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Presenting yourself to employers

Research Skills required by PhD students G4: Present one's skills, personal attributes and...

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9 March 2010

Research Skills required by PhD students G4: Present one's skills, personal attributes and experiences through effective CVs, applications and interviews

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By the time students complete a PhD, they should be able to answer ‘Yes’ to most of these questions.

  • Have you participated in practise job interviews and mock interviews?
  • Can you summarise lessons you learned from those experiences?
  • Can you give a list of standard interview questions, and have you thought about how you might answer them?
  • Can you describe what psychometric testing is and how it is used in recruitment?
  • Do you keep your c.v. up-to-date?
  • Has your c.v. been reviewed by a career counsellor or a colleague with substantial interview experience?
  • Can you tailor your CV to meet a job specification?
  • Can you prepare effective CVs to meet academic and non-academic requirements,
  • Can you write a relevant and engaging cover letter?
  • Do you know how your extra-curricular activities contribute to your employability?
  • Have you mapped your skills and experience onto 'person specifications' for jobs of interest to you?
  • Can you give examples of how you demonstrate your personal qualities, skills, and abilities?
  • Have you researched prospective companies/ Higher Education Institutions?
  • Are you aware of the network role in finding job opportunities?

Evidence of this skill

These are examples of documents you can collect. Each implies a piece or work, which may be a good way for you to develop this skill.

  • Probation mini-viva.
  • Up-to-date cvs, tailored to academic and industrial job opportunities.
  • A one page cv to use when 'cold calling' or seeking interviews
  • A record of work shadowing
  • A record of participation in career days and other career management training opportunities.
  • A covering letter for a job application
  • Written work set by interview panel
  • PowerPoint presentation in support of application
  • Evidence having researched prospective companies/Institutions

This page is based upon material produced by The Open University’s research school to support doctoral students.

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