Through this blog and the accompanying Instagram, I have been lucky enough to connect with numerous PhD candidates and I have been noticing a real trend towards people wanting to move out of academia and into the industry (something I have done within the last year). So I wanted to share some of my tips for how to land that first job in the industry;
- Research the kinds of jobs out there. I find that LinkedIn is the best place to search.
- Specifically look at global jobs. Following on from my first tip- start your search really wide. The ‘new trends’ in employment and jobs often start in the US so by seeing what is available in the States (even if you do not want to move for work) can give you an insight into what jobs are looking for PhD graduates.
- Really study the job advertisements- Look at what the jobs want, what skills, what experience, what degrees? Start to understand the trends and where you best fit within the employment landscape.
- Sell the skills you developed throughout the PhD; including communication, editing, research, project management etc.
- Don’t focus on your topic- Unlike academic roles, most industries do not require an employee with a niche area of expertise, therefore focusing on your PhD topic will likely not impress- instead focus on the broad area (e.g. psychology or behavioural science for me).
- Sell your PhD as being experience- Make it clear in your CV that a PhD is experience relevant to the industry, not just a degree.
- Try to get broad experience during your PhD- I wish that I looked outside of my university for employment while I was doing my PhD (rather than only doing teaching and RA for the uni). I loved these roles but would have liked to have additional experience on top of this. Many industries look more favorably upon experience from a variety of places rather than one employer.
- Expect that you may have to take a lower role- Unfortunately there is currently a large gap between PhD and the industry (a subject I am going to write more blogs about) meaning that many industries do not understand how valuable PhD students are and will likely want someone with more ‘industry experience’. Therefore, you may have to take a lower role to get your foot in the door and get that ever-important experience.