Whatever your reasons for doing a research degree, you will want to make sure employers value the additional experience you are gaining as well as what you can offer through prior experiences. This page outlines how you can market yourself effectively to prospective employers.
If post-graduate qualifications are undertaken for the right reason and graduates are able to explain their worth to prospective employers, they can be very worthwhile additions to a CV.
If the subject of your research degree is relevant to the type of job which interests you, or you are applying for a job where research skills are needed, then your qualification will be of obvious interest to the employer. If not you will have to convince employers that your research degree has enhanced your skill set beyond your undergraduate degree. You should consider the skills and attributes you have developed through your degree which may include:
It’s important to spend time reflecting on what you have gained from your research degree and how you can demonstrate this to an employer. You will find it useful to complete the skills audit below to help you market yourself in applications and interviews.
Employers will be interested in what else you have been doing in addition to your research degree as they value skills developed through a wide range of experiences. They will be interested in any experience or involvement you have in, for example:
In the same way as you did for postgraduate study, you should think about the skills and attributes you have demonstrated through these other activities. Here are some ideas to get you started:
The Employability Initiative at Edinburgh has developed a resource for students at all levels within the University of Edinburgh called WAVE (Work And Volunteering Experiences) which may be a good place to start recording your skills and evidence.
You will want to document the experience you gained through your research degree as well as through other experience by preparing a CV for use in job or further study applications. In addition, it’s important you think about how to sell your research experience at interview. To find out more about how to prepare an effective CV and perform well at interviews look at the CVs, applications and interviews pages of our site.