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In the recruiter’s shoes! January 17, 2012

Posted by qmresearchers in Career Ideas, Interesting Job Adverts.
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Queen Mary Careers is currently advertising (internally) for an Employer Services Assistant. This is a role that would  suit some PhD students at Queen Mary. It is a part-time role which will give PhD students the opportunity to engage with employers that recruit graduates and PhDs. For a more detailed breakdown of what the job entails, the job description is available here.

If you are thinking about applying for this role, or for other roles beyond academic research, here are a couple of useful tips.

  • It is vital to think from the perspective of the recruiter. It sounds obvious but many employers will not have done a PhD or know what the experience entails. It is up to you to outline the transferable skills that you may have gained from your PhD. Remember that not all employers will be interested in the specifics of your subject area. So, in the case of the Queen Mary Employer Services Assistant role, the details of your publication record are not important but your experience of developing collaborations with other research groups and being a PhD representative will illustrate your ability to build relationships, which is one of the skills mentioned in the job description.
  • Look at the job description and use this as your starting point. List the skills within the job description/specification and think about using these as headings in your CV, either within a ‘skills section’ or as subheadings under the various roles that you have had. This will ensure that you provide evidence of what the employer is looking for rather than trying to tweak your academic CV to make it fit for purpose. So in the case of the Queen Mary Employer Services Assistant role, think about where you have needed to pay attention to detail as this is also one of the skills mentioned in the job description. A PhD will always involve carrying out a literature review or collecting data, both of which may provide evidence of attention to detail.
If you need further help and information about writing CVs for jobs beyond academia, Vitae have some very useful resources and there is a section called CVs/Covering letters within this blog (top tab). You can also book a one-to-one session to see the Careers Consultant for Researchers. See here for details of time slots and how to book.
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