PhD Resume—Examples and 25+ Expert Writing Tips

You’ve been hitting the books with a vengeance, but now you need to bust out and join the workforce. Reference PhD resume examples better than most, get more interviews than ever.

Bart Turczynski
Editor-in-Chief
PhD Resume—Examples and 25+ Expert Writing Tips

Abstract: Doctoral candidates are postgraduate students in the process of earning a PhD in their chosen field. The purpose of your PhD resume (as opposed to an academic CV) is to show how your academic background and work history qualify you for a job in a non-academic context.

Looking around for PhD resume examples—

 

You’ve probably noticed a common point of confusion:

 

A doctoral student CV, doctoral student resume, and a resume for a doctoral program are all very different things.

 

A PhD resume is what you want if you’re looking for a job outside of academia—

 

A CV is the way to go if you’re applying for a post, grant, fellowship, place, etc. at a university.

 

In this guide:

 

  • PhD resume examples better than most.
  • How to create the perfect doctoral resume job descriptions.
  • How to write a resume when you’re a PhD or PhD candidate.
  • Expert tips and examples to boost your chances of landing your dream job.

  

Save hours of work and get a resume like this. Pick a template, fill it in. Quick and easy. Choose from 18+ resume templates and download your resume now.

 

Create your resume now

 

 phd resume example

 

What users say about ResumeLab:

I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your resume.”
Patrick

I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work!
Dylan 

My previous resume was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful!
George

Create your resume now

 

A PhD opens so many doors, a lot depends on your field of study, what stage you’re at, and what you want to do. Check out some of our other guides, whether you’re:

 

Moving into these non-academic fields:

 

 

Entering one of the professions:

 

 

Sticking with teaching and research:

 

 

Going it alone:

 

 

Or still working towards or supplementing a PhD:

 

 

Finally, if you’re on an academic track, then an academic CV is what you’re after:

 

 

Doctoral Resume Sample

 

Patrick Labarge

Design Engineer

 

Personal Info

Phone: 630-354-4392

E-mail: patrick.labarge@reslab.com

linkedin.com/in/patrickclabarge

 

Summary

 

Passionate design engineer with 3+ years’ experience working in the industry, currently completing doctoral studies in industrial engineering and operations research. At GDC Allstorm, increased compliance by 17% while reducing manufacturing costs by up to $140,000 p.a. Seeking opportunity to apply proven PCB design and PM skills in helping RottenFruit increase margins.

 

Experience 

 

Design Engineer

GDC Allstorm

October 2018–present

  • Specified performance testing parameters, boosting compliance by 17%.
  • Optimized product designs to reduce manufacturing costs by up to $140,000 p.a.
  • Established 10+ project development schedules from concept to production implementation in line with business requirements.
  • Developed integrated circuit security solutions that circumvented 15% of known attack vectors at the hardware level.

 

Senior Tutor

University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

September 2016–June 2018

  • Tutored 90+ students in finite element method design.
  • Taught four classes of 16–22 mechanical engineering students each week.
  • Graded 400+ assignments with <0.5% adjustment after double marking.
  • Averaged 4.96 / 5.00 on teaching evaluation questionnaires.

 

Education 

 

PhD in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

2024 (anticipated)

  • Thesis: PCB Design Optimization Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Thesis supervisor: Prof. Gary Young

 

MS in Electronics Engineering

University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

2018

  • Thesis: Minimizing Water Usage With a Linux-Driven IoT Irrigation Monitoring and Controller System
  • Thesis supervisor: Dr Jamie Nuttall

 

BS in Mechanical Engineering

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL

2015

  • Pursued a passion for control systems coursework.
  • Excelled in circuit design elective coursework.

 

Software

 

  • OpenSCAD
  • AutoCAD
  • Creo
  • Solidworks
  • Matlab
  • GNU+Linux

 

Programming Languages

 

  • C++
  • Python
  • Java

 

Key Skills

 

  • Circuit design
  • PCB design
  • Technical writing
  • Project management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Analysis
  • Attention to detail
  • Collaboration

 

Now here’s how to write a PhD resume they’ll love:

 

1. Choose the Right Doctoral Resume Format

 

You’ve got non-academic friends—

 

You know how their eyes glaze over when you start talking about grad-school politics or your plans for a monograph.

 

Don’t do that to the hiring managers who pick up your doctoral resume.

 

Make your resume format as quick and clear as a three-minute thesis final. Here’s how:

 

Doctoral Resume Format

 

 

Life (and Microsoft) has taught you that the answer to the PDF versus *.docx debate for your resume is PDF.

 

But—

 

Always check the job ad and go with any file-type preferences listed there.

 

Some organizations use deprecated ATSs (Applicant Tracking Systems) that can’t handle PDF.

 

2. Summarize Your Candidature With a Doctoral Resume Profile

 

This is the elevator-pitch version of your resume.

 

Short and sweet and basically complete.

 

Write a career summary if you have some experience that’s relevant to the job at hand.

 

Use:

 

  1. One adjective (efficient, productive, passionate)
  2. Job title (PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineer)
  3. Years of experience (3+, 4+)
  4. How you’ll help (help Company X reduce costs)
  5. Two or three of your most impressive achievements (maintained 94% TEVAL score, received Catafalque Award for best design)

 

These career summary examples show how:

 

PhD Resume Summary

Good Example
Passionate design engineer with 3+ years’ experience working in the industry, currently completing doctoral studies in industrial engineering and operations research. At GDC Allstorm, increased compliance by 17% while reducing manufacturing costs by up to $140,000 p.a. Seeking opportunity to apply proven PCB design and PM skills in helping RottenFruit increase margins.
Bad Example
Design engineer with 3 years’ experience. At GDC Allstorm, specified performance testing parameters and optimized product designs. Seeking opportunity to join a dynamic company with a good benefits package and plenty of professional development options.

Who would you hire?

 

The first example presents past achievements as predictors of future performance—

 

It’s concrete, quantified, and all about bringing value to the organization.

 

OK, but what if you don’t have any relevant experience?

 

Write a resume objective and talk up achievements from your studies and indirectly relevant jobs.

 

PhD Resume Objective

Good Example
Dedicated design engineering PhD candidate with 2+ years experience teaching related engineering and physics subjects, currently completing doctoral studies in industrial engineering and operations research. At UIC, graded 400+ assignments with <0.5% adjustment after double marking, averaged 4.96 / 5.00 on teaching evaluation questionnaires. Seeking opportunity to apply proven PCB design and modeling skills in helping RottenFruit increase margins.
Bad Example
No experience working in the industry, but kept up to date through academic work. Looking to join a team of interesting people from diverse backgrounds.

Once again—

 

Focusing on what you hope to gain is not a winning strategy.

 

Feel a case of the dreaded writer’s block coming on?

 

Write your resume profile last—

 

It’ll be much easier and you’ll be able to do a much better job.

 

3. Create the Perfect Job Description and Skills Sections for Your Doctoral Resume

 

Show, don’t tell—

 

Make your resume work history section a showcase of accomplishments.

 

How to write a resume job description for a PhD resume:

 

  1. Re-read the job ad (it’s not the driest thing you’ve had to read more than once).
  2. Pay attention to the skills and duties mentioned there.
  3. Think of times you’ve wowed superiors by leveraging those skills.
  4. Write resume bullet points that focus on the benefits you brought to your higher ups.

 

These PhD resume examples show how:

 

PhD Resume Job Description

Good Example

Design Engineer

GDC Allstorm

June 2018–present

  • Specified performance testing parameters, boosting compliance by 17%.
  • Optimized product designs to reduce manufacturing costs by up to $140,000 p.a.
  • Established 10+ project development schedules from concept to production implementation in line with business requirements.
  • Developed integrated circuit security solutions that circumvented 15% of known attack vectors at the hardware level.
Bad Example

Design Engineer

GDC Allstorm

2018–present

  • Specified performance testing parameters.
  • Optimized product designs.
  • Established project development schedules in line with business requirements.
  • Developed integrated circuit security solutions.

Same candidate—

 

Huge difference.

 

The first example is all about achievements—

 

The second, duties.

 

Both make decent use of resume power words, though.

 

One more thing:

 

You’ll be needing a skills section.

 

The trick:

 

Be selective.

 

Let the job ad determine which skills you include in your resume.

 

And don’t overshoot the mark, at least not by much—

 

More is not more.

 

The following are just examples, yours will depend heavily on your field and line of work.

 

Skills for a Doctoral Resume

 

Hard skills

 

  • Circuit design
  • Lean manufacturing
  • PCB design
  • Technical writing
  • Project management
  • Budgeting
  • Testing
  • Computer aided design
  • Research
  • Mathematical modeling

 

Soft skills

 

 

The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.

 

create your resume now

 

CREATE YOUR RESUME NOW

 

Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.

 

4. Handle Your Education the Right Way

 

Whatever your motivation for getting into doctoral studies

 

Do your education justice.

 

Here’s how you can make sure it has maximum impact:

 

List degree names (including majors), school names, and years graduated.

 

Then:

 

Add a couple of bullet points that prove key skills or detail your theses.

 

This PhD resume example shows how:

 

Education Section for a Doctoral Candidate Resume

Good Example

PhD in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

2024 (anticipated)

  • Thesis: PCB Design Optimization Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Thesis supervisor: Prof. Gary Young

 

MS in Electronics Engineering

University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

2018

  • Thesis: Minimizing Water Usage With a Linux-Driven IoT Irrigation Monitoring and Controller System
  • Thesis supervisor: Dr Jamie Nuttall

 

BS in Mechanical Engineering

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL

2015

  • Pursued a passion for control systems coursework.
  • Excelled in circuit design elective coursework.

Work history looking a little sparse?

 

Include projects, classes, and relevant academic accomplishments in your resume education section.

 

5. Expand Your Doctoral Resume With Added Sections

 

With all the talk of increasing the workforce readiness of postgrads

 

You don’t want to pass up the opportunity to show your readiness.

 

Add one or two extra sections to fill in the blanks:

 

 

These two PhD resume examples show yes vs no no no:

 

PhD Resume Examples—Extra Sections

Good Example

Software

 

  • OpenSCAD
  • AutoCAD
  • Creo
  • Solidworks
  • Matlab
  • GNU+Linux

 

Programming Languages

 

  • C++
  • Python
  • Java
Bad Example

Software

 

  • CAD software
  • Mathematical software
  • Operating systems

 

Hobbies and Interests

 

  • Sandcastle building (competitive)
  • Speed dating (competitive)
  • Tennis (recreational)

A-, meet D+.

 

Hobbies and interests are absolutely fine—

 

As long you follow the golden rule:

 

Every single thing you add has to be directly relevant to the position at hand.

 

One final step:

 

You’ll need to write a cover letter to go with your doctoral resume.

 

Irrespective of your field, a cover letter is part and parcel of any application process that requires a resume.

 

Consider yourself exempt only if you’ve explicitly been asked not to include one.

 

Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

 

create your cover letter now

 

CREATE YOUR COVER LETTER NOW

 

Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

 

Key Points

 

For a doctoral resume that gets interviews:

 

  • Use the PhD resume examples given throughout this guide. Like peer-reviewed articles, they’ve been tested and tried.
  • Put relevant achievements in your resume profile, work history, and education sections to show you’ve got what they need.
  • Choose the right skills to include in your doctoral resume. The job ad or announcement to which you’re responding will tell you what the right skills are for you.
  • Write a doctoral cover letter. Use it to demonstrate your enthusiasm and state your case.

 

Need more guidance on how to write a doctoral candidate resume? Not sure how to list doctoral candidate on a resume? Leave a comment, we’ll be glad to reply.

Rate my article: phd
Thank you for voting
Average: 5 (1 votes)
Bart Turczynski
Editor-in-chief at Zety since 2016. His career advice and commentary has been published by the Financial Times, Hewlett-Packard, CareerBuilder, and Glassdoor, among others. With a strong passion for statistics and a background in psychology, Bart makes sure all the advice published on Zety is data-driven.

Was it interesting? Here are similar articles

How to Write a Resume for Graduate School Application?

How to Write a Resume for Graduate School Application?

Admission counselors are on the lookout for well-rounded candidates. Show them you’re diverse with accomplishments and extracurriculars in a jaw-dropping graduate school resume.

Roger Maftean
Roger Maftean
Career Expert at ResumeLab
Tutor Resume—Sample and 25+ Writing Tips

Tutor Resume—Sample and 25+ Writing Tips

You have the knowledge of a small library, the patience of a saint, and the communication skills of a radio host. Let’s get your diary filled up.

Dave Rygielski
Dave Rygielski
Career Expert