Many trainees are transitioning into non-research careers. Navigating this transition can be tricky, as the available resources are still scarce and fairly inconsistent. Dr. Josh Henkin, founder of STEM Career Services, gave a workshop at the 2017 AAAS meeting titled “Transitioning into a Non-Academic Career.” The workshop explored the skills and best practices for trainees to transition out of academia. We highlight the main points from the session.
Dr. Erica Suchman covers the differences between a CV and resume, the elements of a CV, cover letters for postdoctoral positions, etc.
I am about to graduate with a PhD, and would like to eventually find a job in industry. How to I structure a professional resume for applying to industrial, non-academic positions?
Excellent question! The fact that you understand that there even is a difference between a curriculum vitae, or CV, and an industrial/professional resume has you ahead of the game. Quick review: an academic CV catalogs a person’s academic career, thus contains the full reference for every publication and presentation given, all awards, honors, committee membership lists, etc. A CV can encompass decades’ worth of a career. The content and format are primarily tailored to highlight a person’s overall experience, and are reviewed by peers who generally understand the technical verbiage used in publication and presentation titles.
In contrast, a professional resume summarizes the most recent years of a professional life (often not going back more than 10 years, unless something is particularly relevant). The format and content of a resume are tailored to specifically highlight how closely an applicant matches a specific job posting. Resumes are often reviewed by a Human Resources Department who will likely not be fluent in technical verbiage.