- How important is citation count for fresh doctorates? Is this number more important for joining the academia than the industry?
- What is the importance of citations for someone seeking tenure? Does this depend on the field, as papers in an esoteric area can be expected to have few citations?
You already got some nice answers, but let me share my personal experience. I am a fresh PhD and I got hired on aP position after 3 months of graduation. There was another candidate (my friend) who also graduated same time with me, he had 14 times more citations, 6 times more total impact factor, and almost 10 times the number of publications. But he graduated from a university ranked in 400 and I graduated from world top 20. He published most of work by collaborating with different students from developing countries, while my publications were totally focused on my thesis work. He had 100+ publications during PhD but no patent, my all publications were registered for patent and 2 were bought by the industry.
I was convinced that my friend will get this position not me, but the result was surprising I got hired while he was rejected. So, in my opinion sometime citations and number of publications has minimal impact and you may get hired based on from where you are coming and what exactly you did during PhD. Focused, well organised, and quality work with few publications and citations are better than low quality large number of publications with high citations and high total IF.