Identifying your Skills
As well as a strong academic record employers also expect you to be able to recognise and demonstrate your personal skills, qualities and attributes. Whether you want to follow a career in to academia/research, or if you are considering taking another career direction it is important that you identify and appreciate your skills, attributes and personal qualities. Whatever direction your career takes you it will be vital that you can market yourself to employers to demonstrate that you have the skills required to perform in the job.
Transferable Skills: Skills that can be acquired in one setting but "transferred" to another.
All skills are transferable to some extent however it is important that as a researcher you reflect on your experiences to identify your skills. You must take the time to consider your skills in order to understand them, this can be done by categorisation. There are many ways to categorise your skills and there is no definitive correct answer. Here we provide an example based on those identified by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).
- Specialist Skills
- Generalist Skills
- Self-reliant Skills
- Group/Team Skills
Many employers value postgraduate researchers for the high level skills that transfer into a range of employment sectors. In general it is appreciated that postgraduate researchers develop:
- Analytical skills demonstrated in report writing
- Good communication and presentation skills with an ability to work independently
- Highly developed research skills with an intellectual approach to problem solving
The Researcher Development Statement (2011) provides a summary of the skills a postgraduate researcher should develop during their studies and the University of Southampton is committed to helping you recognise and demonstrate these.