Landing a job after a PhD: leveraging your degree and discovering new industriesThe best strategies to build your professional life after concluding university
Now that you have obtained your PhD after tough years of research, publications drafts, conferences, and assistant teaching, you face an important choice – whether or not to go on with a career in academia. The truth is that nowadays, tenure track positions are extremely hard to get, so even the brightest candidates risk being left without a darling faculty offer. That is why more and more PhD graduates avoid fighting for the limited university career opportunities and decide to start an alternative career path, entering the “industry” job market that surprisingly has a great number of options.
PhD holders think that their degree may not find its application in the world outside the academia, but this is not really true: employers value doctoral graduates for their deep professional expertise, outstanding research, reporting and analytical skills, profound critical thinking, and ability to deliver fresh idea angles on the problematic issues. PhD graduates are also considered to be great at improving processes, services, and ways of working.
But job hunting after a PhD is still very challenging, and you need to be convincing about your working adaptability and flexibility. You should turn you little actual work experience to your advantage by tailoring your skills to a concrete job offer. To sum up, the important step is to rightly sell your PhD-rooted abilities to the employer. But how can you achieve that?
- Pinpoint the transferable skills that your PhD has boosted
Put your degree-owned competences under the right light: if you have delivered many presentations and lectures – say that you have exceptional communication skills. PhD students often find themselves in various research quests where they need to think outside the box – so let the employer know just how great you are at creative thinking and finding alternative solutions. You have probably learnt to manage your time and workload efficiently, as thesis elaboration requires a lot of independent work – highlight it as developed management abilities and self-drive. During your PhD, you have definitely dealt with numerous research problems and difficult issues – underline your strong problem-solving skillset during the job interview.
- Make your CV industry-relevant
Loading your resume with a long list of scientific publications, book chapters, presentations and awards is not as impressive as you might think. A recruiter will find it hard to go through – moreover, you may seem an arrogant person with poor priorities judgement. Remember: your CV should not be an academic one anymore. Shape it according to the industry – but always make it short, simple and impactful. Cut all unnecessary information out. Customize and leave only the data that may be of interest for the recruiters.
- Choose the industry where your talent and experience will shine the brightest
There are many alternative career paths for PhD graduates. Among the most common fields where PhDs are welcome – consulting, finance, law, biotech, public policy, venture capital, IT. Depending on your background, consider roles in management consulting, product patenting, equity analytics, governmental research, business development, regulatory affairs, medical science liaison, policy formation, due diligence, or even scientific writing/editing.
If you want to learn more about your possible career perspectives, check a great number of relevant job offers on Jobrapido site – the positions we list will suit you perfectly. Find out more of excellent tips and working strategies in our helpful blog posts!