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PhD Resume Example for Industry & Non-Academic Jobs

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Writing a dissertation is hard. The annoying thing is that it turns out that finding a job in industry isn’t any easier. A PhD resume for industry goes against everything you’ve learned so far. More is no longer more. More is now too much. Industry has less time and less patience. You have seconds to impress. Seconds.

So how do you switch to the less is more mentality without losing anything valuable? How do you compete with candidates who already know the game? Rest easy. We’ve got the perfect summary of what it takes to go from “ignore” to “interview” in less time than it takes you to find a parking spot on campus.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume samples here.

Check out our other articles for academics:

Not sure what the difference between a resume and a CV is, check: CV vs Resume. What’s the difference?

PhD Industry Resume Example

Gisela Arbogast



Teaching Fellow and Program Coordinator with 5+ years of experience at prestigious learning institutions. Looking to leverage program management and outreach skills to expand learning program audience at the Treyner Institute.

Work Experience

Graduate Admissions Associate

Columbia University, New York, NY


  • Supported recruitment and student outreach efforts which included open hours, information sessions and PhD applicant interview days.
  • Assisted 150+ graduate school applicants with their applications.
  • Analyzed trends in applicant survey data and compiled them into comprehensive marketing and outreach strategy reports for admissions department.
  • Prescreened 450+ graduate program applications.

Key achievement:

  • Discovered 15+ new marketing opportunities which led to a 15% rise in number of graduate program applications.

Teaching Fellow

Columbia University, New York, NY


  • Taught 3 undergraduate tutorials in gender studies and sociocultural anthropology.
  • Advised 55+ students on research, courses, and extracurricular opportunities.

Key achievement:

  • Received highest student evaluation scores in the Department of Anthropology that surpassed teaching quality benchmarks by 12%.

Senior Tutor

Columbia University, New York, NY


  • Advised 10 undergraduates on senior theses concerning affliction and trauma in gender studies.


Ph.D. in Social Anthropology

Columbia University, New York, NY


B.A. in Anthropology

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA



  • Program management
  • Data analysis
  • Teamwork
  • Microsoft Office
  • E-marketing
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Reliability


Contributing Editor, Cultural Anthropology


  • French—Advanced (C2)
  • German—Intermediate (B1)


Neoliberalism, human rights, and toxicity in gender studies

Forensic science

E-marketing in higher education

Here’s how to write a PhD resume that will light up the room with alacrity, eloquence, and candor:

1. Choose the Best Format for Your PhD Resume

A PhD resume is what you’ll want to use for any job that’s not research oriented or academic. It focuses primarily on your professional experience and skills which is important in cases where the position won’t need a PhD and the hiring manager won’t be able to appreciate your contributions to academia.

This landscape is different from what you’ve known so far. The business world doesn’t have time for lengthy explanations and debates. It wants results— now.

You’re going to have to modify your resume to make it suit private sector needs better.

Intrigue the hiring manager using the following resume formatting guidelines:

At this point you might also be wondering how long your resume should be. If you have a few years of experience outside of academia, go for two pages. Otherwise, one-page resume template should do the trick.

2. Write a PhD Resume Objective or Resume Summary

Introduce yourself through your resume profile, or more specifically, a resume objective or summary. It’s a short and sweet paragraph at the top of your PhD industry resume that explains why you’re the person for the job. Think of it as an attention-grabbing thesis title.

Use a career summary if you have more than a couple of years of experience that you can neatly translate into the private sector:

  • First jot down the key points in your experience and skills as well as accomplishments.
  • Then choose 3-4 top selling points and add those into your PhD resume summary section.

If you’ve spent most of your time immersed in books lately, opt for the career objective:

  • Underline the knowledge and relevant skills (hard skills or soft skills) you’ve gathered to date and how well you’d fit in.
  • Think of transferable skills and quantifiable achievements from any gigs you’ve had. 

There’s no need to drown this section in a ton of information. Keep it 3-4 sentences long max and tailor it to the job description of the position you’re applying for.

Use resume keywords to pass the ATS scan. Check:What are Resume Keywords?

3. Create the Perfect PhD Resume Job Description

You know what your greatest challenge is now? Your resume experience section needs to show your pragmatic side. You see, the hiring manager realizes that you know your stuff. Make them realize that you can also get the job done:

  • List your most current position and then just go back in time with previous positions.
  • Make sure each entry includes: job titles, company name, dates of employment, and no more than 6 bullet points.
  • Limit the number of bullet points as you go back in time with your experience. Have up to 3 for positions far in the past.
  • Start each bullet point with an action verb.
  • Focus on quantifiable achievements and not just a dull list of duties.
  • Tailor your professional experience section to match the position you’re trying for.

Suppress your academic instincts, this isn’t another dissertation—there’s no room for irrelevant info here.

Pro Tip: Don’t come up with roles or responsibilities that you never had just to make yourself look more appealing. Recruiters do background checks and will verify whether you’re telling the truth through tests and interviews.

4. Make Your PhD Education Section Shine

Now this is the section where you’ll probably feel strongest, and it’s no wonder, you’re a real brain!

Here’s how to nail your education section:

  • If you have several years of job experience opt for only listing the following: college/university name and location, years you studied, degree, major and minors.
  • Have limited experience? Sprinkle your education resume section with achievements from your academia days. Make sure to keep them relevant to the job description and list no more than 4-6 items.

Again, don’t think plethora, think pellucid. You probably want to take this opportunity to list all your certifications on your resume, but leave it for a separate section to keep things clear and easy to read.

Studied abroad? Check how to put it on your PhD resume: Studying Abroad on a Resume

5. Highlight Your PhD Skills

This is where you get to do something that you don’t do often in academia—you highlight your skills:

  • Create a master list of all the job skills you have— this means soft skills and hard skillstechnical skills, and any other relevant skills you’ve got on your bookshelf.
  • Pick the PhD skills that are most relevant by using the job ad as a guide. Include them in your PhD resume for industry. Get extra brownie points if you can mention skills that your education and experience sections can prove.

PhD Resume Skills 

We analyzed 11 million resumes created in our builder, and here are the top 10 most frequently added skills to resumes by our users:

  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Problem-solving
  • Excellent Communication
  • Multitasking
  • Attention to Detail
  • MS Office
  • Analytical and Critical Thinking
  • Data Entry
  • Project Management
  • Team Management

Creating a resume with our builder is incredibly simple. Follow our step-by-step guide and use content from Certified Professional Resume Writers to have a resume ready in minutes.

When you’re done, our free resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

6. Add Extra Sections to Your PhD Resume

Having a PhD doesn’t mean that you’ve got it made. It actually sometimes even makes finding a job a lot harder. Extra sections on PhD resumes give you a chance to highlight some extras that you have and others probably don’t. So go ahead and extol.

  • Include language skills. As an academic, your language skills are probably quite good to begin with and that puts you in the lead in that department.
  • Include volunteering,achievements and awards, and projects that are relevant. Bonus points if they also prove you do other things outside academia.
  • List publications here if you have any that might give you an advantage in the running for the open role.
  • Add hobbies and interests if they’re relevant. There are tons of skills and knowledge needed in the private sector; you never know what might end up playing in your favor.

7. Attach a PhD Resume Cover Letter

If you’re wondering if you should include a cover letter, then let’s make it super clear—yes, you do. 

Write the best PhD cover letter this side of the Ivy League with the following tips:

Keep it neat, concise, and no obsequiousness. The ideal length of an effective cover letter is 1 page. Anything longer is just gratuitous.

Read more:How to Write a Cover Letter

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

And once you have all that sent, remember to follow up on your job application! Things just don’t fall into your lap in academia, the same thing goes for looking for jobs in private industry.

That’s what a successful PhD resume looks like in a nutshell.

Thanks for reading. Have any insider tips or tricks to share about creating the perfect PhD resume? Share them in the comments below!

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This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.


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Oliwia Wolkowicz
Oliwia is a writer and career expert with a solid background in consulting. At Zety, she writes dedicated, advice-driven guides to help readers create great resumes and cover letters to land the job of their dreams.

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