Researching a potential employer

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It is really useful to know as much as you can about an organisation that you plan to apply to. Finding out more about what they do and how they are being reported in the news has been made a bit easier by a range of profiles called ‘Employer Insights’ available on the TARGETJobs website. There are currently over 50 profiles with plans to extend this to 100 by the end of September. The profiles currently focus on large employers so for those of you considering applying to these types of organisations, you could find some valuable information here.

Knowing information that help you to understand more about issues including how a company is developing and what its future plans are, who are their competitors, what the press are reporting about it and perhaps most important of all, being able to be specific when asked, ‘why do you want to work for us?’, are key to successful interviews and effective networking.

Each Employer Insight contains information about what the jobs are like, company culture, core competences, selection procedures and current news and TARGETjobs say they will be regularly updated.

Have a look and let us know what you think!


Newcastle Engineering and Renewables Fair – Monday 21st February

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Newcastle Engineering and Renewables Fair

Lindisfarne Room, King’s Road Centre

21st February 2011, 15:00 – 17:30

Come along and meet a selection of the UK’s engineering and renewable energy companies and intermediaries.

  • Find out how you could fit into their organisation and what opportunities they have which interest you.
  • Talk to staff working for these companies and get some inside information on what they look for and how their business is developing.
  • Ask the questions that you can’t find answers for on their website.
  • Find out knowledge and information that could make your future application that bit more researched and specific.
  • Take the opportunity to impress them with your interest and enthusiasm for their business.

All of this makes for much more impressive applicants both on paper and in person!

The Fair is open to postgraduate researchers and research staff. Bring your smartcard for easier and quicker access into the event.

See the list of exhibitors with links to their websites.

The Engineering & Renewable Energy Fair is a national event organised by Newcastle University Careers Service.

Engineering Fair

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     Are you interested in a career in engineering?

     Would you like to talk to potential employers? 

     Come and meet employers at our engineering fair.

Newcastle Engineering Recruitment Fair is a national event organised by Newcastle University Careers Service and the Schools of Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Chemical and Marine Engineering.

Monday 29th November 2010 – 4pm – 6.30pm, Lindisfarne Room, King’s Road Centre

Engineering Fair Exhibitors – look at who is attending, prepare yourself by viewing their websites in advance, think about who you want to speak to and identify the questions you want answered.

Online aptitude test – try it for fun or practice for the real thing

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We’re just about to enter the new year of graduate recruitment. Employers will be looking for their next intake of recruits and a significant number of these will be PhD students looking for their first career move or early career researchers looking for a new path outside academia.

When you start looking for jobs, it is obvious that you need to review, update and tailor your CV and start to think about how to put yourself across at interview. But how many people consider the need to practice aptitude tests? Read the rest of this entry »

Researchers in Residence

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Researchers in Residence: PhD or Postdoc wanted as research host for TV documentary

Researchers in Residence, a school placement scheme funded by Research Councils UK, is looking for a Newcastle-based researcher to run an engaging project about their area of interest in a local secondary school or FE college as part of a TV documentary to be featured in TeachersTV and new online science channel Newton TV.


The documentary will be an excellent profile raiser, maximise the impact of your research and boost your CV by developing teaching and communication skills  

Filming is likely to take place during one or two days in November by a Teachers TV film crew and will involved teacher and research interviews.

The project is likely to include practical demonstrations and a talk about your work across a range of Key Stage 3 and 4 year groups.  The classroom teacher will support participating researchers and communication training to help develop activities will be provided.

This opportunity is open to PhD and post doc researchers that are directly, or indirectly funded by one of the seven Research Councils or Wellcome Trust.

Interested researchers should apply by completing the online application form at www.researchersinresidence.ac.uk by October 10.

Job seeking in a recession

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I have read a number of articles recently that report how demoralised people are who are entering the job market – whether they are new PhD graduates leaving university or experienced researchers looking for a new post or career change. Job seekers report that there are no jobs available and where there are jobs, competition is fierce (even more so than usual). What is interesting in these articles, is a discussion around the issue that much of this perception seems to be coming from media reports of the job market, rather than actual experience.

In reality, some employers are reporting that applications for posts are down – with people assuming they have no chance and ruling themselves out. University careers services are reporting lower numbers of  job seekers at job fairs than in previous years.

I’m not suggesting that the job market is flourishing but perhaps there is more opportunity out there than you might think – especially if others are holding back. Have you talked yourself out of applying for something, or even thinking about your next move, because you think the marketplace is bleak? If so, where has this idea come from?

I’d be interested to know what your own experiences of this are, as well as those of your friends and colleagues.

Any thoughts or comments?

Science Career Fair

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 Now in its fourth year, the Naturejobs Career Expo (formerly The Source Event) is the UK’s largest career fair and conference for the scientific world.

The Expo promotes the UK and Europe as great places to pursue a career in science, be it in industrial research, research organisations or academia. It presents opportunities from public, private, national and international organisations.

You can meet with potential employers offering hundreds of genuine vacancies. The conference plenary and workshop sessions provide a unique opportunity to meet high profile scientists and gain careers information and advice.

Over 1000 experienced UK and European scientists, in physics, chemistry, the life sciences and medical sciences, actively seeking their next career move attend.

Of the 2009 London event attendees:

  • 72% were in full time employment
  • 65% held a PhD degree
  • 79% were over 25 years old

23rd September, 2010 – Business Design Centre, London

More information and details about how to register available here.