigators or professors, and a mere 7% were working in industry.  What should be obvious from this data is that most PhDs were either in low-paying temporary positions or were unemployed. Very few were in industry, and even fewer were in higher academic positions. So, the question is: where do you want to be? Now? Five years…

What Industry Employers Really Think Of PhDs

Monday December 12, 2022

Join Isaiah as he busts the myths, misconceptions and biases that PhDs in industry are faced with in their job search. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah examines some of the biggest myths about biases PhDs have been warned about in their industry job search Next, he considers what industry employers really think about PhD candidates Finally, Isaiah offers tips on how to position yourself as a lifelong learner and lean into the advantages of your education From This Week’s Show… Don’t Let Misconceptions About What Employers Think Of PhDs Hold You Back In Your Industry Job Search Overqualified. Underqualified. Too independent. Lifetime academic. Unemployable. These are all terms PhDs have been called by others… or so the story goes. But is that what industry employers truly think? That all PhDs are entitled know-it-alls that can’t be taught new things and cost too much to hire? That’s certainly what we’re led to believe in academia. And, as a result, many PhDs don’t apply for positions outside of academia. Sadly, they think they’re not wanted. But the reality is, industry employers have always sought out PhDs. Today, I’m going to discuss a few myths about what industry…

Negotiate A Higher Starting Salary

Friday December 9, 2022

Join Isaiah as explains what PhDs need to do and say to negotiate a higher starting salary in industry positions. Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode… First, Isaiah stresses that it’s up to PhDs to negotiate a starting salary they deserve Next, he lists strategies you can use that will help you negotiate a salary that you and your employer will both be happy with Finally, Isaiah offers some specific phrases that you can use verbatim to give you the upper hand after you receive an offer letter From This Week’s Show… To Negotiate Your Salary, You First Need To Know Your Worth Negotiating salary can feel like a high-stakes chess game. You, as the job candidate, quietly anticipate the employer’s next move… …and the employer carefully assesses what salary you’re willing to settle for.  It’s very common for PhDs to feel overwhelmed by the salary negotiation process. As a result, many sabotage their chances of getting paid what they deserve. This is especially true of PhDs entering industry for the first time. Academia has a way of distorting a person’s view of salary. The key to avoid accepting less than you’re worth is to know your worth…

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