CAREER Development Tools

Where do I want to go? Where do my strengths lie and which skills do I bring? These questions and many more can be answered in our coaching sessions, as well as by working through our IDP workbook. Our offerings will give you a highly structured approach to your career transition with the help of professional coaches, who will focus on your individual situation. However, we also believe that there are many other additional valuable resources out there, that can help you answer these questions. We have compiled a list of online resources in the categories shown below.

Self-Assessment Tools

Name of Tool Type of Document Description
NPA Core Competencies Description of skills and checklist for post-doctorals researchers pursuing an academic career Rate your current level of development in each of the six NPA Core Competencies. These competencies are meant to serve as a basis for self-evaluation and for developing training opportunities that can be evaluated by mentors, institutions, and other advisors.
16 Personalities Web-based self-assessment tool

Learn about your personality with this testing model that incorporates advances in psychometric research, combining time-tested concepts such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) and Big Five personality traits with accurate testing techniques.

Discover why you do things the way you do, what drives, inspires, and worries you, and learn about different personality types. Deep dive to understand your personality traits in regard to job preferences, career values, motivation, etc.

VIA Inventory of Strength Online version of a self-assessment of character strengths tool

Identify your profile of character strengths with the VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS), a scientific psychological assessment measure developed by researchers in the field of Positive Psychology.

The tool identifies the top 5 character strengths that you draw most energy from, that represent you from your personal best – and that you may want to focus and build on.

HIGH5 Strengths Test Online test assessing your top 5 strengths, useful when preparing for job interviews Discover your unique strengths profile. Being aware of your top strengths will help you focussing on strengths instead of weaknesses, applying them on a regular basis, deriving potential careers from them and communicating them during a job application phase.

 

Career Path Exploration Tools

Name of Tool Type of Document Description(s)
10 Career Paths for PhDs An e-book targeted at those considering or at an early stage of an academic career. This e-book helps you explore your options outside of academia and identify your transferable skills.
Berufenet Online platform on career profiles (German only) With its online platform "Berufenet", the German Unemployment Agency (Deutsche Arbeitsagentur) offers you in-depth portraits of multiple careers. You can start your search by professional fields, fields of activity, your study subject or by an aphabetic search. The platform is in German language only.
Booklets by Science Careers (Science Journal AAAS) A series of booklets (PDF) by highly qualified individuals, covering the basics and more advanced matters around pursuing a career in science.

2018 Career Handbook

Booklet: "From Undergrad to Postdoc"

Booklet: "Career Trends: Industry or Academia: Where do I fit in?"

Booklet: "Career Trends: Careers Away from the Bench"

Booklet: "Finding Your Personal Job Chemistry"

CAREER Paths HMGU Career Center Website Overview, portraits and further links to career paths in the fields of academia, industry, consulting & entrepreneurship and health policy.
Career Platform Watchado Online learning platform on career profiles, also including non-academic careers. This learning platform based in Austria derives from US-American slang meaning: “What do you do?”. Its goal is to support young professionals in their career orientation with currently over 6.200 Video-Stories of professionals from diverse fields and hierarchy levels. The strengths- and interest-tests offered include a job-matching too.
Career Profiles by Research Careers An online collection of career profiles. A collection of profiles of people who made the transition from research into a non-academic job.
Discover: Careers beyond Academia EURAXESS online guide on careers in sectors outside of academia. The guide is addressed to early stage researchers and includes sections on sector information, jobs & competencies, career planning and career stories.
Intersect JobSIMS Interactive simulation exercises for career transitions. InterSECT Job Simulations (JobSims) is an online platform that allows Junior Scientists, regardless of professional stage, to explore future career options. The platform allows true-to-life job simulation exercises. They contain background and directions to complete tasks related to the career of interest.
You can begin with a one-hour exercise and continue with more in-depth exercises. This tool can serve as a mini-internship, although it obviously cannot provide first-hand contact with people and the overall culture of a company or branch.
mAcademia Podcast Podcast This podcast explores the bridge between industry and academia to understand how basic scientific findings take shape in products and strategies. They also follow the career paths of researchers who are both within academia or outside.
PROSPECTS Job Sectors The UK's biggest website for graduate careers. Description of a variety of roles arranged by sector for browsing.
Research Careers Diverse range of career testimonials from all areas. The editors of this website consist of volunteer PhD students and research staff working in partnership with the University of Oxford’s Careers Service. They source career profiles from a range of fascinating sectors written by researchers with backgrounds spanning the humanities, social sciences, physical and life sciences. Profiles can be sorted by degree, sector and when the person left academia.
Top 20 Industry Positions for PhDs E-book targeting PhDs wishing to transition into industry. This e-book helps you explore options outside of academia.

 

Action Planning Tools

Name of Tool Type of Document Description
Academic Job Interviews Article Guide on how to prepare for academic job interviews, including sample academic interview questions and hints to interview presentations.
How to write a great CV for academia and industry Webcast In this two-part webcast, from Nature’s webinar programme, Sarah Blackford, an academic careers adviser at BioScience Careers, runs through some top techniques for developing a CV and targeting specific job applications, before assessing and giving feedback on some example CVs.
How to write a cover letter in 2021 Article A comprehensive guide on how to write a contemporary cover letter, drawing on aspects such as story telling and visuality. Contains practical graphics on the structure of a cover letter.
How to convert a CV into a resume Article

A curriculum vitae (CV) offers a complete career history whereas a resume, in contrast, offers an annotated and abridged career summary. A CV works well in academic settings worldwide and is the standard application document for non-academic jobs in Germany and many European countries. In the USA, there is a big difference between a resume and a CV: a resume is what would be called a CV in the UK and a CV is used only in academic contexts.

This Nature articles explains how to convert a CV into a resume.

 

Skills Development Tools

Name of Tool Type of Document Description
Booklets by Science Careers (Science Journal AAAS) A series of booklets (PDF) by highly qualified individuals, covering the basics and more advanced matters around pursuing a career in science.

Booklet: "Building Relationships"

Booklet: "Transferring Your Skills"

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC's) are interactive open online courses that offer you a wide range of further education courses held online and designed by Universities worldwide. Courses often can be taken free of charge. To gain a certification through the courses is usually fee-based.

Coursera

EdX

Udemy

FutureLearn

Udacity

LMU MOOCs, Podcasts and more

TUM MOOCs

Difference between Mentoring, Coaching, Supervising Podcast In this Nature Podcast you will learn about the tools, roles and techniques that help researchers to reach career goals. You will learn about scientific mentors, how they compare with the support offered by academic supervisors and how in contrast, career coaches can support you in developing career transition skills and more.
Supervising Master Students Article Supervising Master students is a great way for PhD researchers and PostDocs to gain leadership skills. This Nature article gives insights into making the best out of the oportunity to supervise Master students.
Teaching as a Skill and a Career Article This Science article suggests a range of best-of-articles on teaching. Those articles range from how to devlelop and improve teaching within academia. There are also articles for those who want to leave research entirely to pursue their love of teaching suggesting ways into full-time school teaching.