Written by Donald Lush, Careers Consultant, King’s Careers & Employability
On 20th June 2018, we are hosting our annual Research Staff Event, with the theme Taking Charge of Your Future. Working in higher education is inspiring and challenging, but can also feel overwhelming. This year’s research staff event aims to give you the opportunity to take some time to think about your position in King’s, and higher education as a whole, and consider your current path and next steps. You will hear from a panel of your peers about their opinions on the strategies, and struggles, they have encountered while taking charge of their futures at King’s and be able to engage in discussion about the best ways that King’s College London can support you when you are considering your future. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to network with research staff colleagues from all disciplines across the university, and you will hear about how different departments can support you during your time at King’s.
This month’s blog posts are written by inspiring colleagues who are taking part in this year’s event. Their posts will highlight their own experiences in higher education or provide a taster of their workshop. Whether you are new to King’s or worked here for many years – we strongly encourage your attendance at this event to hear about how the Centre is supporting you and get to know your research staff colleagues. The remainder of this post provides information that will be further discussed during a workshop at the Research Staff Event, titled ‘To Infinity and Beyond: Building a CV that really Stands Out.’
One of the careers questions researchers ask frequently is about the best way to make a CV stand out.
There are many ways to approach this issue and quite a few of them are presentational, looking at ways to make your skill and experience clear and relevant to a potential employer.
But there is sometimes a deeper problem. A good example often emerges when applying for academic roles and needing to describe your teaching experience. What if you haven’t got any?
Building a strong CV relies on having some concrete experience to draw on. This is most eloquently described by Peter Feibelman in his book ‘A PhD Is Not Enough’. Although this book is aimed at scientists and mainly meant for the academic market in the USA, its point is a good one. It’s important to teach and research, but it’s not enough.
Here are some thoughts about what you could do to get those invaluable experiences:
Sharing your research is a great way to gain experience in public engagement with it. It works too. For more information, read this very detailed handbook from the London School of Economics. A group of King’s PhDs have just started their own podcast series. Dr. Ben Goldacre more or less launched his career in epidemiology via the Bad Science blog.
Create your teaching opportunities
What if your department doesn’t have many (or even any) undergraduates? How can you get to teach? Check out The Brilliant Club to see researchers getting into the classroom. Or you could set up your own seminars and conferences or invite local schools in to share your work as Sweta Raghavan did.
There are thousands of charities out there that could use your help whilst providing you with all sorts of skills from education and training to administration. Have a look at this website to see just how many!
These are just a few of the ways you can find experience and develop your skills. This blog, from Warwick University, has many more. Check them out!
For more information, attend Donald’s workshop at the Research Staff Event. Register for the Event here.