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1 PhDs in the Labour Market Birkbeck Research School Stage 3 Generic Research Skills Workshop 24 th March 2006 David Jones, SICS The Careers Group University.

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Presentation on theme: "1 PhDs in the Labour Market Birkbeck Research School Stage 3 Generic Research Skills Workshop 24 th March 2006 David Jones, SICS The Careers Group University."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 PhDs in the Labour Market Birkbeck Research School Stage 3 Generic Research Skills Workshop 24 th March 2006 David Jones, SICS The Careers Group University of London

2 2 Aim… To look at what employers want from you and to suggest how you can market your PhD / postgraduate and other experiences to best effect. BUT… its only an overview.

3 3 Staying In Academia Have to be hugely committed to your subject Need to accept that permanent work might be hard to find [& are you geog. mobile?] Can you live with uncertainty eg short term contracts, scrabbling for funding? How good are you at dealing with internal politics? Are you a strategist when it comes to bidding for funds (etc)?

4 4 Moving Out of Academia: Marketing Yourself There are very few PhD specific recruitment schemes It is difficult for employers to know where to place you unless they have discipline- specific research skills needs In any application / interview they will want to know more about you and… …they are more than willing to be convinced of your suitability THEREFORE IT IS UP TO YOU TO PROMOTE YOUR SKILLS TO THEM

5 5 Alleged Drawbacks of Recruiting PhD Students Focused on subject, not career-motivated Lack of business awareness - ALL organisations are businesses, not just those in the private sector. Lack of experience - of team-working, short term tasks, meeting deadlines... Lack of knowledge - world vs academia Lack of self-awareness source: Univ. Researchers, Employers' Attitudes & Recruitment Practices

6 6 Benefits of Recruiting PhDs - Employers Do Want You... Skills –analytical thinking, autonomy, report writing, presentation, research etc. Commitment –ability to see a task through to its conclusion Profile –such qualifications will impress the organisations clients [maybe!] source: 'Univ. Researchers, Employers' Attitudes and Recruitment Practices

7 7 Skills of (Some) Researchers Communication skills Capacity for self direction Analytical skills Dealing with information Ability to accept supervision Supervisory / teaching skills Team work skills Cross-cultural skills Perseverance Subject specific skills e.g. IT, scientific techniques etc. Business awareness [but… you said…]

8 8 Skills Required by Employers Across The Board 8Computer Literacy 7Numeracy 6Languages 5Problem Solving 4Team-working Skills 3Leadership 2Communication Skills 1 Business Awareness [again!]

9 9 What do Employers Want? - 1 Self Reliant: be able to manage your career and personal development (confident, self aware and good at action planning). Connected: team players, able to work effectively with others; negotiation skills… Generalists: have general management skills such as good written communication, computer literacy, numeracy skills, be able to solve problems and to manage their time effectively. Some want Specialist skills The Association of Graduate Recruiters [& thats not just big business]

10 10 What do Employers Want? - 2 Applicants who provide EVIDENCE that they can: Solve problems: independently, analytically, creatively Communicate effectively : able to interpret data and use it to present information and ideas. Improve own learning and performance: identify priorities, set targets, select strategies, manage time effectively, monitor objectives Work with others [again!] - take account of the strengths and weaknesses of others

11 11 Convince Them…. Research the field/job –orient your CV to fit the job Describe your PhD in appropriate terms – academic content vs transferable skills: get outside your box and into theirs! Highlight your business awareness –work shadowing, reading business pages, keeping financial accounts, fundraising, organising events

12 12 Allaying Their Fears Spell out your transferable skills, with evidence, on CVs and applications Dont draw all the evidence from your academic work! Break academic set. Refer to [holiday] jobs, interests, involvement in university societies, and clearly prior or concurrent work experience to PhD For non-professional prior experience, shift focus from routine duties to insights gained Teaching experience always impresses – highlight the component task

13 13 Making effective applications Only make well researched, targeted, high quality applications. Dont limit your applications to household name blue chip companies. Apply to smaller, less well known organisations in the same field. If you do not have all the skills, knowledge or experience necessary, think about a stepping stone approach - a foot in the door at a lower level, or a temporary contract.

14 14 Summary of the Selection Process - The four Cs Competencies –you are competent to do the job, you have the necessary technical, linguistic, IT, and generic skills Capabilities –you are fit to do the job, your approach shows that you have the skills Commitment –you want to do the job and can show your motivation Cultural Fit –your values match those of the organisation

15 15 CV Guidelines [not prescriptions] - 1 Layout - usually 2 pages; readable font. –Sections: Personal Details, Film Trailer?, Education, Work experience, Skills, Interests, References. Space Rule –give more important areas more space. Put the most important things first Relevance –research the job, highlight relevant experiences, think laterally about other experiences

16 16 Hieronymus BOSCH 32 Bosch Buildings Bosch Street 's-Hertogenbosch HE18 6HB The Low Countries T E. Flemish painter-of-the-year, Invented & patented BoschPaint for Gothic Windows Nationality: Dutch [UK work permit not required] D. of B: I dont have to tell you that … N.I. N o. nor that… Sex:likewise… Marital Status:same again. Fluent in six modern languages [inc. Latin & Middle High German] Two books published on the dualist heresy [one Book of Year, 1487; Richard & Judy, 1486]

17 17 CV Guidelines - 2 Be Positive –choose what to put onto the CV, negatives can be made to sound positive! Be Concise –remember the 90 second rule, what do you want the reader to learn from your CV? Use Evidence –use facts and figures, dont use bland statements

18 18 My PhD. - a neutral & rather rough example My PhD focused on the development of XYZ XYZ XYZ in the long 19 th. century. [So what ?] It involved analysing the yak yak yak yak. I liaised on a weekly basis with blah blah blah on matters such as bleep bleep bleep modifying my research methods as appropriate. During the last 12 months I have also presented my findings at 6 international conferences to specialists from abc xyz fields. Audiences have ranged from 50 to 750 delegates.

19 19 Academic CVs - just an idea Usually 3 pages Pages 1 & 2 same sections as before plus Research Focus –Summary of research / funding / prizes to date –Areas of specific interest –Research methods used Page 3 - Book Chapters –Peer Reviewed Papers - Abstracts –Conference Presentations

20 20 What The Careers Group University of London Offers 1 to 1 drop-ins (Mon to Thurs pm + lates for SICS) 1 to 1 in-depth discussions 1 to 1 interview preparation sessions Psychometric and personality testing Info. - careers, employer & further study Videos, computer-based guidance, take-away materials e Software on funding, work overseas, volunteering opportunities… Courses [half – 2-day] on many career areas.

21 21 The Specialist Institutions Careers Service 4th. Floor, ULU Building, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY T Information Resources and IT Facilities Monday to Thursday 09.30–17.00 : Fridays 11 – Plus late opening at Stewart House Weds. to 8pm. Brief Drop-In Advice Monday to Thursday 14.00–16.30 Plus Term-time Mondays – [pre-booked]

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