6 seconds are crucial to your non-academic phd career

How 6 Seconds Can Make or Break Your Non-Academic PhD Career

According to Glassdoor.com, recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds on a candidate’s resume before deciding whether it should be kept or not.


The study also shows that recruiters not only pay close attention to formatting and job history, but that they also spend important seconds scanning resumes for keywords that match the open position. What should this tell you about approaching your non-academic PhD career?


  1. First impressions matter and you don’t have much time to make an impact.
  2. Sending the same resume to a bunch of similar positions is a bad idea. You should tailor your resume to fit each position you’re pursuing.


Yes, it’s a lot of work. But it looks like you have no choice.


Another study led by TheLadders.com found that recruiters gave professionally written resume scores that were 60% higher than “home-made” resumes. The survey also demonstrated that professionally written resumes ranked 40% higher on organization and readability compared to resume written by applicants themselves.


While these surveys remind you that you should consider professional help, does this mean you should hire someone to write your resume for you?


If formatting is one of your concerns, know that there are plenty of templates available online to help you get started at no cost (as a matter of fact, we have a free one you can download here). However, we believe it would be a tragic mistake to give up control of the content of your resume. Simply because a resume written by someone else will very likely be written in a language that will not be yours, which could become a huge problem when you show up at an interview. Keeping your own voice is key to your job search success. If you’re looking to spend money on your resume, you should require the help of a professional that can:


  • Provide you with the right terminology to present your work experience and education in a manner that is compelling to non-academic employers.
  • Assist you in marketing yourself effectively to employers by highlighting the skills, talents, and abilities you possess.
  • Provide you with strategies to address blank spaces, or twists and turns in your professional and academic timeline.
  • Help you demonstrate how your past experiences meet the requirements of your target employer.


In other words, you need someone to review and critique the content of your resume and provide you with suggestions for improvement, not write it for you. Hire a consultant, not a resume writer.


The most challenging part of transitioning to a non-academic PhD career is that you don’t have much time to make an impression. While you have probably heard that a 30-second pitch is essential to networking, keep in mind that you only have 6 seconds to make an impression on a hiring manager with your resume. Don’t waste any time! Seek out the tools you need to make a great impression … fast!


Need to learn more about writing a resume that will jump start your non-academic PhD career? We got you covered! Download our free Quick Resume Writing Guide  

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