ImaginePhD: Communicating Your Skills

ImaginePhD: Communicating Your Skills

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I’m Sarah Peterson; I have a PhD in
English Literature from Emory University and I’m the content lead on the Imagine
PhD project. So one of my favorite things that we
hear from students all the time is that after they take the skills assessment
they realize that they actually have skills. And of course PhD students have
skills but often we don’t think about the work we’re doing as providing us
really tangible skills so students who think ‘Oh I’ve just been a TA and I only
know how to teach a class or make a syllabus’ don’t necessarily know that
they have project management experience or they know how to negotiate conflicts
or curate ideas right, so one of the things that they continue to say over
and over again is that the skills assessment just really helps them
articulate what their skills are and to make them focus a little bit more on how
what they’re doing day to day as a graduate student can be transferred into
language that can be used in resumes or cover letters to exemplify the skills
that they have so the values assessment really helps you identify
what your core values are and then the once you’ve identified your top five
core values it gives you some language to think about how those values often
show up in different organizations and the kinds of questions you can ask
during informational interviews or actual interviews to make sure that an
organization or job that you might be exploring really aligns with the values so
that you can feel confident that you’re going into a job that is a good fit for
you and there are examples of cover letters and
resumes that go with the analyzed job descriptions for each job family so
career professionals have found job descriptions that are exemplary of a
particular job family, they’ve analyzed the job description to highlight the
most important pieces and how students might think about creating cover letters
and resumes that respond to that job description, and all of those materials
are in the resources section for each job family. I think you can learn a lot
by just reading a job description and reading example materials even if you’re
not applying for a particular job for a few years, it just really gives you some
really good insights into what jobs are like, what job descriptions and employers
are often asking for and how a person can market themselves and make their
experience respond to what that job description is.

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