Tips & Trickss: How to get a research assistant position

Just how do I get hired as an ISTLD project research assistant?

We get this question A LOT. We also review hundreds of research applications each year. We’ve created a list of best practises to help with make your application a successful one.

  • Read and follow all application instructions. Really. This is very important. If you can’t follow the application instructions, why would we want to hire you?
  • Apply to the job posting. If the posting asks for specific skills and experience, be sure to put them in your application. What if you don’t have that skill? Make note in your cover letter, and explain how your other skills and experience can make up for it.
  • Update your skills.
    • SFU Student Learning Commons - offers workshops on writing, how to conduct a literature review, Zotero, NVIVO and R
    • Bibliographic software – Mendelay, Endnote, Zotero – they are all similar. Using one of them will make your life easier when writing papers or your thesis, and will give you an advantage when applying for a research assistant position.
    • Digitial Humanities Innovation Lab (DHIL) - offers workshops on topics like textual analysis and storyboarding
    • Review other advertised RA positions and look at the skill and experience requirements.
  • Join our RA opportunity maillist. All of our research assistant positions are posted on the list. We sometimes post other opportunities as well.
  • Read up on the ISTLD, the project and/or the faculty member heading the research project. The job is about research afterall, so show that you can do a bit of research.
  • Be prepared. You will be asked about your previous research experience in detail.
  • Contact your referees. Let your references know they might be contacted about the position. Be sure to give them some information about the position so they can speak to why you are the best candidate!

The RA Experience

What are research assistants telling us about their experience working with TLDG projects and the ISTLD team?