Summer, summer, summer time…spent in the Maughan. Or New Hunt’s House. Sometimes Frankin-Wilkins and if I’m feeling adventurous outside with the sun warming my face, a book in one hand, covered in post-it notes and lost in my research. This is it. The pièce de résistance of your time spent at King’s. Everything we’ve been reading, analysing, evaluating has brought you to this point! But along the way you have no doubt – as I have – had wobbles about life after your dissertation or thesis.
All valid questions and I’m sure that there are many more than the ones listed above. What’s important first and foremost is that you don’t spiral! The research you’re undertaking is important to you and is a skill in itself that employers will definitely want to hear about. Whether you undertake an internship or a part-time job whilst studying is up to you. How far into writing up are you, can you afford to (both financially and research wise) work – or not work? Either way it’s important to make the right decision for you.
There are however some easy wins for researchers over the summer to keep on top of the careers game!
- Get Linked-In. (That was both a joke – not great, I know – and advice to get yourself signed up on LinkedIn!) It’s a fantastic resource to not only build a professional network and live CV, but you can even apply for jobs through LinkedIn. You might even want to give LinkedIn Premium try (you can sign up for a free trial), which puts you ahead of other applicants along with various other perks. Setting up LinkedIn is quick, easy and free (for the basic account) and is means you can network without having to leave the comfort of the round reading room.
- Think about your social media footprint. Remember that future employers will google you! What will they see when they do that? A first impression no longer happens only when you meet in person, it can now be formed from your online presence so be sure that you’re happy for future employers to see what you’ve posted.
- Shake up that CV! At a recent King’s Careers event, Jane, one of our lovely careers consultant’s mentioned that a CV should show some flare and personality and thanks to technology it is now easier than ever to find great resume/CV templates. I’m personally a fan of the one’s com have created that are available through Microsoft Word.
- Talking of MOO.com – another easy win are business cards. Yes, I said it. Business. Cards. Now you may well have a business in which case cards are a given, but in this instance I mean more for situations where you’re talking to someone about your interesting and innovative research, masters or PhD – at a conference, in a library or a café – and rather than scrabbling around for a scrap piece of paper or napkin you can pull out your crisp card. MOO do a variety of shapes and sizes (my preferred choice are the mini cards), are quick, easy to design and great quality. I’m always sure to carry a few around in my purse and believe me – they’ve come in handy!
These are just a few quick and hopefully pain-free ways to keep on top of careers whilst you furiously type up your research. They’ll also give you a little bit of breathing space from your research which is always useful!
If you have any easy wins that you’ve been doing or will be doing over your summer of research, let us know below!