Translating your skills
PFDC Resources for Skills Development
- Skills analysis tip sheet and skills portfolio.
- Skills analysis pop-up – Check the PFDC webpages, PFDC newsletter for upcoming dates or email PFDC-support.
- Book a one-to-one appointment to discuss your skills further and how you can map your skills to a specific job description - i.e. through your CV or a cover letter.
Due to the specific nature of your experience and qualifications, you will have your own unique set of skills to offer. From our experience, Postdocs struggle to see how their skillset can be of value to an employer outside the academic career path.
A useful exercise is to create a ‘skills portfolio’ of your skills to map what you offer and build a library of evidence that you can present to potential employers in applications, CVs or interviews.
The PFDC can support you to identify and articulate your skills, as well as discuss how you can develop new skills.
Translating your skills
As a researcher you are highly skilled, however it might be hard to translate those research based skills into a business or non-academic setting. On the right hand side of this webpage you can download a document with some examples for you to reflect on, don’t forget to add your own experience with evidence using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to your skills portfolio.
Getting experience to become more employable
If you are making a career change, you may not have all the skills or experience required for the new role.
If you can find ways to gain these experiences and skills, it will help your CV and application be more competitive and it will provide you with an opportunity before you leave your current post to work out which jobs will best suit you.
Think about how you could introduce new tasks or responsibilities to your current role, so that you are developing new skills and evidence for your CV - e.g. become the social media officer for your research group to get to grips with social media technologies or gain experience of web design. If you need financial expertise in a new role, volunteer to do the costing for a funding application or manage a budget in the research group.
Undertake some skills training that will develop transferable skills and enable you to better articulate what you do (e.g. project management or public engagement). Look at what the PFDC and Imperial have to offer: