Job search at the end of your PhD

jobsSome of you may be coming towards the end of your PhD and thinking about the next step.  If you are starting to look for employment then some of the ideas below may be helpful.

Searching for academic / research jobs

Apply for advertised jobs:  This is the obvious thing to do.  There are good vacancy sites for academic and research jobs in the UK (jobs.ac.uk), the EU (Academicjobs EU and Euraxess and the USA (Chronicle of Higher Education and HigherEd Jobs).  There may be better sources for vacancies in your subject area – websites or e-mail discussion lists.  If you don’t know if these exist in your area of interest then ask your PhD supervisor or other senior staff working in your field.

Being proactive: There may be places in the world you’d like to work, or researchers you’d like to work with.  If there are, don’t just wait for them to advertise a position.  Get in touch with the researcher / group leader and let them know you’re going to be available and are interested in working with them.  Send them a short e-mail with your CV attached.  If they are known to your PhD supervisor ask for an introduction (by e-mail or at a conference).  This shows you are interested and you may often find out about a grant they’ve just received (where they have money to recruit a researcher!) or a job opening coming up.

Applying for your own funding: If you want to continue working with your current research group or have identified another group where you’d like to work then applying for your own funding is an option.  The Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, Wellcome Trust are just a few organisations which run fellowship schemes open to newly qualified PhDs.  If you don ‘t know what’s available in your area ask your PhD supervisor or search the Research Professional database (can only access from University of Edinburgh computer).

Searching for non-academic jobs

The Careers Service manages MyCareerHub which lists vacancies for students and graduates.  A quick search today for vacancies asking for a PhD included editorial fellowships for online journals, trainee patent attorneys, quantitative analysts in financial services, programme analysts for a charity, data scientists for the pharmaceutical industry, and more.  Browse it regularly to find vacancies of interest.

UK wide sites such as Guardian Jobs, MonsterJobs or s1jobs (Scotland only) are worth looking at too.

If you are looking for jobs in a specific sector then specialist sites often exist which are a better source of vacancies.  The occupations section of the Careers Service website will have links to the best vacancy sources for different job areas.

If you want to discuss the best job search strategy for the career direction that interests you then you can book an appointment to speak to a careers consultant.

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