Handling Publications—or lack thereof—in your Resume

“Publish or perish” is a well-known saying in academia. Academic research is driven by the need to share your work publicly. Often, grants are funded based on publications that show the building blocks of your research. Once you receive a grant, it is expected that you will publish the results of the work outlined in your proposal. Publications, especially in peer-reviewed journals, are how academics in particular share their results and demonstrate their productivity. Your publication list is proof of your skill and productivity as a scientist. 

If you are thinking of leaving academia and entering industry, your first step is to convert your academic C.V. into an industry-friendly and relevant resume. In constructing your resume, you might have searched online resumes sites for advice. The truth is that the advice you find on general resume-building sites isn’t always applicable to scientific resumes. One thing that won’t be covered is what to do about publications—whether you have them or do not. 

One big question we often hear is:

Do publications matter to an industry hiring manger?

The answer is “Yes!” As stated above, publications are the proof of your productivity. They are the evidence that you can gain knowledge and skills and use them to answer a well-conceived scientific question. They help demonstrate your innovation, analytical skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. This is why you should list ALL of your publications, not just a few “high profile” ones. 

For these reasons, it can be incredibly stressful when you do not have many publications. It happens a lot and may not due to a lack of productivity. Sometimes experiments just don’t work out. Some model systems take a long time to generate. You may work for years and only get “negative” data that might not be suitable for a publication. Your advisor could move, die, or lose the tenure quest and you have to transfer to a new lab. Or, you may have publications but none as a first author because you were pulled off of your individual project and put on collaborations where you were not going to be the first author. 

How else do you demonstrate your productivity in a resume?

Hiring managers don’t care how you spent your time, they want to know what came out of the time you spent. But you don’t have to have a long list of first-author papers to demonstrate that you can get results. You do, though, need to find a way to present other information that shows your productivity. Our P.R.E. Resume Worksheet will help you identity and express your accomplishments, contributions, and productivity beyond your publication list. Once you apply the dozen or more questions from the worksheet to your research, you will see that you’ve contributed more than publication titles could communicate anyway!

Even if you have a lot of papers published, you will need to show what—and how—you contributed to them. (Multiple authors make that impossible to discern.) And, you need to do it without sounding braggadocios. The P.R.E® Resume Worksheet will allow you to do that.

Find and download worksheet and other files to create an effective scientific, industry-friendly resume at www.ScientificResumes.com, a website created by scientists for scientists. In addition, you will get samples of effective, industry-friendly resumes, learn how to build a meaningful profile, how to format publications, deal with references, and more! You can even get a review with feedback on your resume from industry scientists. 

We have the tools you need to create a powerful scientific resume that will help you enter or advance in industry. 

Let the experts at www.ScientificResumes.com help you make your best impression when applying to industry positions. 

Once your resume is ready, click HERE to see if any of these 250+ “no-industry-experience-required” openings are a match for your background and skills.

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