Job Search Strategies
Strategies & Resources
Organizational research is the first step of your job search. It is an essential component of your job search. You will learn different types of career opportunities and information, including industries, location, job titles, salary, benefits, organizational culture, job responsibilities and so on.
Research Organization Strategies
- Identify lists of organizations to approach for possible employment opportunities.
- Try searching for companies online by location, industry, or keywords and by contacting the Chamber of Commerce in cities of interest to you.
- Questions to ask: Where is the organization located? How many employees does it have? What industry is it in? What contributions does it make to the industry or field? What types of positions are available in this organization? What types of people work for this organization?
- Informational interviews and detailed research are required at this stage.
Resources for Research Organization
- Glassdoor is a resource that provides salaries of people employed at the companies you are targeting.
- Vault: Career information website, providing employee surveys of top employers, career advice, job listings, and career guides to individual industries.
- LinkedIn: Company Profiles provide information about available positions, hiring activity, and first and second-degree connections to the company.
- SBIR/STTR: If you are interested in working on cutting edge technologies or for a start-up, you can find companies that have small business innovation grants.
- BIO International Convention: (BIO) attracts 16,000+ biotechnology and pharma leaders who come together for one week of intensive networking. You can search biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the Bio member list.
Building your networking is the most important parts of the career exploration process. Information interview and networking with people in the fields are key strategies for learning about career options and understanding the job applications process. You will receive information about potential career opportunities and build your professional network by having discussion with professionals within your desired field or organization. First step, you need to identify a contact to speak with and start with your own network. Who will be? Faculty, advisors, coworkers, friends, families, speakers, alumnus, etc. You also can ask the contact person to recommend or refer someone to you for the information interview or networking.
During an informational interview, the focus isn't on employment but on information gathering. Your real goal is to illuminate the path ahead of you, not to focus on job openings.
- Tips for Preparing for an Information Interview (PDF)
- 15 Useful Phrases for Starting a Professional/Personal Conversation (PDF)
- Networking: How to get a Good Connection
- Tips for Information Interviews by ASBMB (Video)
- Sample Informational Interview Request (Email) (PDF)
- Sample Thank you Email (Follow-Up) (PDF)
The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN)
NRMN is a nationwide consortium of biomedical professionals and institutions collaborating to provide all trainees across the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences with evidence-based mentorship and professional development programming. Consider joining this national mentoring community. This site has many resources for you-expand your own network of mentors, view helpful training videos, enhance your grant writing skills, develop leadership/mentorship skills!
Social Media for Professional Networking Articles
- Social Media for Professional Networking by University of Texas-Austin, Career Services
- Some Guidelines for Using Twitter by Jason B. Jones
- Why Blogging is Still Good for Your Career by Terry McGlynn
- Is Professorial Branding for You? Yes, It Is by Scott Talan
- A Scientist's guide to Social Media by Chris Tachibana
- Learn to Love Networking by Tiziana Casciaro, Francesca Gino, and Maryam Kouchaki
- How to Land a Job by Networking
- Using LinkedIn as a Career Tool
- The Informational Interview
You can get additional experience to expand your skills and explore career options via Part-Time Employment, Internship, Job Shadowing, Volunteer Work, International Field Experience, Research Collaboration, Professional Association Engagement, and so on.
These experiences will give you more credibility, demonstrates your commitment to the field, and gain some experience for your résumé. Also, it is the way to find a job in the field or organization you want to work in future.
Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are extremely busy, you must consult with your program directors and PI to ensure that volunteer or an internship would be conducive to your schedule.
Internship and Volunteer Resources and Articles
A high quality job search campaign results in truly desired job offers. Including preparation and implementation, it will take 6 to 18 months. Some campaigns can be condensed to a couple of months; however, most active professionals find that a one-year plan is more realistic. Whatever time you can and do spend on the job search campaign, the process will be more effective and less stressful if you can break it into pieces and proceed by steps.
*Note: For the Academic Research/Teaching Sector start 18 months ahead; for Commercial/Industrial, Not-For-Profit, Government, Military, Hybrid Organizations, etc., 12 months is recommended.
- Sample One-Year Job Search Campaign Plan (PDF)
- UCLA Career Preparation Toolkit for Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Scholars: Job Search Action Plan (PDF)
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine releases podcasts covering career options in the sciences. It is called "Beyond the Lab" in which they interviewed alumni from their biomedical PhD and postdoc programs about their career path. Here are the links:
MCW Graduate School
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