Making applications | The Careers Service Making applications – Oxford University Careers Service
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Preparing job applications is time-consuming and can be emotionally draining.

Yet a bit of prior thinking and the right support goes a long way in making this process more fun, efficient and likely to result in an interview.

Applications for roles beyond academia

We offer comprehensive guidance on demonstrating you fit the criteria, writing your application, interviewing and assessment centres. Follow ‘The Application Process’ on our homepage.

For guidance on how to draft and polish your CV, cover letters and job applications form click on the links or follow ‘Job Search and Applications’ then ‘Writing applications’ from our homepage.

It can be challenging to package one’s skills and experience in ways that will appeal to employers in policy, R&D and other commercial or public sector roles. One route is to develop a skills-based CV where you can make your transferable skills immediately visible to recruiters.

More companies are using Situational Judgement or Critical Thinking Tests in recruitment. If these are new to you or sound scarey, read up and try out a few via our psychometric tests page.

Applications for academic jobs or funding

Our Academic Applications page has plenty of tips on

  • refining your academic CV
  • effective academic cover letters
  • writing a teaching statement or teaching philosophy
  • preparing a research statement for job, PhD, fellowship  or funding applications
Latest insights

Keep up-to-speed with

  • short Careers Features published by Nature and other major journals. Their excellent tips on transitioning from academia hold for everyone, even when written for scientists
  • our Oxbridge Early Career Researcher blog on avoiding common traps and turning a good application into one that shines
  • podcast series by Taylor & Francis, an international academic publisher, who teamed up with Vitae to offer practical tips and insights for researchers looking to develop their careers. It covers stepping up and moving on, getting published, academic mentoring, overcoming imposter syndrome etc
  • Research Professional  database of funding opportunities that you can tailor to your subject areas. It is a subscription resource so you need to be on a university-networked computer to set up an account.
  • UK Research and Innovation, the new national body which brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England, is another good place to look for information about current funding opportunities.
Getting support

Oxford’s Careers Advisers will gladly give feedback on drafts of any application materials in a 1:1 appointment. Please consult our online guidance via links in the above sections before coming to your appointment.

We also run regular CV and cover letter workshops specifically for researchers, giving you opportunity to try different ways of presenting your experience and to receive feedback from peers and specialised Careers Advisers. See the events calendar on Career Connect to find and sign-up for the next workshop.

This information was last updated on 07 January 2020.
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Recent blogs about Making applications

Non-technical roles available at Oxford University Racing

Posted on behalf of Oxford University Racing (OUR). Blogged by Mike Moss on 11/02/2020.

The science and engineering students at Oxford University Racing are working towards racing their first car at Silverstone on 22-26 July 2020. But, they need some non-technical help to get them there.

If you want to demonstrate your drive, leadership and management skills in an exciting context there are Operations Manager and Team Leader roles available for you. If you think you have the organisational and motivational skills to help lead OUR to racing success in the summer, then please contact Team Manager on linh.phamthi@oxforduniracing.com as soon as possible. Closing date is 19 February 2020.

Collaboration Workshops for DPhils and Early Career Researchers

Posted on behalf of Social Sciences Division. Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 05/02/2020.

This series of 3 stand-alone workshops for all DPhil students and Early Career Researchers runs throughout Hilary term and are a must if you are either exploring the idea for the first time or have made steps already but would like to know more. All three workshops will take place at the Social Sciences Divisional Offices, Hayes House, 75 George St, Oxford.

What is ‘collaborating’?

10 February, 14:30-16:00  |  Researchers collaborate with all sorts of people and organisations – third-sector, social enterprises, businesses, the list goes on! It can be a rewarding experience, potentially enhancing your research and leading to greater impact. Whether you’ve previously thought about collaborating or not, come along to this workshop to learn about a new side of academia, and how it could enhance your development and future employability. Find out more on the Social Sciences Division website.

What type of collaboration works for you?

14 February, 14:30-16:00  |  This workshop is for DPhil students and Early Career Researchers who want to develop a collaboration with a business or another non-academic organisation but are unsure about what the collaboration might be about/what type of collaboration would suit their needs the most. Find out more on the Social Sciences Division website.

Identifying potential collaborators

16 March, 14:30-16:00  |  Finding the right partner, understanding why they might see value in the collaboration, and convincing them why they should work with you or use your research to improve their services, products, or processes are challenges! Come along to think them through and start laying the foundations. Find out more on the Social Sciences Division website.

China Job Fairs 2020

Blogged by Julia Hilton on 21/01/2020.

With more than 1,000 Chinese students currently studying at Oxford and a significant Chinese alumni group, the Oxford Careers Service is committed to supporting Chinese students and alumni with their job search. We know that navigating the job market in China alongside studying in the UK is extremely challenging. Whilst we see many Chinese students keen to stay to work in the UK, we are fully aware of the need to identify opportunities back in China too. For these reasons we are offering a series of China Careers events in 2020 exclusively for Chinese students, research staff and alumni to attend. The Careers Service is working closely with the Oxford University Chinese Students and Scholars Association and the Oxford University Chinese Society to raise awareness of these China focused events. We are grateful to both groups for their support and hard work.

Warwick China Fair 2020

WHEN: Saturday 22 February, 10:00-15:00
WHERE: Oculus building, University of Warwick

BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW >>

Organised by Warwick, plus partner Universities (including Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Bath, Oxford, Lancaster and Aston Universities), it will enable you to meet both UK and China recruiters with graduate roles in China.

The event includes a panel presentation about the current Chinese job market; a session on visas; plus a series of employer presentations.

Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong Careers Fairs 2020

Organised by the London School of Economics (LSE) in collaboration with partner institutions (University of Oxford, Imperial College London, University of Cambridge, Columbia University and University of Chicago) to bring you Careers Fairs in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong in August 2020. Full details will be updated on our China Careers pages as soon as we have them later this spring.

If you are fluent in Mandarin and would like to gain some social media marketing experience, we are also offering a China Fairs 2020 Marketing Assistant micro-internship at the Careers Service at the end of Hilary term. To find out more and apply visit CareerConnnect.

Finance Careers: Women’s PhD Mentorship Program

Posted on behalf of Morgan Stanley. Blogged by Julia Hilton on 13/01/2020.

Morgan Stanley are inviting current PhD students to apply for this great opportunity to participate in a one-year mentorship program, which will educate you on the financial services industry and how your degree could apply to a career within Quantitative Finance!

Selected mentees will attend two program events throughout the year, and will be paired with a mentor within the Morgan Stanley Quantitative Finance division. Event sessions include speed networking, job shadowing, mock interviews, and programming tutorials! Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity for mentorship and networking.

Applicants must be:

  • pursuing a PhD in a field such as Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, or related Quantitative field.
  • completing degree in December 2020 or later.

Selected mentees will be notified in early February. Questions on this program should be directed to Agata.Bartnik@morganstanley.com

To register your interest please visit the following Morgan Stanely web page.

 

AstraZeneca Postdoctoral Programme

Posted on behalf of AstraZeneca . Blogged by Claire Chesworth on 13/11/2019.

AstraZeneca will be advertising approximately 40 new postdoctoral positions in February which are available for anyone completing their PhD in 2020. More details about their programme can be found on the AstraZeneca postdoc careers website.

You might also be interested in attending their Postdoctoral Programme Open Day in Cambridge on 31 January although there are only 30 places available so please register as soon as possible if you are interested. Register for AstraZeneca Postdoctoral Open Day here >>

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