As a PhD holder, many industry positions are going to be available for you. Most PhD students already have a lot of professional experience and transferable skills.
But how can you show industry employers exactly what you can offer the company in terms of specific skills and expertise?
You’ll be able to find great success in your job search through writing a strong PhD resume!
We’ll be guiding you through writing a successful and effective curriculum vitae that is going to impress any hiring manager!
Additional Information About the PhD Resume
PhD graduates and students have a lot of resources they can apply to their careers through the academics that they hold. These resources come in the form of academic, professional, and research experiences.
According to GlassDoor the national average salary for PhD students is $32,400 per year in the United States. While some of the best PhD degrees typically earn around $150,000 in their mid-career stage.
Here’s some examples of top salaries for PhD holders:
A PhD in Chemical Engineering pays around $96,000 in their early career, rising to $146,000 at mid-career level. Holders of a PhD in Organic Chemistry start around $83,000 while increasing to $146,000 mid-career. A PhD in Computer Science can earn $118,000 in their early career stage rising to $145,000 in their mid-career stage.
Most careers and companies don’t have PhD graduates in their teams, but any organization hiring for a specific job will be more than welcome to hire one.
Your main concern is going to be making a curriculum vitae that’s going to knock all other PhD resumes out of the water, and we’re here to help with that!
Example of a PhD Resume
How to make a PhD Resume
Most graduate students have a lot of experience with research experience, the business world, and leadership, but they sometimes might lack the skills to transfer this information onto a resume or curriculum vitae CV.
In order to write a successful PhD resume, you’ll need to focus on some important first steps. You’ll need to establish a few foundational elements in your resume before you write the content of the application.
It is essential to get the structure and layout of the PhD application right. These elements are what stand between a successful and bad resume.
The layout of the PhD Resume
A successful resume will have an effective design. Your PhD resume should present professional information about your career in a good-looking way.
A proper design and resume layout make the resume much more impactful!
In order to properly showcase each detail of your PhD career to the many employers you’ll be sending your resume to, the resume layout will need to have sections.
Sectioning out your resume will make the professional information appear much more pronounced. For instance, your work history will go into the work experience section, while your education will be written in the academic section of the application.
Below are all the sections we’ll be covering in this article; we recommend including these sections into your resume layout:
- The Contact Information
- The Professional Summary
- The Job Description (Work Experience Section)
- The Education Section
- The Skills Section
- Other Information Regarding Awards, Honors, and Certificates
The structure of the PhD Resume
It is essential that the resume gives the reader information effectively and in an impactful manner. A proper application has to talk about your relevant skills, accomplishments, work, and academic experiences in a structured way.
While the resume layout determines the look and design of your CV, the structure of your PhD resume is going to affect how the content itself looks and appears on paper.
It is crucial that your application content and text has proper structure; here’s how you can do it:
In order to structure text properly, it is essential to apply a resume format. Resume formats can be divided into chronological and functional.
The chronological format is the widely accepted way to structure and format a resume.
In other words, your content will all be written from oldest to newest. Whenever a new professional experience is added to the experience section, it will appear at the top.
Additionally, your application needs to be one or two pages long, written in Times New Roman or Arial font styles with 10 – 12 font sizes.
Start with the contact information of the PhD Resume
Just like properly starting any academic presentations, so does your PhD CV need a strong, informative start.
A great way to begin your writing process is by introducing yourself to the reader. After all, the main reason why you’re writing a resume in the first place is for employers to notice your credentials.
This information can be provided to the reader through the contact information section.
Example of a header / Example of a bad header for PhD
The contact info header below is incorrectly written because the title isn’t very visible. Your name has to be the title of the application and it has to be a couple of font sizes larger than the rest of the text.
Is a photo required in the PhD Resume?
Many job seekers often find themselves wondering whether or not it is a good idea to include a professional photo in their resumes.
While some companies and positions are more lenient when reading through resumes with professional photos, we don’t recommend including pictures in your CV.
80% of US companies would say they would not consider an applicant who had a photo in their resume.
Additionally, a PhD resume is going to be focused heavily on the text and showcasing relevant professional information. The layout of the resume won’t have enough space to fit in a photo anyway.
Professional summary for a PhD
More often than not, there will be a lot of other PhD graduate candidates looking to get employment at the same positions you’ve applied for.
What’s even more interesting is that employers receive over a hundred applications every day; this holds especially true for non-academic positions.
Recruiters simply don’t have the time or ability to fully read through all of the applicants’ resumes. Instead, they’ll just skim through applications.
A great way to get around this problem and grab the hiring manager’s attention right away is by putting a short, concise section into your resume that discusses relevant information about your expertise.
This part of the application is called the professional summary section, and it briefly talks about your relevant experience, achievements, and skills in regard to the position you’re applying for.
Professional Summary Examples
This summary is incomplete, because it lacks the clarity and impactfulness that the one above has, as well as being too wordy. A good summary needs to be clear, logical and to the point!
Work Experience in the PhD Resume
Now that you’ve written the introduction for your application in the form of the contact info and summary sections, it’s time to get into the process of putting down the most important information for your CV.
The work experience section has to be the highlight of the application because, as a PhD student, you’ve most likely amassed some professional experience. These experiences need to be discussed and showcased effectively in order to impress the hiring managers.
The work experience section is going to be the largest, most essential part of the CV because it gives the reader a chance to gain insight into your expertise as a PhD professional.
Describe your professional experiences on your PhD Resume
Work experience is very important on a PhD resume; it can make or break your application and the chances of getting considered for a position. If you follow a few expert recommendations, you can create a substantial gap between yourself and the competition and land the job interview.
The position you held most recently should be given priority; write them at the top of the section. Whenever you write a job description, start with the title. Be sure to also include the company name and the length of time you spent with the employer.
Describe your responsibilities and work achievements once you have written the title of your job, company name, and dates of employment.
Examples of professional experiences for PhD
Education in the PhD Resume
As a PhD postgraduate, you hold an immense amount of experience when it comes to teaching, higher education, and general academic background.
Because of these acquired abilities, a big chunk of your resume needs to be dedicated to showcasing your academic background. In a way, the CV is going to be a combination resume.
If you have a PhD, both the work experience and education sections will be immensely important to write effectively. These sections will give your resume very powerful credibility.
Most high-end jobs nowadays require a degree, so who’s a better candidate than a PhD recipient?
Should you start with education or work experience for a PhD Degree?
When it comes to a PhD degree holder that wants to write an effective resume, the layout of the application can often be quite confusing.
You might be wondering which is the better option, starting the resume with the work experience or education sections?
In the case where you have a PhD degree, we recommend making this the highlight of your application. The reader has to see your academic credentials right after the summary section.
Your academic background is what sets you apart from the other candidates, after all.
How to properly list your education in a PhD Resume?
We have gone through a lot of detail talking about the importance of a solid education section, but how should it look exactly?
We’re here to give you all the pointers you’ll need in order to prepare an effective education section that shows your discipline successfully.
Follow these tips below:
- The last degree you obtained should be the starting point of this section. Including your PhD first and then your master’s is a good example.
- Provide the name of the school, the address, the year of attendance, and the degree earned for each educational certificate.
- Unless it is exceptionally high, you shouldn’t mention your GPA. Only include GPAs above 3.7.
- With a bullet point or two, list all your relevant coursework relevant to the job you are applying for.
Example of the education section of a PhD Resume
Skills to put in the PhD Resume
No resume is going to be complete without mentioning a few of your abilities first. This holds especially true if you weren’t able to fully present your relevant skills in the other sections of the application.
A great way you can showcase your specific skills in your curriculum vitae is by adding in a skills section.
A skills section is a crucial part of your application because you can highlight the abilities you felt were left out of the other sections and specify that you have these abilities.
The skills section is one of the parts of your application that the reader is going to look at instantly, so you have to make sure that this part of the CV is up to par.
What are the main skills sought for in a PhD Resume?
We’ve provided a shortlist of skills that any resume with a doctor of philosophy education would be able to incorporate:
- Communication expertise
- Relationship development
- Creative Problem Solving
- Grammar rules
- Project Management
- Computer Proficient
- Domestic and International Experience
- Problem resolution
- Group leadership
Additional Headings for your PhD Resume
Any resume can benefit from additional information, especially if your application has some leftover white space.
A great way to fill out these spaces is by adding additional headings and sections that showcase different ways you can benefit the hiring organization.
Certifications in a PhD Resume
Certifications are an excellent way of adding to your academic and professional background.
Certificates will almost guarantee you a job interview!
As a Phd graduate, you’ll most likely have some form of work history in the form of publications.
Most doctors of philosophy have to write large thesis papers that take months or even years to finish in order to earn their degrees.
These papers are incredibly difficult to write and are very impressive on a resume. Therefore, it is a good idea to dedicate a small section to listing the publications you’ve worked on.
Summary: Key Points for Writing a Perfect PhD Resume
In order to be successful during a job search, a resume must be comprehensive and well written, as well as be able to fully demonstrate the candidate’s abilities.
When creating your resume, remember the following key points:
- Ensure that the name of your resume appears at the top of your resume.
- In your professional summary, highlight your knowledge, experiences, skills, and career goals.
- Work experience must be included in professional resumes. Using bullet points simplifies the reading of job descriptions.
- Skills that are relevant to the job description should be included in your skill section.
- Write the education section above the work experience section.
- Remember to write all of your application sections clearly and concisely, so that there is no confusion for the reader.
Write a Cover Letter That Goes With Your PhD Resume
Providing the recruiter with additional documentation about your skills and experiences is always a plus, especially if we’re talking about cover letters.
Cover letters are page-long professional summaries that go into detail about your career goals, work history and skills.
For more information about how a cover letter should look, check out our resume builder by visiting this link!
Frequently Asked Questions for a PhD Resume
Should I put PhD on my resume?
If you have a PhD degree, you should definitely include it in your resume. Doctors of philosophy and higher education certificates are highly valued across many different fields.
How do you write PhD on your resume?
Utilize all of the different sections of your resume and describe your work experience, skills, accomplishments, certifications, and educational background.
You should follow the layout instructions and structure guidelines from our resume templates and find additional information and resume samples too.