Marketing yourself

To the academic community

Hands on a keyboard

Selectors are looking for the following: evidence of your success as a researcher, publications, conferences, impact of your research, contributions to your field, supporting the work of your department, perhaps experience of teaching, grant applications, funding secured; as well as skills, experience, personal qualities and relevant knowledge.

Written applications

  • Useful examples of CVs are available on the Vitae website and
  • The covering letter accompanying every CV is essential in arguing your case to be short listed. Tips are available on the Careers Centre website.
  • Universities often ask for a completed application form and sometimes a personal statement too.


Your written application might get you to the interview stage; selection starts again here and you must supply all the evidence for why you should be selected as the successful candidate. Tips on academic interviews, presentations and other tasks are covered by the Vitae website.

Useful reference books

To other employers

Employers outside academia want evidence of the transferability of your skills and experience, so different presentation is required of essentially the same information. Draw on a wider range of experiences to show you have the wide range of competencies they seek.

Written applications

Examples of relevant CVs are on the Vitae website.

"Always ask for feedback; when I was rejected for a Leverhulme Fellowship I contacted the interviewer and learned that I needed more publications and postdoc experience to make me stand out from the crowd."
(Quote from a recent member of staff on making applications)


The Careers website has comprehensive information for preparing for selection interviews. Vitae also offers several pages of advice.

Other selection processes include psychometric ability testing, online tests, presentations, assessment centres and other tasks. Information on all of these is on the Careers Centre website and practice tests are available there too (you will need a University of Reading username and password to access these).

Things to do now

Follow us

  • Careers Centre
    Carrington Building
    Reading RG6 6UA
  • Email:
  • Telephone:
    +44 (0)118 378 8359

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