As a PhD or post-doc researcher the process of applying for jobs is essentially no different to applying pre-PhD.
The first step to getting most jobs is applying – either by way of a curriculum vitae (CV) and covering letter, or application form (which may be online). For most jobs the biggest hurdle in terms of cutting out the competition is securing an interview, so your application is incredibly important.
Many people take a volume orientated approach – firing off a lot of ‘standard’ or ‘template’ identical applications to a range of jobs and become demoralised when this is not successful in terms of getting interviews. Making less applications, but of a higher quality, is a much better approach. To be successful applications need to be tailored and reflect that time and effort has gone into them. The person reviewing them has to be able to see that the applicant has done their homework, understands well what the role involves and demonstrates that they are a good fit for it in terms of skills and experience and/or the capacity to develop the skills needed.
General advice on putting together your CV and covering letter and/or application form is relevant at the postgraduate researcher level and is available within the careers website here
or within the further resources listed below.
Within these researcher pages we will aim to add to these general principles and deal with the issues that are more relevant at researcher level for both academic and non-academic applications. The advice here will help you to think about what you are writing, how you present yourself and how to bring out the relevant features of your skills and experience which are applicable to both CVs and application forms.
A golden rule is that you should not make the recruiter work hard to find out why you are the ideal person for the role. You should be handing them the relevant information on a plate – it should be easily found and prominent within the application.
Here you can find further resources tailored to PhDs and Post Docs
applying for jobs.
Academic applications - further information
Here you can find further information on CVs, application forms and covering letters for academic applications
Some example CVS can be found below:
Applications beyond academia - further information
Here you can find further information on CVs and application forms for non-academic applications
An example of a Science PhD CV tailored to a commercial position
. You may also download this booklet'CVs Beyond Academia'
for further guidance and example CVs.