December 1, 2016
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Advice. It’s something we sometimes like to give and something that we sometimes, not all the time, like to receive. Yet, when it comes to breaking into the job market, it’s nice to receive any and all advice that helps land that first job.
With a new diploma and a freshly drafted resume, it’s time to begin applying for jobs. You send out resumes to companies using their websites or other job portals. You build a LinkedIn page in an attempt to build an online network—along with your other social media accounts. You attend job fairs in your field. And yet, you find it hard to get any sort of nibble.
What to do? Now it may be time to receive some advice on the best way to find a job in your field. Who better to turn to than peers who have recently broken through and landed that first job? Some new hires in the life sciences industries provided Silicon Republic with several pieces of advice, advice that may help you land a job.
1. Be proactive with recruiters.
New hires told Silicon Republic that filing a resume through a company’s job portal could get “lost” among the many other resumes. By reaching out directly to recruiters, whether in-house or third party, you may stand a better chance of getting noticed and landing an interview.
2. Are you a good fit?
It’s important to know what you want to do and also know what the job you’re applying for is all about. It’s equally important for a candidate to think about whether they will be a good fit for a position before applying. If they’re not, that job could become a miserable experience for them and taint their career paths, the writers at Smart Science Career suggest. It’s also important to think about where the job is located. Is a position in a rural area something you would mind over one an urban location?
3. Apply regardless of experience.
Many times you can find jobs that are appealing to you, but after reading the job description you will see your experience level is not what the position is calling for, according to the advertisement. However, one employee, told Silicon Republic that going after jobs without the necessary years of experience, could show a recruiter a desire for a challenge. Jordan Traynor, an antibody purification analyst, told Silicon Republic that in her few years of industry experience, many people with the called-for years of experience don’t apply for the advertised jobs because they are either not a challenge, or a lateral move.
4. Broaden your skills.
Having more than just the scientific know-how is important as well. Skills in other disciplines, such as finance, marketing, data management, project management, social media and more allow a job candidate to stand out. For entry-level positions, these can be important factors for job candidates to get their foot in the door.
5. Network, network, network.
Most Generation z job seekers have an understanding of networking, especially when you consider how many social media platforms younger people use these days. Leveraging those platforms can give job seekers a leg up. Shama Chilakwad, who works as an associate scientist at a company in London, said she landed her job through connections, not by blindly applying for the position. “Be confident in what you know and speak to people who are working in fields you would like to be a part of, whether that is in person, via email or LinkedIn,” Chilakwad said.
6. Research the employer.
If you are fortunate enough to land an interview, it’s essential for a candidate to go into the meeting with a full grasp of what the company does. It’s also a good idea to go into an interview with a set of questions about how your skill sets can impact the position as well as the company at a whole.
7. Take your time.
Rushing headlong into an opportunity could be disastrous, some of the candidates said, particularly if it’s a position in academia supported by a short-term grant. Alan Costello, a Ph.D. student at the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology in Ireland, touted short-term internships as a good opportunity to get a foot in the door and gain some experience.
While those bits of advice are good for recent graduates, if you’re a bit more motivated while still an undergraduate or even a high school student, participating in an intern program is something you should consider. A recent Boston Globe column penned by Mass. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III and Jeffrey Leiden, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Boston-based Vertex, highlighted the opportunities that can be gained from an internship program. The piece traces the employment of a Vertex employee who began her tenure with the company as an intern while a high school junior. The piece shares how the program opened doors for the student, Gladys Baez.
“The dearth of similar opportunities not only prevents promising young people from excelling in deeply rewarding careers, it stymies our economic growth,” the writers said. “Internships—during the school year, after school, or in the summer—are an incredibly valuable way to provide young people with hands-on, real-world work experience. And they offer value for employers interested in developing future leaders in their fields.”.