What have you gained from your
Specific research knowledge
Research/Technical skills and techniques
Funding and independent activities ?
Communication skills: presenting, writing, negotiating, building relationships
Management skills: managing time, projects, resources, people
Problem-solving skills: designing, conducting experiments, troubleshooting
Research skills: critical analysis of literature, data, conceptual thinking
Fund-raising: seeking and preparing funding applications
Self-motivation: self-starter, able to keep going under pressure
Multi-tasking: able to organise your research, teaching, administration
Networking: collaboration with other groups (within and outside of your
discipline/department), industry, conferencing, organising seminars
How do you sell yourself effectively
Is NOT your biography
It is your personal prospectus
The Perfect CV will not get you the job
It will - Help you to get an Interview
Marketing Yourself ‘on Paper’
Identify and Address the EMPLOYER’S Needs
Give Evidence of RELEVANT Skills and
Present a Professional Cohesive Image
Convey Enthusiasm and Commitment
The “Perfect” CV
Ability to Produce Results
For Your Potential Employer
Motivated to Meet You
How Long Will an Employer Spend
Reading Your CV?
What do employers want from
Awareness of Skills Required - Matched to
your Evidence of Skills you Possess
Explain your Interest and Motivation
Fully and Correctly Completed Applications
Evidence which Sets you Above the Average
Marketing yourself in a CV
Identify and address the EMPLOYER’S
Give evidence of RELEVANT skills and
Present a professional cohesive image
Convey enthusiasm and commitment
CV Action Verbs
Describe what you have DONE
Preparing An Effective CV
– Be Clear and Concise
– Set Out Why You Think You are the Right Person for
– Show What You can Offer the Employer
– It Must Look Good
– Allocate Space Strictly in Relation to the Importance
of the Information
– Be Easy to Read and Follow
– Always Send a Covering Letter
Preparing An Effective CV
How long does it take to
Preparing a CV
Put Strongest Statement at the Top
Keep Sentences and Paragraphs Short
Use Indented and Bulleted Statements
Use Simple Terms
Use Quantities and Amounts
Preparing a CV
Avoid/ Leave Out
Hobbies Unless they Contribute to
What should you include in your CV
• Personal Details
(including social media/website)
• ?Career Goal/Key capabilities
• Work History
• Skills and competencies
• ?Publications, Conferences,
Professional Memberships, Interests
Your name - the title of your CV
(address, phone, email)
Photo? Only mandatory in some countries
Social media extends your profile
(e.g. Researchgate for academic jobs;
LinkedIn for business/industry jobs;
Twitter for communication jobs)
Advise to use as follows:
1) If you can satisfy the vast majority of the
job requirements, and more and you want to
make sure you write this prominently on your
CV so it can be seen easily.
2) If you are not sending a CV, e.g. when
attending a careers fair.
Place this Section first if you are a PhD student.
–Include your current PhD details - write the title
of your thesis, supervisor and description of your
project for an academic CV; for other posts make
the information more general).
–Then place information about your master’s
degree and undergraduate degree after this.
–You can include other training in this section if it
is relevant to the post.
Place this Section first if you are a
postdoctoral/early career researcher/fellow.
–Include your current post with details of your
project aims and description for academic posts.
–Add in previous research posts in reverse
chronological order including internships.
–Depending on the seniority of an academic post,
you may need to add in considerable detail.
–For non academic posts this section can be
shorter and less detailed.
Skills & Competencies
For most jobs this will be the most important
section of your CV as it demonstrates your skills
and personal attributes.
–Include 3 – 4 subtitles according to the skills
specified in the job description:
Eg. Research & Technical; Communication;
Teaching & Public Engagement Teamworking &
collaboration; Project management;
Organisational & Planning.
–Provide evidence of these skills taken from your
experiences (work, education, personal).
Publications & Conferences
• Cite your publications in the body of your CV if you
only have one or two. If you have a long list (lucky you
) you can add an appendix and refer to them on
page 1 of your CV (eg ‘See Appendix on page 3 for list
of publications and conference presentations). This
will keep the main part of your CV at 2 pages in
• For non-academic non-research jobs you may need to
exclude your publications and simply refer to the fact
that you have published papers from your researcher
work, showing evidence of your output and success.
Awards, membership, Interests
• Depends on the job: you need to decide whether
and how to display these in your CV.
• Eg they could be evidence of positions of
responsibility, achievement, motivation, desire
for success, working towards a goal.
• As a rule, only include interests if they add to
your personal profile and show evidence of skills
such as teamworking, leadership, achievement.
• Can depend on the country: www.totaljobs.co.uk
• Try to choose referees who will give different
perspectives of you.
• If you’re able, tell your referees what you are applying
for and even remind them in the type of key
experiences and skills you have.
• You can choose to say ‘Referees available on request’
especially if sending your CV to a recruitment
company. It means your referees won’t receive too
many requests during your job-seeking ventures.
• Sometimes you can include a letter of
recommendation with your CV
Top 10 CV Mistakes
1. Too Long
4. Misspellings, Typing Errors, Poor Grammar
5. Too Many Irrelevancies
6. Too Sparse – Gaps?
8. Not Oriented for Results
9. Tries Too Hard
Types of CV Format
Types of CV Format• A Good Starting Point for your Basic
• List Your Work Experience and
Education by Reverse Date
• Communicates that you are
Experienced and Established in One
• Organises Information According to the
Knowledge and Experience needed for
• Focuses on a Clear, Specific Job Target:
E.g. ACADEMIC CV
• Lists Appropriate Capabilities and
• Organises Information According to the
Skills required for the Job
• Skills can be Transferred from one
career to another new one
• Use when you have little or no
experience of this career area
Covering letters should include:
What you are applying for and where you
saw the advert
Why you are applying – refer to research
Highlight your Key Points
Matching Skills and Experience
Availability for Interview
This is where you should
Write your address and
Employer’s name and
Address here written out
As it appears in the Advert
Dear Sir/Madam (or their name as it appears in the ad),
I am applying for the post of XXXX which I saw advertised in the Journal/Newspaper/website on (date).
Explain what you are doing now (e.g establish yourself as a postgraduate/postdoctoral) keen to
develop a career in XXXX.
Use this paragraph to explain why you are interested in the job and the key skills or experience that you
have which make you suitable. Don’t be modest!! Match up the most important skills wanted in the
advert to those that you have.
The 3rd paragraph is to explain your suitability and to say why you are interested in this company, course,
job etc. So find out about them but use your own words.
Finish on a positive note – e.g. I hope you will consider me for this post and I look forward to hearing from
Yours faithfully/ Yours sincerely,
Dear Professor Lake,
I am a post-doctoral researcher currently working in Professor Bean’s research group at the
University of Montpellier. I am very interested in the research you are conducting, in particular
your recently published work on day/night temperatures affecting fish circadian clocks
temperature. My work is based around the temperature compensation of the Arabidopsis
circadian clock in which we have found that it is a useful probe for the circadian clock.
My contract will be finishing in 6 months’ time and I am keen to pursue my interest in
circadian rhythms but within animal systems. I am using similar molecular and biochemical
techniques as you use in your lab and I have a thorough background knowledge of circadian
clocks and related biochemical processes. If you are planning to take on any new researchers
this year I would be very interested in being considered for a post with you to continue my
research interests but in a different model system.
Please find my CV attached where you will see I have published consistently during my
postdoctoral research following completion of my PhD in 2005. I have presented my work at
international conferences and have also had some teaching experience.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Applying for jobs is a MATCHING process
You need to know the JOB LANDSCAPE
Find out about EMPLOYERS – who are they,
what are they offering?
Be aware of YOU – who are you, what do you
have to offer?
You have to SELL yourself to the employer
Your CV is a DYNAMIC document that needs to
be targeted to every application.
The aim of your CV is to get you to INTERVIEW
Prepare and plan ahead
Review the job market
Use job sites, social media, networking
Keep your CV up to date
Use it as a record and basic document and adapt
it to different jobs
Try to fill any skill gaps you have identified
For more information go to:
Dozens of Bioscience societies – Europe/USA
Reduced registration to conferences
Networking with members
Recognising your skills & writing
an effective CV
Academic & science career specialist