Know your skills

From your post-graduate education you will have gained many desirable skills: you need to be aware of the diversity of your skills and make sure that you’re able to demonstrate them to the employer.

Studying beyond undergraduate level not only develops technical proficiency, specialist knowledge and problem solving skills, but recruiters in the industry recognise it to be indicator of initiative, intellectual ability and the ability to work autonomously. Post-graduate employees are also seen to have an increased level of maturity and enthusiasm.​

Although you will have developed these skills and many others, a number of skills surveys have highlighted concerns from recruiters about the lack of skills at a post-doctoral level: ensuring that you maintain a well-rounded skill set throughout your PhD is important, and extra training to certify your skills may be useful.​

It’s important to keep developing your ‘soft’ skills during your PhD. Taking the opportunity to present  at academic conferences will help you to develop your communication and presentation skills. Attending courses put on by your university careers department or learned societies, and making time for extra curricular activities will also be beneficial. ​

Last modified: 20 September 2023

Last reviewed: 20 September 2023