Securing A Position Outside Academia. June Kay Careers Development Consultant www.durham.ac.uk /careers [email protected] Content. Destinations Sources Vacancies CVs Application forms Interviews Assessment Centres Questions. What do PhDs Do?. Work in UK 69%
Securing A Position Outside Academia
Careers Development Consultant
2006 Graduates, 6 months after graduation
Websites e.g. prospects
Directories e.g. Times 100
Durham University Careers Fairs – October, February
Employer Presentations – something every day in Michaelmas
Press – National, local, specialist
Professional bodies e.g. British Psychological Society
Recruitment Agencies e.g. Kelly Scientific
Networking– face-to-face, social media
Speculative Applications !!!
E.G. Economic & Social Research Consultant, Research Chemist, Trainee Patent Attorney, Quantitative / Risk Analyst, Academic Publishing etc
“They have good learning skills, a commitment to the task and need only minimum supervision.”
“They are able to work on their own and have the benefit of logical thinking. Also their research field might be relevant.”
“Employers can benefit from their research skills and research experience but will have to invest in commercial training for these candidates.”
“Try and gain some industrial consulting experience and prove that you can deal and liaise within a commercial environment.”
“Don’t over rely on academic achievement – stress transferable skills such as team working, report writing and leadership.”
A CV and covering letter should include
evidence of relevant:
Generated Led Delivered
What would you include under:
Publications and Conferences
Additional skills and achievements
Who will be your references?
You should have a different type of CV for
posts outside of academia
Many same skills and experience
Different Focus / Language
Reverse chronological - Similar to academic CV
Must emphasise more:
Communication: Excellent oral and written skills required for planning preparing and leading seminars with undergraduate students. Several conference papers presented and well received by a wide academic audience. Active listening and diplomacy as demonstrated through voluntary work on student helpline for 3 years.
Team Working: Demonstrated when rowing for university where I proved my commitment to succeed and encouraged others to also do so, as part of a successful multi-disciplinary research group and whilst working in a pressured retail environment part-time for 4 years.
Project & Time Management: Successfully planned the most effective use of my time and resources to complete my research project ahead of schedule whilst submitting papers for publication, supervising undergraduate students research and renovating my new home.
Computer literacy: Confident user of a wide variety of packages including Microsoft Word, Access, Excel, SPSS and C++. Designed, developed and updated the International Students Society website. Easily adapt to specialist employer software e.g. stock control in retail
Tell us about a time when you have worked effectively as part of a team. What was your role and what did you contribute to the team? What did you learn for the future?
Give me an example of a time when you challenged the established way of doing things and what was the outcome?
Why do you want to work for…?
What is it about the position that you most like?
Take me through a task that you have completed from beginning to end?
Was it successful? Why?
What were the main obstacles that you had to overcome?
What would you describe as your greatest strength?
What would you say is your major weakness?
What would you say is your greatest achievement and why?
Give me an example of when you have worked in a team and tell me what role you
What are the current issues facing…?
‘If you can’t think of good questions [to ask them]
don’t ask stupid ones.’ Ian Jackson BT
What impression are you hoping to create?
What approach are the interviewers adopting?