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VOL. 130 | NO. 182 | Friday, September 18, 2015

Angela Copeland

Translating an Academic Resume for the Corporate World

ANGELA COPELAND | Special to The Daily News

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Over time, one theme keeps coming up in the questions I receive from readers. After spending years going to school to receive a master’s or doctoral degree, many recent graduates find themselves with a long resume.

Unfortunately, their experience is exclusively academic in nature. The same holds true for those completing postdoctoral research. Compounding the problem, these graduates have virtually no experience interviewing for corporate positions.

This experience can be both frustrating and a huge blow to one’s self-esteem. The graduate spent years developing their experience and knowledge, and suddenly are at a loss for where to turn. The issue is often compounded because many people in their close circle are in a similar situation. The options for assistance are limited.

The good news is the steps you need to take don’t involve going back to school. They aren’t costly, and anyone can do them.

First, remember that not everyone who looks at your resume has the in-depth knowledge of your field that you do. Even if you apply to a job within your area of expertise, there’s a good chance a human resources professional or a less technical business partner will read it. Your resume should be written using plain language, in a way that someone without your degree can understand.

Use your personal email address, rather than your school email. Leave your GPA off. Leave out your references; they’ll go on the application.

Consider adding sections to your resume for things like speaking, consulting and projects. So often in our academic classes, we get the chance to work on real-life business problems. Share this information with your future employer. Although you may not have been paid for your work, highlight the experience that will translate into your professional career.

List your volunteer experiences or internship opportunities. Again, just because you weren’t paid doesn’t mean an employer won’t want to know about it.

Try your best not to list every publication you’ve been cited in. Or, if you do, try a creative format. The bibliography format can make a hiring manager’s eyes glaze over. Keep your resume to two pages maximum; stay away from an ultra-long CV format.

Once you feel your resume is in a good place, ask a friend to read it. Select someone who does not work in your industry. They’ll notice things you might overlook.

When it comes to applying for a job, tap into your network. Don’t let the Internet be the only place you submit your resume. If you find your network is small or very niche, work to expand it by going to networking events and asking friends to introduce you to others outside your circle.

Often, hiring decisions aren’t about who’s the most qualified. They’re about who the hiring manager gets along with. Wear a suit, take the time to perfect your elevator pitch, and focus on being friendly and relatable.

At the end of the day, you’ll be the one landing your next job – not your degree.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 39 190
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0