The Human Resources team has spent some time speaking to people in roles that require research as a skill or who hire researchers. In this post we discuss what a researcher might do in the corporate world and how to get a foot in the door with Kelly Craigmile, a Research Manager for Lockheed Martin. She graduated with a BA in English from the University of California.

Check out our hiring profile posts for other positions as well to gain more tips for succeeding in the work world!

What Skills and Experiences are Must-Haves for a Researcher

  • A desire to get to the answer through research, a confidence you can find it, and a curiosity that is satisfied when the answer is found
  • An ability to continually evaluate your use of time while you’re researching–don’t get lost in rabbit holes

Common Interview Questions for a Researcher

  • Give me some examples of the problems you’ve encountered while researching and how you’ve solved them.”
  • Tell me what you know about our industry.

Abilities and Experiences That Make Candidates Stand Out

  • The experience of having identified, through research, candidates who were eventually hired

What She Loves Most About Being a Researcher

  • Learning new things every time I have a new project

What Challenges She Faces Day to Day

I’m usually looking for people with a rare set of experiences and qualifications, so finding them is the challenge.

What Steps She Took to Secure a Job

I developed my skills as an hourly contractor and eventually got the attention of a corporate employer.

What She Would Share with Students Hoping to Work in Research

Do some research on LinkedIn to identify people who are in the careers to which you aspire. Reach out to them and ask if they can talk with you to give you specific career advice. Tell them you will have questions ready. When you send them that first note on LinkedIn, point out specific things in their LinkedIn profile that stand out to you. This shows you are paying attention to who they are and what they’ve done, and you’re more likely to get a response. In other words, don’t be vague. Networking helps!

Possible Job Titles for Researchers:

Research Specialist Research Manager Research Coordinator Junior Research Associate
Research Associate Associate Director, Research Senior Research Manager Researcher Director
Research Assistant Researcher Research Fellow Senior Researcher
Senior Research Analyst Research Analyst Quantitative Researcher Senior Research Associate

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