PhD: Thinking About Your Next Role

Created by Michael Hodgson, University of Surrey

The entire series of videos is available to watch here.


1 – Introduction: 

The goal of this module is to start to get PhD researchers to think about their future steps and career development earlier in their PhD.

Primarily it will cover the methods of searching for future careers in industry, research organisations and academia, with the aim that they might be better prepared and qualified to move quickly into their next role.

This will include:

  • preparing a CV or resume,
  • discussing key places to find job postings,
  • preparing a wide stretching job email notification on key websites  in order to understand what employers are looking for,
  • encouraging researchers to tailor their career development to include common skills required by physics employers,
  • discussing methods on how to get funding for, or roles in, Post Doctoral research,
  • encouraging researchers to find and take part in networking opportunities,
  • going over basic job seeking advice and where to find further help when required.


2 – Types of Careers:   

This part of the module will introduce some of the broad areas PhD researchers can work, as well as review resources available for finding out what physicists can do.


Module Content:
Types of Careers 

3 – CV & Cover Letter:   

In this section a brief overview of industry, research and academia CVs or resumes will be presented, along with an example of a cover letter.

Your CV and cover letters are very much individual preference; therefore this section also covers some of the resources available for further examples.


Module Content:
CV & Cover Letter  
Sample CV
Sample Cover Letter

4 – Finding Career Opportunities: 

In this part of the module we will look at methods of finding job opportunities, including liaising with recruitment consultants, as well as looking online.

Further to that, this section will cover how to create effective job search email notification and how to maximize the effectiveness of networking, so that suitable opportunities can find you as well.


Module Content:
Finding Career Opportunities


5 – Recruitment Consultants: 

This section discusses how to effectively deal with recruitment consultants.


6 – Active Job Searching: 

This part of the module is a review of different methods and resources for finding job opportunities.



7 – Getting ‘Head Hunted’: 

This section discusses ‘head hunting’ and ways of getting yourself noticed by employers and recruitment consultants.



8 – Next Steps:  

In the final part of this module we discuss some general tips on what to do next after you’ve updated your CV and started seeing what roles are out there.

This includes advice on career development and applying for roles.


Module Content: