Wednesday, 18 September 2013


Two weeks ago, I applied for a (non-academic) job. A job I have the relevant experience for, and one which I would have loved, and been good at. I spent a half-day fantasizing excitedly about all the possibilities the job offered (ignoring the draft of Chapter 3 which needed doing), and several other days/ half-days, here and there, working painstakingly on the application. After two weeks waiting with baited breath, I got the email yesterday. I didn't even get an interview. They regret but they don't give feedback on unsuccessful applications.

I know that this probably isn't my fault, that I did my best, that the job probably will go to someone internal/ someone with more experience. Whatever. Still, it was sad. Maybe they looked at my CV and saw the long list of educational projects with which I have been amusing myself over the last years, and they thought: no, this person obviously wants to be an academic one day, and they are just thinking of this job as a stop-gap before they get their first academic job.

Maybe I should have quit the PhD in my second year after all.


  1. Maybe I can be of a little help here as I was in the exact same position (i.e. having only academical experience and having a lot of academic courses but no 'real' experience - though wanting a job in the industry). They hired me, so I guess my cv did not repulse them.

    The top of my cv contained - of course - my name, phone number and address.
    The second paragraph was one on how I had experience, yes, but I was looking for a challenging job in the industry, and I added some topics in which I was experienced that could be applied to the industrial world as well (e.g. project managing; the skills of making other people enthusiastic about something, working independently as well as in group,...). I think that made them realize that me, coming from the university, could be a good candidate for the job.
    If you want some more tips - always welcome to email me!

    1. thanks. that helps a lot :) I'll keep trying to make my CV as relevant as possible to every future job I apply for. (it's also possible that my CV was not repulsive, just that they had 847 candidates chasing one job... i'll never know.)

      it's nice to know that someone else went through the same thing and survived/ succeeded!


  2. Again exactly the same position, my PhD is quite broad and crossing between three different fields, great for novelty and originality for a PhD less good when trying to get a job. From the feedback that I have had, which has been minimal, is that I haven't got out of the HR to be sent to the recruiting manager and although I am very qualified in some areas I have only marginal knowledge in others. Kind of depressing, but I did find networking at a conference helped and then chasing up with e-mails afterwards. Almost at the finish line now for you (still 2 1/2 months for me) so keep going and it will all fall into place :)