The person who gets employed is not necessarily the one who can do the job but the one who knows the most about how to get employed. Richard Bolles What Colour is Your Parachute?
“How to get employed?” What employers want? Cover letter / personal statement CV Application form
Recruiting Researchers: Survey of employer practice 2009 Survey 6% value of doctoral graduates & are actively targeting them 25% show a strong interest in doctoral graduates. They engage and recruit them but their level of engagement is less developed. 47% of respondents have some interest in doctoral but do not seem to be actively targeting them. 22% of respondents have no real interest in doctoral graduates and answered ’no‘ to most questions. Although most employers (78%) appreciate recruits with a PhD, a majority (69%) does not actively seek them.
Recruiting Lecturers: PhD destination data % employed as lecturers 4% biological sciences34% social sciences 7% physical sciences 27% humanities 10% biomedical Research roles: 35% overall, 23% in HE. Believed unemployed (2007) PhD 3.1% Masters 3.7% Bachelor 5.5% Source: What do researchers do? First destination of doctoral graduates by subject. June 2009 CRAC
What do employers want to know? 1. Can you do the job 2. Will you fit in 3. Have you got potential 4. Will you be committed The application process will test all of these
The survey asked employers to rate researchers’ skills: 1. data analysis 2. problem solving 3. drive and motivation 4. project management 5. interpersonal skills 6. leadership 7. commercial awareness
“How would you expect a PhD holder to perform in the following areas?” Group 1Group 2Group 3Group 4 Data analysis 100% 91% Problem solving 100%88%89%83% Drive and motivation 100%84%59%74% Project management 83%36%70%39% Interpersonal skills 67%56%39%26% Leadership 67%28%24%17% Commercial awareness 50%20%28%22%
Academic employers expect a mix of: research skills teaching admin management (project/people) Order depending on kind of work.
Identify skills in a job advertisement
Application Forms Describe a recent experience of working with other people. What did you contribute and what was the outcome? Give an example of a situation where you solved a problem in a creative way. Describe how you handled a situation where you had to initiate and complete a task in the face of resistance from others. Look behind – what is the real question?
Cover Letter / Supporting Statement
Cover Letter Tailored to the job (order and content) 1 page (academic 1-2 pages) single spaced 12 points Times or similar
Structure (academic) Introduce yourself. (‘To the Committee’). What position are you applying for Research paragraph: thesis etc. Teaching paragraph: experience, achievements Contributing to the new department / university Close by reiterating your suitability, thanking them for their time and saying you look forward to hearing from them. Yours sincerely, you.
Structure (non-academic) Introduce yourself. (‘Dear Mrs. Smith’). What position are you applying for? Why do you want the post? Why that particular organisation? Why you: Illustrate your suitability Extenuate circumstances, if needed Close by reiterating your suitability, thanking them for their time and saying you look forward to hearing from them.
Supporting Statements Fail because: The statement is too generic The statement fails to address the job criteria Insufficient evidence of skills/experience The statement was obviously used for another job It uses negative or inappropriate language Power words. Action verbs (handout)
Can I demonstrate it? Skills analysis
Employer & Role Awareness You are expected to demonstrate understanding of: the role the department / faculty / centre / division the institution Employers are interested in past experiences only as much as they prove that you can do the future job.
Different job, different CV Academic Chronological Skills based
ACADEMIC Research Publications Teaching Funding 2-4 pages Other experience NON ACADEMIC Skills/capabilities Commercial awareness Other experience 2 pages Conferences Publications
Practical strategies Make your CV relevant Use the job/person spec as guide Most important info on page 1 Use action verbs Emphasise roles, responsibilities & achievements
Skills based CV Brings academic & other experiences together to highlight ‘transferable skills’ Bullet point skills at the beginning of your CV Concentrate on the primary skills needed for the job Use the job/person spec as a guide Follow this section with a typical, chronological approach Support your claims with concrete examples Avoid detailed information about your PhD/master’s qualifications
CV tailored for job Teaching or research post? Permanent or temp contract? What kind of university? What kind of department? Highlight relevant skills and achievements! Have a look at...
CV surgery – in groups.
CVs for Overseas Write CV according to the conventions of the country: ‘Going Global’ – Global CVs and Resume Guide, Mary Ann Thompson
Are you ready to apply? Have you done your research? organisation, department, job Can you offer at least a ‘70% match’ check the job/person spec are you being realistic? Have you got good evidence/examples be specific Check application requirements E.g. CV & cover letter, or application form
Further Information Careers Hub in Learning Grid, University House See a Careers Consultant Tel: for appointment