VERBIAGE – How You Say Things Matters

As scientists, it’s hard to think about bragging on our accomplishments or extolling our results. But being able to communicate our contributions is key to advancing our careers. In scientific writing, we are taught to use a passive, third person style. We talk about things we have “experience in” and have been “responsible for.”

These are nearly meaningless terms, though, to a hiring manager. The fact that you have experience in molecular biology could mean you took a course and did some course-related lab experiment. “Responsible for” could mean anything from conceiving, initiating, implementing, analyzing, and driving a project to checking off a box that things were done.

If you want to transition into industry, your resume needs to convey your productivity, initiative, and collaboration skills. Productivity is best communicated with active, past-tense verbs. In stating that you initiated or drove a project to a result, you demonstrate your productivity as a matter of fact. It is not bragging. It’s not grand standing. It’s not self-congratulatory.

What sort of accomplishments are worth noting in an industry-friendly resume? What results, apart from publications, are important to include? How does one remember and communicate obstacles they’ve overcome so they are meaningful in a resume?

These questions and others are answered and resolved by using the P.R.E. Worksheet from to convert your academic-oriented C.V. into an industry-friendly resume. With the worksheet and other downloadable files, you also will get a list of active-past tense verbs to use which will psychologically communicate “results accomplished.”

Strengthen your chances of getting noticed and interviewed for scientific positions in industry with a resume that clearly (and without sounding braggadocious) tells the reader you are productive, innovative, and collaborative – all things that are important to an industry hiring manager.

At we have assembled a packet of information assimilated from industry scientists, hiring managers, and recruiters to help you transition out of academia. Created by scientists for scientists, you will get the information needed to make sure your resume can stand alone, engage a hiring manager’s interest, and get you an interview. Invest in making yours the most powerful and effective document it can be.

You can even choose to have it reviewed by scientists in the industry who recruit, hire, or screen resumes for industry positions.

Once you have an industry-friendly, results-focused resume, check out this month’s listing of industry postdoctoral openings OR, if you’ve finished your postdoc, new positions that do not require prior industry experience HERE. Three pages of nearly 100 positions!

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