Can I Get a Job Without Publications?

One of the most important requirements for securing an academic position is a strong publication list—the higher the number and the more prestigious the journal the better. But what about industry jobs?

“Do I need a lot of publications to get a job in industry?” is a question we frequently hear.

The answer is both yes—and no. Academic positions: publications illustrate your ability to do research that your peers acknowledge is innovative and important; this helps reassure faculty hiring committees that you will be able to secure funding for your work. Industry positions: publications help demonstrate your productivity; while innovation is important, productivity is a key feature for industry success. But publications are not the only way to show productivity.

In fact, unless you articulate in your resume how you have been productive, simply listing your publications may not have much of an impact. This is one of the major differences between a C.V. and an industry-friendly resume.

How do you know what is relevant for an industry position, but not reflected by a publication? How do you put it into your resume? It is an area where many scientists struggle. That’s why we created the P.R.E. Resume Worksheet®. Specifically designed for scientists, the 13 questions will help you remember ideas you initiated, assays you implemented, concepts you demonstrated, projects you led, and more. Then you will find instructions on how to incorporate those results (which themselves may not be publishable, but which reflect your productivity) and prioritize them in a way that is meaningful to a hiring manager.

Are publications important? Yes. And if you have them, they are evidence of your success. Can you get a job in industry without a big publication list? Yes. You can have a bad project, mentor, funding—even get scooped on your results– and still have done things that are important for an industry role.

Invest a few dollars in yourself and your future to get the information which will help you transition out of academia and into industry. See how to effectively communicate the important findings of your publications in the body of your resume. Learn what contributions, apart from what gets published, are significant and how to efficiently present them in order to successfully move your career forward.

The website, was put together by scientists for scientists to help you get into industry. You have done more than you think—now see how to identify it, articulate it, and share it. Get the files you need at

Click HERE to see a list of industry science positions that do NOT require prior industry experience. Remember doing a postdoc in industry will count as industry experience too so it could be worth exploring that option as well!

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