PhD Survival Guide: What to put on your CV
If you find yourself in a similar position to where I was in the last year of my PhD. Where you are a PhD student looking to get out of academia (even for a little while) and into the industry, then you may be struggling with your CV. It is hard to know what skills you have learnt through your PhD are appealing to employers. Although, I am definitely not an expert, I did manage to land a job in the industry which I love and in the months I have been working in the industry I have realised what important PhD skills I use. These are the type of things I recommend including in your CV.
- You are a T-shaped person- You have a broad skill set with one specialisation. The broad skill set is end-to-end research (and everything that encompasses) and your specialisation is your PhD topic. Don’t focus on the specialisation and also keep the specialisation as broad as possible. For example, rather than focusing on my PhD being applying psychological concepts to shark conservation, I focused on my PhD being in psychology.
- Organisation- You need to be an organised person to succeed at a PhD. Convey that.
- Project management- As you are the leader of your PhD research you have important project management skills. Including that you have managed your supervisors.
- Communication- You have a range of communication skills. Don’t solely focus on peer-reviewed writing (although this in an asset), focus on science communication, proposals, and easy to understand information for participants.
- You can work both independently and in a team
- Data visulisation- State that you have learnt a range of data visulisation skills throughout your PhD
- Various research methods- Highlight all the types of research methods you have used- e.g. qualitative and quantitative, surveys, focus groups, EEGs, lab experiments, etc.
- High level editing skills- One particular skill I have noticed is that I have good editing/proofing skills. I have learnt this not only through my PhD but through my marking experience.