Hosted By

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

Join Isaiah as he explains why being a mysterious candidate will hurt your job search and how you should present yourself instead

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

  • First, Isaiah tells the story of a PhD who transitioned by redefining her professional brand
  • Next, Isaiah reveals why being a mysterious candidate will only hurt your chances of getting an industry position
  • Finally, Isaiah explores what employers think of PhD candidate who fail to define a professional brand

From This Week’s Show… 

How Natalie Redefined Her Profesional Brand And Transitioned Into Industry After 17 Years In Academia

I remember when I started working with Nathalie, a PhD and good friend who is now a Director at a major pharmaceutical company. She was in academia for over 17 years after getting her PhD, thirteen of which she spent as a professor.

When Nathalie and I first talked, she was convinced she had spent too much time in academia to ever get into industry. She wondered how anyone would see her as more than an academic professor.

But not only could we adjust her LinkedIn profile to showcase her as a credible industry professional using the language of industry but we could also reinvent her overall professional brand to showcase her as director-level material given her extensive experience.

Shortly after rebranding Nathalie, she was hired as an Associate Director and has since been promoted to Director with a Vice President position in her sights.

Why Being A Mysterious Candidate Will Only Hurt Your Job Search

No one wants to work with, let alone hire, a mysterious person. When it comes to hiring, industry employers are risk-adverse. If they can’t figure you out, they will not risk hiring you and putting you on their team.

By failing to communicate a clear professional brand, you fail to sell yourself to the employer. From the employer’s point of view, if you’re incapable of articulating who you are and what you stand for, you’re also incapable of doing the work at hand.

What Employers Think Of PhD Candidates Who Don’t Have An Established Professional Brand

There are only three ways a PhD comes across to an employer when they fail to communicate a clear professional brand: annoying, awkward, or intimidating. You may not have these traits, but I assure you that as a PhD, if you don’t define and communicate a clear professional brand, you’ll be perceived as having them, especially by people who are not PhDs.

Would you want to work with someone you couldn’t figure out? Would you want to sit next to a colleague you perceived as annoying, awkward, or intimidating? Absolutely not. Instead, you’d want to work with someone who’s approachable and who you know how to approach, which is what professional branding provides.

Professional branding also encompasses rebranding yourself from an academic researcher to a credible industry professional. This is something you can do before getting hired in industry, regardless of how long you’ve been in academia.

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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