Hi - my first post!
I've been reading a lot of these threads over the past couple of months and they've been really helpful (and scary on occasion, but mostly helpful).
I have a couple of questions about post-PhD job applications, and would be interested to hear other people's thoughts and opinions on them.
In the last stages of my PhD I've spent a month applying for post-doc positions and got nowhere, and one good thing about it is I'm realising where I'm failing to meet the job or person specifications. There are lots of Research Assistant positions advertised that I feel I'd be suitable for, and would be a chance to develop some of the lab skills that I don't have. Of course looking for a job at the moment is a really tough business and whilst I know I can't be picky, I do want to be taken seriously for the application and for future employment - is it going to look strange me applying for Assistant positions (with the degree requirement being a Masters or equivalent) rather than a PhD-level position? Would it look strange on my CV if I applied for a PhD-level position in the future?
While writing this I know that the important thing is to get experience and get publications - I guess any way of doing this is a bonus - I think I'd just like to hear some opinions, especially from anyone else who might be or may have been in a similar situation.
I'm not in a hiring position, but these days, I don't think it looks strange at all. Due to the poor economy, it seems a lot of people are applying to jobs for which they are "over qualified." Perhaps the best thing to do would be to convince prospective employers that you're genuinely excited and interested in the job, and that you do plan to stay in the job for a while (and not just until something better comes). It could actually be to your benefit to say that you have the right skills, but just want more experience, and publications.
I agree with the previous comments. Most employers know that people are forced to get what they can in terms of jobs. Nowadays, you have to throw yourself at whatever is available. The opportunity to learn new practical skills, regardless of the position, should be grabbed!
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