I've recently left academia and am looking for a job in industry, mostly in R&D, in the areas of machine learning, computer vision, data science etc. Should I mention in the header "John Doe, PhD" instead of just "John Doe" to catch immediate attention of recruiters?

  • 1
    Does you resume not reveal your education? Then there is no need to insert "Ph.D." here and there as well.
    – GEdgar
    Nov 24, 2018 at 12:30

2 Answers 2


I guess I'm the ideal person to answer, as I made exactly this transition a few years ago and now help review resumes for job candidates in ML R&D.

Typically the top of a resume has the person's name, often in enormous font. I would recommend putting "Science Man", not "Science Man, PhD" here. Of course, it is a small difference, but the latter would raise a few question for me:

  • Does this person realize who we are? We may be "in industry", but for a research position, many/most of our competitive applicants have PhDs. Indeed, it's much easier for us to find new PhDs than people with 10+ years experience, PhD or no.
  • Does this person have realistic expectations? Of course industry salaries are higher than academia, but we've had incidents where recent graduates expect us to be so impressed by their PhD that they are unprepared for the interview or have massively unrealistic salary expectations

Of course, you should absolutely mention your PhD near the top of your resume, not disagreeing with that. Even a bone-headed recruiter won't miss your PhD if it's near the top of the first page. I would recommend either:

  • A "summary" right below your name where you have ~2 sentences including the word "PhD" (e.g., "Recent PhD/Former Professor/Experienced Researcher in [blah] seeking research opportunities in machine learning"); or,
  • Putting "skills" right below your name where you have bullets of buzzwords (tensorflow, kafka, system integration, electronic design, etc.), and then listing your PhD in the "Education" section directly below that.

Yes, mention it. However, it may not have the cachet you expect. I was once advised not to reveal my doctorate in applying for an industry position as it was felt that being a "pointy headed intellectual" wasn't especially compatible with the "down and dirty" needs of industry.

I wasn't advised to lie, just to sort of neglect to reveal.

Hopefully, times have changed. You want to come across as well qualified for whatever position you apply for, of course. That might depend more on experience than education in some situations.

  • Thanks for your answer! That's true, having a PhD alone isn't enough, but then again for the positions I'm looking for (e.g. data scientist, machine learning etc. in R&D), there're a high number of PhD's and sometimes they require the applicants to be a PhD. Nov 24, 2018 at 12:39
  • 1
    Then mention is certainly. In many (most?) places it is generally how you present yourself formally.
    – Buffy
    Nov 24, 2018 at 12:41

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