How to get an industry job with no industry experience | Summary and Q&A

December 18, 2017
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How to get an industry job with no industry experience


Industry experience not a must; focus on problem-solving skills and connections.

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Key Insights

  • 🧘 Industry experience is not always a strict requirement for job positions.
  • 🪡 Job descriptions may not accurately reflect a company's true needs; problem-solving skills are crucial.
  • 🏛️ Building personal connections within target companies is more effective than submitting online applications.
  • ❓ Adapt and showcase problem-solving skills to transition successfully from academia to the industry.
  • ❓ Effective storytelling of accomplishments can emphasize problem-solving abilities to potential employers.
  • ❓ Learning how academia and industry differ is essential for a successful transition.
  • ❓ Focus on understanding and addressing immediate industry challenges to demonstrate value.


Hey, everybody. Dave Giltner with TurningScience. I help scientists and engineers design and build rewarding careers in industry. Today, I want to talk about a question I get a lot when I speak at universities. They say, "Dave, so many employers want industry experience." "I've only been in academia." "I've been a graduate student." "How on earth... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How important is industry experience when applying for jobs in the industry?

While industry experience is often preferred, it is not always necessary as companies prioritize problem-solving skills and adaptability in candidates.

Q: Why is submitting online applications not recommended for securing a job in the industry?

Online applications often rely on strict criteria, hindering those without conventional experience. Building personal connections and showcasing problem-solving abilities is a more effective approach.

Q: What steps can aspiring industry professionals take to overcome the lack of industry experience?

Research target companies, connect with employees, and effectively communicate problem-solving skills through personal encounters to demonstrate value to potential employers.

Q: How can academics transition successfully into the industry mindset?

Academics can adapt by understanding and focusing on solving immediate industry problems efficiently, showcasing practical problem-solving abilities, and connecting with industry professionals.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Having no industry experience isn't a barrier as many successful professionals have started without it.

  • Job descriptions may not accurately reflect the actual needs of a company; focus on problem-solving abilities.

  • Connecting with people at targeted companies and showcasing problem-solving skills is key to breaking into the industry.

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