Pinning a #scicomm jobs fair kind of thing onto the Science Communication Conference?

Here's a blog post I published on my personal blog this weekend. I'm wondering if anyone's organising a session along the lines of* 'how to get a job in scicomm' for the SciCommConf or perhaps near to it in time, and free or very cheap for people to attend.

*I don't really like that title and I certainly can't contribute much to it beyond reading out URLs from my blog telling people where they might find out about jobs…


Pinning a #scicomm jobs fair kind of thing onto the Science Communication Conference

Despite 'running' (read 'copying and pasting, and posting job descriptions') the ScicommJobs resource over at Posterous and Twitter for the last three years I don't really have any particular skills in helping people find jobs. But I am quite good at helping people find out about different scicomm jobs in different sectors.

There's the big annual Science Communication Conference coming up in April which attracts all sorts of different scicomm folk. I'd quite like to do something, not sure what but some sort of event or gathering, that helps scicomm jobseekers including

  • undergraduates or graduates without sufficient experience to get jobs
  • people who want to move from 'the lab' (whatever that may be) to scicomm
  • people who've been made redundant, have experience but facing a complex job market

and I'd quite like it to happen around the time of the Science Communication Conference (even if it doesn't happen AT the conference). I'm aware that the cost of the conference, while good value etc, is prohibitive for people who aren't employed – although bursaries are available for those who get a shift on and apply early.

One of the things I set ScicommJobs up for was to unhide things that are often hidden, namely job descriptions. Normally these live in the wild for a short time (six weeks max) while the vacancy is open before disappearing again when someone is appointed.??

There's useful intelligence in these documents – info about organisational structure, pay scales, requirements of the job, skills and experience needed. Trapping these for longer means that people can, if they wish, browse a range of similar or different job descriptions going back to October 2009. There's a range of jobs from entry level to much more senior with lots in between (a few hundred job descriptions now). This means, I suppose, that people could see what might be needed for their next-but-one job and work towards it.

But there are still hidden things. What does a successful CV or job application look like? How does the stuff that a scicomm employer look for differ from what another employer looks for (eg can guidance on what to put on a CV or cover letter skills be pretty generic or does it need more tailoring). I'm not really proposing that people share their successful CVs and covering letters though!

Of course scicomm itself is a pretty massive sector, taking in things like presenting on television as well as writing patient information leaflets in a small health charity. So the concept of tailoring might be pretty impossible anyway. But is anyone planning a session at the conference, either formal (timetabled) or unconference-ish (few people get together) or something in a pub or other venue on the day before or after?

I'd offer but I'm not really sure what I can bring to it, but I suppose I have a dog in this race as the saying goes.

Further reading
Some general thoughts (mine!) on filling in job applications – from the Scicommjobs blog

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