Job application and curriculum vitae

A template for a CV that complies with good scientific practice, drafted by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK), the Universities Finland UNIFI, the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (Arene ry), and the Academy of Finland.

Instructions for compiling a model portfolio are available at the websites of the universities.

Guidelines for the list of publications by the Academy of Finland.

Templates for a job application or a CV are available at, for example, at the Aarresaari website.

In addition to the links listed above, a wealth of templates for CV and job applications are available on the Internet.

Identifying one’s competence and putting it into words

The vast majority of the members of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers are employed in tasks such as that of teachers or experts at scientific libraries. However, after students takes their doctoral degree– also at other stages of their career – they may be compelled to find employment outside the university. In such cases, the students must analyze their strengths from a viewpoint that is different from that of academia. In addition to giving the student expertise in a specific field, the doctoral training provides him or her with skills that are useful in any job requiring high qualifications. However, the student must be able to formulate his or her skills in a manner that the prospective employer will understand the nature of the added value that researcher’s training will bring with it.

Persons with a doctorate degree can take advantage of the results of a brainstorming session, arranged by the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2014, on the career paths of individuals holding a PhD degree, when identifying their skills (Anu Valtari − Maarit Viik-Kajander: Tohtorikoulutettujen urapolut, pdf– “Career paths of those holding a doctoral degree.”)

The survey identified the following skills, among others, that the individuals who have undergone a doctoral training program should possess:

  • a capability to make an argument
  • skills for appearing in public and providing training
  • a pedagogical understanding of learning processes
  • management and leadership skills of the various phases of the research and other projects
  • skills to apply for funding
  • an ability to analyze, understand and process large bodies of data
  • an ability to produce fluent, well-formed technical texts
  • an ability to report on results achieved
  • an ability to publish information in a popular style, to distribute such information, and to apply it
  • an ability to search for information, to follow new developments, and to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information
  • possession of in-depth knowledge, a capability to analyze and interpret information, and to understand scientific texts
  • a capability to produce new data and novel viewpoints, to combine data in an innovative way, and to find new ways to carry out research
  • an ability to keep the finger on the pulse, a capability to anticipate the future; and an aptitude to interpret weak signals
  • a possession of analytical and source critical thinking, and an ability to question things
  • an ability to delineate a problem and to master the problem-solving process
  • possession of a working method characterized by independent thinking, capability for collaboration, persistence, as well as by a constructive, systematic, project–oriented and a result-oriented turn of mind
  • computer skills
  • language skills

Those with a PhD degree were expected to hold positions such as the following:

  • an expert in the degree holder’s own field, or, alternatively, a researcher in all phases of a research project, irrespective of the field
  • a researcher at an enterprise, at a research institute or at an educational institute
  • an individual capable of processing data in a critical manner: one who searches for new data, analyzes it, makes penetrating analyses of it, interprets it; produces new data of it, and applies it
  • a mentor of students of varying levels, ranging from the upper secondary school to institutes of higher education
  • a mentor of students writing their thesis, a master’s thesis or a doctoral thesis
  • a supervisor, manager or director at any level ranging from research to development, from domestic to international projects, and in strategy work
  • a developer, a product developer, an innovator and a reformer, chiefly at major companies
  • a consultant-trainer, an adviser or a coach, principally at large companies
  • an individual with skills in networking, or as a person who is able to build networks or bridge gaps in all sectors, including international contacts
  • is an expert in international matters, works as a manager of international projects, keeps contact with partners in international contacts, and makes use of his or her international contacts in all sectors
  • a seeker of funding for research and development projects in all sectors
  • a civil servant in his or her own area of responsibility
  • works as an entrepreneur in his or her own area of responsibility
  • a thought leader, one who encourages discussion or is an active player in society

For further reading

Eurodoc Report (2018): Identifying Transferable Skills and Competences to Enhance Early-Career Researchers Employability and Competitiveness

Recruiter: The Recruiter blog. This blog contains postings about job search, interview, compiling an application and a CV, and about using social media for finding a job.