Getting Started With Job Applications

At about this time of year many students will be nearing the end of their studies or finishing the taught components of their course and, I imagine, many will be beginning to think about job applications. For my first blog post, I thought it would be nice to share some of the useful advice I received when I first began looking for post-university jobs.

Don’t be the only person to read your CV

No matter how many times you read your CV and think it’s perfect, a fresh pair of eyes might be able to spot something you missed. Ask a careers advisor, colleagues, or your personal tutor to have a look at your CV with a critical eye and be prepared to make changes. If possible, try and find someone in a similar role to your would-be line manager because they may know what your potential employer is looking for.

Get reading!

If you are applying for a job in a particular research lab or with a particular researcher, start reading their recent papers so you will be able to ask and answer questions about them in an interview.

Sell your skills!

Even if you have limited formal experience directly related to the job, consider the skills you have gained during your studies and how they would relate to the work. For example, if you worked whilst studying, you will probably have gained some valuable time management skills. Group work for assignments will have enhanced teamwork skills. Managing those last-minute computer errors when you were collecting data for projects will have no doubt helped you build some problem-solving skills!

Show willing

Show willingness to learn new skills or techniques for a position if you don’t have them already. For example, I knew that my programming skills were basic when I applied for my job, but I made it clear that I was willing to improve them and worked hard to make them better.

Good luck!


About Beth Mead

Hello! My name Beth Mead and I am a Research Assistant working on several research projects in the Psychology department of an English university. I work with clinical and non-clinical populations on projects investigating mindfulness, eating disorder symptoms, cognitive flexibility and more! I use a variety of methods and work in both a university and clinical setting. In addition to my research post, I also do a little bit of teaching with Year One Psychology students. I hope that my blog will be useful for people thinking about going in to research and for people in a similar position as me, at the start of a research career.

2 Responses to Getting Started With Job Applications

  1. Chadia Haddad says:

    Hi Beth. I’m also a research assistant in psychiatric hospital I tooked this job recently but I don’t know really from where I should start If you had any advice contact me

  2. Fatima Member says:

    Hi, Beth. Thanks for the posts. I am finding them quite useful.

    However, I am really struggling with my applications.

    CV’s are becoming a thing of the past and application forms are becoming the current way to apply.

    I am unsure as to what I need to do in order to stand out when applying for research posts.


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