Working in academia and tempted by the booming tech industry outside the walls of your university research lab? Perhaps your excited by the thought of an exciting AI start up or maybe the move into a global consulting firm.
The road ahead is uncertain but offers some intriguing perks - a great salary, fast moving projects, and an opportunity to build an empire maybe. So how do you get your foot in the door? First step - build an awesome resume! Here are some pointers and pitfalls to academic resumes in the commercial sector:
Keep it Short
Industry resumes are short, usually 2 pages. So, even-though you may have 20 publications and have worked on some awesome research projects that could be listed over 10 pages, the devil is not in the detail. Condense it to show the skills you have acquired, not the fine detail. Think of the value you can bring an organization and translate it concisely.
Format it so it's easy to read quickly
Two types of people will be reading your resume - busy recruiters, or busy hiring managers. They skim read, so if your resume is in block paragraphs, it is can be difficult to see the most important aspects. So use a skills matrix for your technical capabilities and bullet points for responsibilities and categorize your skills.
Don't use the same resume for every position you apply to. Tailor your resume to fit the role based on your relevant skills. This doesn't mean embellish your experience, just bring the most relevant skills to the forefront and make them obvious and clear to see. The language you use is also important. So if you are applying for a client facing role - mention how you "consulted with internal teams" or that you "presented solutions to internal stakeholders". You can paint a picture of how your experience is relevant to what the client needs.
Think who (or what) will be reading it
The person who reads your resume might not necessarily be an SME in what you do. So what might seem obvious to you, might not be so clear to another person. So if your resume is all technical or academic keywords without a basic description or what you do, you may be overlooked. This also applies to "resume bots" that scour the job boards and applications for certain phrases or words, if it isn't presented appropriately, you might miss out.
If you need any further advice or tips, feel free to contact me any time. Best of luck and hopefully you will land the dream job in industry!
While it may be acceptable in academia to have a CV that covers several pages, in industry you are expected to keep your industry resume to one page (or at the most, two pages).