How not to find a job

How NOT to find a job:  steps to your next bioscience job; no fairy job mother


  • Wait for the job fairy to find you
  • Wait for a recruiter to find you
  • Put up your generic resume on Monster
  • Put up a minimalist LinkedIn Profile
  • Put up a semi-complete LinkedIn Profile but with no contact info.
  • Check the job boards and apply to everything that looks the slightest bit interesting to you and wait.

How jobs are really filled:

5% by recruiters

20% by job postings

75% by personal networking

Each one of these requires both opt-in and work from you.  Except for the Job Fairy – she retired and is no longer tapping people on the shoulder with her wand and gifting jobs.

Recruiters can only find you if a.) their client needs you and b.) you are find-able.

To be find-able by recruiters:

Make sure your voice mail at work gives your title and department and alternative ways to reach you (cell phone and email.)

Make sure your LinkedIn Profile is complete, has a contact method clearly visible and uses the keywords and phrases used to describe your NEXT job as well as the ones you have held.

This brings your chances of finding a job up to 5%.

Sit in front of your computer and apply to whatever strikes your fancy at that moment, but studies show that it works about 1% of the time.

To improve this up to maybe 20%, you must do a little bit of work. Be sure that you own 85% of the needed requirements for each job before you post your resume or spend time applying.  Print out the job description and highlight the keywords so that you can use them naturally in your writing. If you don’t have the right keywords the Applicant Tracking System will throw your application into the Black Hole of hiring and no one will see it.

The hardest job, but the one with the highest return on your investment of time and decision-making, is personal networking.  However, this does not mean handing a generic resume to everyone you meet or going to networking meetings and collecting all of the business cards.

You must do targeted networking and some tough homework before you start.  You need to know what you have to offer, what you want next and what companies use those skills.  You need to know which companies will meet your criteria. Then you need to discover if you already know anyone who works there.  Not to give them a resume!  But to take them out for coffee and find out if they like their job, if the company is hiring or firing, and, generally, should the company stay on your top ten companies list. If it does, then you need to network (not interview, not informational interview) with someone in the department you want to work in. 

You must be known, remembered, liked and trusted for the 75% number to work for you. 

Do you have your networking plan outlined?  

If you need some help with this, please schedule some time with me!

15 minutes of focused help for your bioscience job search


Which is better? Applying online or using a recruiter?

A recruiter works, by definition, for the hiring company

Is Your LinkedIn Profile a Dud?


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