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“Unlocking Your Future.”. Top Tips to Getting a Job in HE Professor Jo Doust , University of Brighton Dr Richard Tong, UWIC, Cardiff March 2010. Aim.

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Unlocking your future
“Unlocking Your Future.”

Top Tips to Getting a Job in HE

Professor Jo Doust, University of Brighton

Dr Richard Tong, UWIC, Cardiff

March 2010


  • “Delegates will learn how to tailor their CVs to potential employers, how to develop their experiences and qualifications to set them apart from other applicants, and strategies for securing successful careers in the sport and exercise sciences”.

Learning outcomes
Learning outcomes

  • How to improve your chances of choosing the right job?

  • How to improve your chances of getting short-listed?

  • How to improve your interview technique?

  • How to improve your presentation?

  • How to get the job?

Initial preparations

Initial Preparations

Get a good degree

Publish your dissertation

Look at jobs.ac.uk, BASES website

Get a PG qualification in teaching

as well as subject specific PG degree

Be prepared to move

Be flexible in your ideal job specification

Undertake voluntary work i.e. Dissertation

subject, Sports Science Support, lab assistant

What else could you do now?

Application preparation

Application Preparation

Comprehensive application mapped against

job description

Information on the programmes offered by

the HEI

Background on the job, Institution and interview panel

Background on the school/faculty/dept

Background on the staff profile

Review prospectus, website, NSS, etc.

What else could you do now?

Communication exercise
Communication exercise

  • Rows 1-3-5 stand up, turn around and ask the person behind you to tell you about themselves.

  • The task needs to last less than, but as close to, 2 minutes as possible so prompt them if they try and sit down before 2 minutes is up (keep count of the number of prompts you make). Sit down when you think 2 minutes is up. No cheating!

Application process

Application process

Do what is asked – No CV means no CV

Do not hand write it

When writing the personal statement follow the same order as the person specification.

Make short-listing exercise easy using BOTH essential and desirable criteria

Give examples and be specific. 

Personal statement - 2 sides of A4.

Who does the short listing?

Application process

Get someone to proof read your application.

Check that your application has been received - Email and hardcopy.

 A paper copy should be on good quality white paper and be accompanied by a covering letter

Applying for a job should be seen as a job 

How long should you spend on your application?



Know your audience

Timing - If it says 10 minutes it must be 10 minutes (+/– a minute) – Practise

PowerPoint – 1 per minute

Content – Relevant to the title and should contain a start, middle and end.

Individual – be unique and give examples

Style – Clear, concise, fluent

Memory – bullets – A4 sheet –

What back up will you have?

What are they looking for?

What would your presentation be on?

Interview exercise
Interview Exercise

  • Groups of 3

  • 1 interviewer

  • 1 interviewee (the candidate)

  • 1 observer

  • 1 question

General questions

General questions

1 Why have you applied for this post?

2 Provide an example of how you have worked as part of a team and explain your role in that team.

3 What is your personal approach to organizing yourself and managing your time?  Different people do this in different ways…what do you do?

4 What personal achievement are you most proud in the during your time at university?

Specific questions

Specific questions

5 Elements of physiology appear at different levels of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. What differences in approach might you take to teaching (or assessment) at each level?

6 Research is an important part of a lecturer’s job. What experience do you have of undertaking research?

Interview process

Interview process

Prepare fully – formal and informal interviews

Undertake a mock interview

Be prepared for questions focused on yourself

Be prepared for questions focused on the job


Understand HE, Acronyms (QAA, RAE, PDP)

Provide examples from your experiences

What would you wear?

Interview process1

Interview process

Answer the questions

Provide examples

Be prepared to be scored on each question

Ask for a question to be repeated if necessary

Answers should be between 2-5 minutes

Body language and eye contact

Don’t waffle or lie but perhaps exaggerate!

What question would you ask?

First and last impressions
First and last impressions

  • First impressions count so be prepared to start well as this will set the scene.

  • Final impressions count so be prepared with a good concluding statement.

  • Interviewers will often write down the first and last things that you say


  • Components of speech

    • Content, Volume, Pitch, Speed

  • Body language

    • Appearance, Posture, Gestures, Facial expression, hand movements, fidgeting, eye contact, hand shaking.

Active listening
Active listening

  • Head nods

  • Open gestures

  • Positive facial expression

  • Minimal verbal utterances

  • Silence

  • Repetition of key words

  • Restatement of short statements

Attending skills
Attending skills

  • Face the interviewer squarely

  • Adopt an open posture

  • You can lean toward the interviewer

  • Maintain good eye contact

  • Try and be relaxed

    S. O. L. E. R.

What are they really looking for1
What are they really looking for?

Someone to fit the person specification

Someone to add value

Someone they could work with

A team player

Good transferable skills

Good communication skills

A safe pair of hands

A nice person

What else?