If you’re still unsure whether you want to stay in the academic world or move into the industry one, you should try to work more closely with your lab’s industry contacts. Get to know them and ask them what their experiences are. There’s probably a good chance that some of them used to be in academia themselves, making them one of the best resources you can find for some advice not only on how to get an industry job, but whether or not it is the right decision for you.
Once you’ve made the decision to get out of academia the next step will be breaking into the industry and starting the job search. This can be very different than looking for postdoc positions and applying to PhD programs, while your papers and academic accomplishments are still important, industry recruiters want to know other things about you too. They need to see if you can fit into the company culture and that you have other experience outside of academia. You should definitely give your CV/resume a complete tune-up for each industry position you apply for. Research the company, see if you can tell what it is they value in an employee based on their website, social media, and history, then you can tailor your resume to stand out. This may mean trimming down your list of publications and the like, but it is still important to at least note these accomplishments, you worked hard for them! Once you do manage to break into an industry job, even if it’s not exactly what you were looking for, gaining that experience will help you move up and work towards that dream job.
Written by Justin Brown