Can I Get Into Industry Without Publications?

One of the most important requirements for securing an academic position is a strong publication list—the higher the number and more prestigious the journal the better. But what about industry positions? “Do I need a lot of publications to get into industry?” is a common question.

The answer is both yes—and no. With 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. For industry positions, publications help demonstrate your productivity. While innovation is important, productivity is a key feature for industry success. Note, however, that 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.

But how do you communicate—or even realize for yourself—what you have done that is relevant for an industry position? It’s 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 innovation and 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 into 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 many things relevant to an industry research role.

Invest a few dollars in yourself and your future to get the information which will help you move 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 present them effectively in order to successfully advance in your career.

The website, was put together by scientists for scientists to help you get into industry. You have done more than you think. See how to realize it and communicate it successfully. Get the files you need at

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