How to Structure Your Industry Resume Bullet Points for PhDs

Thinking about switching industries after you graduate with your PhD and want to get a job in that field? That’s not as easy as it may sound. When applying for jobs, many other candidates usually have years of experience (and probably more connections) in the same field we’re switching to. We both know how important your resume is when looking for jobs after graduation. But with so much competition, what can you do to set yourself apart from others? Make sure your resume reflects all of your skills, education and experiences—not just the stuff that makes you look good. The key is to tailor your resume specifically to the industry or type of job you’re seeking. The point of any resume should be to put your best foot forward by maximizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses. Here are some tips on how to structure your industry resume bullet points for PhDs


Tell the reader what you can do for the company

Your CV should be results-focused, highlighting your achievements and the value you bring to a company. You don’t need to list every single job you’ve ever had, but you should make sure you show the reader you are able to get things done and solve problems. PhDs are trained as problem solvers, so highlight your ability to come up with creative solutions, solve complex problems and use evidence-based reasoning.


Choose relevant experiences to highlight

Since you are switching industries, you have to select just a few experiences to include in your resume. Choose the experiences that are most relevant to the position you are applying for. Think about the job description and the tasks and responsibilities of the position you are applying for. These are experiences that are transferable. They show that you have the skills and abilities necessary to perform the job.


List the skills you gained from your PhD

The skills that you gain from your PhD are very relevant to specific industries. The most important academic experience you have is completing your PhD. You’ve learned how to take a project from beginning to end, how to meet strict deadlines and how to manage multiple projects simultaneously. You’ve learned how to do research, work with a team and navigate complex literature. You’ve gained valuable communication and critical thinking skills, and you’ve learned how to balance your career and personal life. You also have a wide range of technical and soft skills that you can list in your CV.


Make sure you’re highlighting the right skills and experience

Your CV and cover letter should illustrate the transferable skills and experiences that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Your CV should show that you have the skills you need to perform the job. For example, if you want to work for a marketing company, you should emphasize your experience in designing and executing marketing campaigns and your communication skills.


Highlight hard-to-find soft skills

As a PhD student, you have acquired hard and soft skills that are highly transferable across industries and positions. Some of these skills are hard to find in other job candidates who have not been in academia. Select the skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for—and that are hard to find in other candidates—and highlight those in your resume.


Show off critical academic experiences and knowledge

Your bibliography, CV and cover letter are your chance to show the hiring manager how your education and research can benefit the company. Cite specific pieces of research that your company has used or applied. If you are applying to work at a biotech company, you could highlight some of the specific research papers that you wrote in your dissertation.



A good resume will help you get interviews and offers, but it also takes time to write. It’s important to spend time writing your resume, but it’s also important to spend time proofreading it for typos and mistakes. When applying for jobs after graduation, make sure you tailor your resume specifically to the industry or type of job you’re seeking. Your CV should show that you have the skills you need to perform the job. When writing your resume, show off your skills and experiences that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

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