New Software Sets Academic Ph.D.’s Up for a Successful Transition into Industry Careers
With more than 50,000 people with PhDs entering the field every year, how do you differentiate yourself from other candidates going after the same job? A new program technology by SciPhD called Flamingo® assists academic scientists who are first-time job seekers in searching for their ideal job and honing in on the technical, business, and social skills needed to nail down an interview.
The web application, recently nominated for the Workforce Champion of the Year award in the First Annual BioBuzz Awards, is available for $99 for lifetime access as a standalone product. It offers a multitude of valuable features for the job-seeking academic scientist, including:
- a customized profile yielding job results that pique your interest
- job description analysis that helps identify critical skills needed to succeed in the role
- the creation of a targeted resume to help you get the interview and
- career development resources
Generating a High-Quality Job Search, Resume
One of the first things to do when engaging with Flamingo® is to make a profile. You can specify when you need a job, what city and state it should be located in, your financial needs, your educational history, job history, and more. This information impacts your job results and is imported into your Flamingo®-generated resume draft, so it doesn’t hurt to be thorough.
“If you create your resume right the first time, then you don’t need to apply to 40 to 50 jobs,” suggests Flamingo® Co-Founder Randall Ribaudo, PhD. “Flamingo can assist you in optimizing your resume so it speaks to the needs of your dream job, as indicated by the job description, increasing the chances you’re viewed as a high-caliber candidate.”
Because Flamingo’s job analytics engine inspects job descriptions and analyzes the core competencies needed to be seen as a strong candidate for the role, you can select the skills you do have and promote them in your resume as well as identify any weakness areas.
Oftentimes, business and social skills are underdeveloped in the academic scientist.
Developing Business and Social Skills
Academic scientists are well-versed in their scientific area of expertise, but often in academia, business and social skills are not learned. For example, Ribaudo explains, “there is a competitive energy in research that may not translate well in the corporate world. Individuals with a PhD and postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to produce the best of the best research and that often means proving their peers wrong in their own research pursuit.”
In contrast, collaboration with colleagues, or as Ribaudo calls, “playing well in the sandbox,” is a major part of the corporate world culture, and so relearning how to interact with peers is going to be necessary for success.
Flamingo® is useful in its ability to teach academic scientists an array of business and social skills, such as communication skills, that they should cultivate to be successful in their future career.
Ribaudo breaks down in a non-exhaustive list what he calls “the three identities” or three areas (i.e., scientific identity, business identity, and social identity) that the job seeker should strengthen:
- Scientific/Technical identity – Your accumulated technical and scientific expertise
- Business identity – Understanding the need to produce high-quality work, meeting deadlines, continuously improving work/self, project management, and risk management
- Social identity – Playing well in the sandbox, taking and giving constructive criticism in a non-threatening way, and understanding the value of mentoring and how to go about it
Through Flamingo’s career development resources, job seekers are exposed to the aforementioned topics and more, such as negotiations, networking, and finance—always in the context of science.
Ribaudo explains that risk management may be one of the most pertinent skills to prioritize since a lot of time, money and resources go into research, so ensuring it is successful by minimizing risk is extremely important.
The Flamingo software guides users to map job descriptions against core competencies, and then leverages a unique job analytics engine to pinpoint the most critical competencies needed to be successful in the role. After identifying these core competencies, a job seeker may leverage the career development resources to increase their competency in any areas of weakness to become a stronger candidate.
SciPhD provides training for scientists who want to transition from academia to non-academic careers. Various workshops, boot camps, and certificate programs are designed to offer resources and hands-on training to identify and develop skills in communication, leadership, negotiation, team building, networking, and project management. Workshops introduce job opportunities in the industry, and a critical evaluation of students’ skills, all to translate “operational competencies” to SciPhD’s 23 core competencies, valued by hiring companies. Additionally, a focus on resume and interview preparation, as well as networking helps participants to design an individual career action plan. Numerous universities, medical schools, science academies, and societies in the US and abroad have hosted SciPhD training programs.
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