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

Join Isaiah as he explains what is a functional resume and why you need to have one in your arsenal if you want to get hired in industry

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

  • First, Isaiah discloses why you should never apply to industry positions with an old fashioned academic CV
  • Next, Isaiah discusses the goal of the industry resume and how a functional resume can help you achieve that goal
  • Finally, Isaiah gives your pointers so you can write you own functional resume and gain the attention of industry employers

From This Week’s Show… 

Why You Will Fail If You Apply To Industry Positions With An Academic CV

If you want to get hired in industry, it’s time to retire the academic CV. Hiring managers are not interested in trudging through a long and overtly linear document searching for any hint of a valuable skillset.

When I wrote my first resume, it looked, well – cluttered and empty at the same time. I had packed it full of specialty skills that I thought were important but had only included one piece of experience that was even remotely relevant to the job at hand.

When I sent this both overwhelming and underwhelming resume out to a few companies, all I heard were crickets – not surprising.

What Is The Purpose Of A Functional Resume

Functional resumes have been around for decades and are effective because they don’t just list your experience; they highlight your relevant skills and experience.

When I applied this functional style to my resume, I went from having a complex document full or irrelevant information, to having a very focused document that made a strong case for my candidacy.

Understand: the purpose of your industry resume is not to document your entire life’s work; it’s to showcase how you can add value to a company.

Large companies frequently use Applicant Tracking Software to scan resumes for the key soft and hard skills they are looking for.

If your resume doesn’t list the skills they want, it’s going straight into the garbage bin. Functional resumes are a great way to get past ATS.

How To Write A Functional Resume

First, identify your target position. You may not have an exact job title in mind, but you should at least know what type of job you want.

Next, copy and paste a job posting for your target position into a word cloud to identify the terms most frequently used. This upfront work will provide a solid framework for your resume and keep you focused on the pertinent information.

Then, when creating your resume headings, replace the standard academic titles with the key skills that were discussed the most in the job description.

For example, if you managed several projects during your time in academia, create the major header “Project Management Skills” where you would normally put the job title and then underneath list where you gained this skill, in your graduate student, postdoc, TA or professorship experience, by writing “Gained as a Graduate Research Assistant, Postdoctoral Fellow, Professor, etc at XYZ University.

The idea of writing an industry resume may seem daunting, but by following these guidelines of the functional resume format, you can make yourself impossible to ignore.

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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