Creating the Job-Hunting Package

Finding Opportunities Outside the University and Building Applications

Course Information

  • Monday, November 4, 2019,
    9:00 AM till 5:30 PM
  • Monday, November 18, 2019,
    9:00 AM till 5:30 PM
  • Registration Opens
    August 7, 2019, 9:00 AM
    Registration Deadline
    October 4, 2019
    Course Fees
    This course is free of charge and for doctoral candidates and early stage postdocs of the University of Basel only (min. 6, max. 12 participants).
    Dr. Verity Elston
    1 ECTS
    Organized by

    Graduate Center
    Transferable Skills
    GRACE Homepage


    National and worldwide statistics show that, no matter what their disciplinary domain, the majority of doctorate holders will sooner or later work outside the university, in the private or public sectors. Contrary to popular conceptions, the path towards professorship in an academic career turns out to be the alternative.

    This workshop is intended for doctoral candidates completing their doctorate as well as early stage postdocs, who have decided to seek opportunities on paths other than the traditional academic career, or who are seriously contemplating their options. It reviews the current employment situation and provides participants with the practical tools to develop a rewarding career, whether in the private or public sector. Although it is focused primarily on non-academic choices, the workshop will cover some essential questions applicable to any professional domain.

    During the two days of the workshop, participants will gain an understanding of how to approach the job market (where doctorate holders work, the paths they take in their careers, their interaction with employers), and how to build the factors for their next career steps.

    Participants will develop the tools to:
    • Identify the parameters of their career development: their individual profile of experience, skills, motivations and interests, the goals they want to set and the methods to take them there
    • Identify potential employers and employment opportunities, review and respond to job ads, make the link between their experience and employers’ requirements
    • Develop their network, explore potential career paths, present themselves, manage informational interviews, and better utilize online resources
    • Prepare the elements of the recruitment process: creating an adapted and evolving CV and cover letter, focusing on their purpose, structure, content and style, and handling the interview (typical questions, salary)


    Participants who complete this workshop will have:
    • Better understood the career opportunities for a doctorate holder in Switzerland and elsewhere.
    • Better appreciated the perspectives of employers on doctorate holders, and how these interact with the typical profile of a doctoral graduate.
    • Outlined their job-seeking approach: their skills, motivations and interests, researching the potential areas of employment and opportunities available to them, the methods they can put to use in their search.
    • Composed a CV and cover letter that respond to the profile sought by the employer as much as they best describe the person they present.


    • Theoretical introduction, open discussion and questions
    • Case histories
    • Practical exercises (individual, pair and group)
    • Feedback from the trainer/the group

    Target Group

    Doctoral Candidates & Early Stage Postdocs

    About the Trainer

    Dr. Verity Elston is Director of Portfolio Formation Sàrl and manager of the University of Lausanne’s career advisory service for PhDs and postdocs. Specialized in early career development for doctorate holders, she has broad experience in both private and public sectors in several countries. Ms Elston holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, the SVEB/FSEA Certificate in adult education, an ACC certificate in integral coaching, and is a certified TRIMA personal profile consultant.


    Participants are required to complete a first version of their personal profile builder, to be sent to the trainer one week prior to the workshop. This document will serve as the basis for activities during the workshop, helps to provide focused content, and can be used in the long term as a fundamental tool for career development.

    Participants will prepare for the second day by finding an opportunity relevant to their own situation, using the tools covered to write a CV and cover letter (both documents in English). These documents will be sent in advance to the trainer in order to receive detailed feedback. A small number of participants will be invited to present their documents to the group for review and feedback. All feedback will be provided on the second day.

    Post-Workshop Assignment:
    Participants who complete an additional assignment following the workshop will have the opportunity for 1 ECTS credit.
    For the ECTS credit, participants will submit a learning statement (approx. 800 words) in the two weeks following the close of the workshop. This statement will include a reflection on the key learnings they take with them with regard to their career development, what they understand to be their key strengths as they consider their next career steps, and their short- and long-term goals they have identified that will enable those steps to be taken.


    Registrations will be processed according on a “first come, first served” principle. The course registration will be confirmed by email. The registration to a course makes the participation in the full training mandatory. For this workshop unexcused absence and cancellation of the workshop after the registration deadline leads to a penalty fee of CHF 30.00. (send an email to Please find the detailed regulations on the Transferable Skills Homepage.


    Universitätsbibliothek Basel, GRACE room 306 (3rd floor) Schönbeinstrasse 18-20, 4056 Basel

    to top