Immediate Next Bioscience Job Search Steps

Bruce Douganby Guest Blogger
Bruce W. Dougan, SPHR

So, you just got the news….

You along with millions of other Americans have just received the news that you are no longer needed at your place of employment.  Call it a lay off, call it downsizing, call it termination of employment…the result is the same – you are unemployed and you need to start your job search.

How you handle the news and what you do immediately will set the stage for the next “chapter in your career.”  I am only going to cover the initial steps to take to “get going.”

Learn from the old role,
Determine the story,
Refresh your network, then
Start the job search

The first step is to take some time to quietly reflect on your past role; What went really well? What did you learn from the role and from your co-workers? What were your Key Accomplishments? Do these first, as we seldom remember the good things.  Only when this list is exhausted, should you write down the improvement/opportunity items.  The purpose is not to lay blame or assign fault, but rather to really search deep inside to position yourself for your new role.

We are not writing your resume nor writing the great American novel here, but simply you need to be clear in your mind what your accomplishments were in your role, why they are important, and why you left this role and are searching for a new role.  Everyone will ask these questions and you need to be prepared; friends and family will want to know how you are doing and what you are going to do next, recruiters will definitely ask why you left and this is great practice for your 30 second elevator speech. So determine the story you are going to tell and move forward.

You likely have neglected your network while you have been working… We all do, the job is your focus and your network is secondary. Now it is time to focus on your network.  Dust off the lists you already have; friends, family, school contacts, LinkedIn, Facebook, recruiting firms, charitable groups, etc.  Don’t send out anything, just update the list and make sure the information is correct.  Now with a newly refreshed networking list, send out your first note using a format that includes some background, what help looks like, and how you can help each other.  Remember, you are NOT asking for a job, you are looking for more contacts that will lead you to a new role.

Now it’s time to actually start your job search.  There are absolutely tons of resources on how to conduct a successful job search.  I’ll leave that up to the experts, but by immediately (at least within the first week) completing the first three steps (learn, story, refresh) you are ready to begin with a positive attitude, knowledge of what was successful during your last role and a great networking list.

Good luck.
by Guest Blogger
Bruce W. Dougan, SPHR
Group50 Consulting
513-508-0351
BWDougan@gmail.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/brucedougan/

 

Don’t be a Networking Nuisance

don't be a networking nuisance

Don’t beg for a job like Oliver Twist!

Does networking makes you feel like Oliver Twist, begging for another bowl of gruel?  That you are bothering people?

Well, that is NOT networking!

Networking is where you give something that doesn’t cost you much and your networking partner receives something that he/she values and the other way as well.  You need to give at least four times before you ask for something. Networking is not a one-time event.  It includes, at the least, 5 follow-up connections (emails, letters, phone calls, coffee dates, etc.)

So what can you give?

Time, attention and active listening – with our short attention spans these days, truly attentive, active listening (not planning what you are going to say next) is a rare and precious gift.

Knowledge – you are spending your time wrapping your arms around your industry (especially if you are networking for your next job).  Put the information you are gathering for your search in a “swipe file” so that you can share it with the people to whom you have listened and with whom you are networking. Send them the information that connects with what they have talked about.

Links – you are also collecting links of information. Save the web pages in a Favorites file on your browser titled Swipe for Job Search or Swipe for (your department or industry here). You will want these for general networking and also specifically for follow up with the people you have talked with about their problems at their companies.

Connections – as you grow your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Labroots, Naymz, Viadeo, etc networks, you can connect your new networking connections to others that they might be interested in. Remember that your career network is one that will last you for the rest of your career and you will find jobs for people in your network as much as they find jobs for you.

What other ways can you think of that you can give to your network?

Another job search coach, J.T. O’Donnell, has also talked about this.

Want to talk about it?  Book a call here!

What do LinkedIn and romance novels set in the 18th century have in common?

18th century Redingote A Promenade 1797 - LinkedIn and romance novels

How can LinkedIn and romance novels set in the 1800’s have anything in common?

Have you read (in Jane Austin novels) how people would get all dressed up and go to the park at a certain time to “promenade”? What do LinkedIn and romance novels have in common?

It is the place to see and be seen – followed up by invitations to tea/coffee. Not much has changed – it is now simply virtual – LinkedIn is the place to see and be seen and now we drink more coffee than tea. 

LinkedIn and romance novels and 1960's promenade

Is your LinkedIn profile “all dressed up”?

Do you have all of the parts of LinkedIn filled and showing your very best “dragon-slaying stories”? Or do you just have your name, current title and employer and perhaps the last job you held?

Can we even tell if you might be interested in a job we may be looking to fill?

  • Are you using the keywords that a recruiter or hiring manager may be looking for?
  • Are you following your college so that your old college pals can find you?
  • Are you in groups that your “tribe” belongs to?     

Is your picture professional and recognizable?

First, do you have a picture on your profile?  Can we recognize you if we met at Starbucks? Do you look employable? Professional? Since LinkedIn changed where they put the picture, be sure to look straight ahead into the camera.

Can the casual viewer figure out how to get in touch with you outside of the LinkedIn protocol?

Some people feel that LinkedIn can make them too vulnerable to identity theft. But you can get around that a bit by using an email address only for LinkedIn (and perhaps Google+).  Don’t allow people to see your phone number, don’t use your middle initial, etc.  But if people can’t look you up, a resume to an online job posting won’t get you seen either.

It is not what you know,
or even who you know.

It is who knows you. 

 

Do you need someone to optimize your LinkedIn Profile? click here

Changing industries?

Kerry Hannon on changing industries“Changing industries? Meet people. If there’s a particular industry you’re interested in, join an association affiliated with it.  Look for volunteer opportunities in that field. Attend industry and professional meetings and conferences. Glom on to alumni groups and the career center at your alma mater where can find help with resumé polishing and smoothing your interviewing skills along with offering networking opportunities. Join LinkedIn. It’s great way to build a professional network. Employers troll it for perspective hires.” Kerry Hannon

 

Kerry has great points!

 

In addition:

 

Immerse yourself in the new industry – subscribe to trade magazines, learn as much as you can about the industry, Google it, subscribe to blogs about it, look for groups on LinkedIn, see if there are groups on Facebook, look for the Twitter hashtag, see if YouTube has any videos about it, go to a physical library and ask at the information desk, read the trade magazine there, find out which companies are in the industry in your town.

 

Is this industry at all close to the one you want to leave? The biotech development of drugs is not much different from the development of biofuels.  The auto industry has much in common with the large appliance industry (big metal box with lots of moving parts bought by consumers).  What do you know that could be of use in the new industry?

 

What are the overlapping functions?  Are you in one of them?  For example: Finance and accounting takes place in all industries and even non-profits.  Sales crosses many industries and technical sales does as well. Research may well transfer.

 

Where are you coming from and where do you want to go?  Do you have a list of skills?  Check out O-Net the latest version of the Directory of Occupational Titles that the Department of Labor puts out. Which of your skills match those used in your preferred industry?  Check out the advanced search function on O-Net.

 

There are many things to do in the world, many occupations.  What do you want yours to be?  Only you can choose.

 

What do you think?  Comment on this post!

 

 

 

 

Do You Use These Alternatives to Your Resume?

There has been quite a bit written about alternatives to resumes these days.  But can you get away with just your LinkedIn profile?

Résumé

Résumé (Photo credit: Michael Paul Escanuelas)

A résumé is a marketing piece designed to get you the interview, not the job.  It is also a scratch pad for the interviewer.  Either way it is a summation or abstract of your work history, not your whole life  or even your whole work history, on two pieces of paper.  Even a biography is edited.  If you have ever tried to document a whole day of your life with pictures and posts, you know that a résumé must be edited.  It only needs to go back 10 years, but it must address the problem(s) that the particular interviewer is trying to solve by hiring someone.

It is only one piece of your marketing collateral.

The others could be:

A number of separate hard-copy marketing pieces: If you are in sales or business development, your sales record or your deal sheet. If you are in early research, your publications list or patents.  What are you proud of in your job?

Your CV

– curriculum vitae or the story of your education and work, publications, speeches, articles, books and book chapters.

Your LinkedIn profile

– don’t waste this space by simply posting your generic resume, use it to highlight those things that you like to do and are good at doing.

Get your free LinkedIn Profile Checklist here

Google+/Google Profiles

– This is one of the hot new things, especially for the tech world at the moment

Your Facebook profile

– more casual but do edit your life on this; it is public and there may well be things that you don’t want the entire world to see.

Your Twitter page

– choose a nice background and do some editing of the things you have posted.

Your personal website or blog

– show what you are good at, write about the issues in your field, take a stand or ask a question.

Your video resume

(posted somewhere or sent as a free-standing document).  The point of this is really to answer the question of your personal presentation: Do you dress appropriately for the job?  Is your speech clear and understandable to the hiring manager?  Do you have any quirks or tics that might become annoying over time.  Do you seem self-confident and capable?

Your YouTube postings or channel

– can you do a presentation about your skills? Or is this your video resume?

An Infographic (re.vu, visualize.me and kinzaa.com)

— best used for graphic design jobs, this is the latest on the scene.  Some are excellent, but none can be read by Applicant Tracking Systems.  Consider this as an extra that you take with you to an interview or something that you post on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest.  It should not be your only marketing piece.

Remember that each of these must be targeted to your audience.  A hiring manager may well want to see your CV, but has no time for a video (free standing or on YouTube).  A recruiter or HR person wants something that fits into her workflow and if you make her download your LinkedIn profile she may simply pass on your candidacy.

We have entered the age of marketing, brand marketing and personal marketing, employment marketing and candidate marketing.  There is information galore on the internet to help you learn, but remember that no marketing piece gets you a job.  Only you in an interview can do that.

Are you in the biosciences?  Want to talk about your job search strategies?  Book a call here

How many Profiles do you have?

 

You MUST have a LinkedIn Profile and I hope that you have optimized it for networking.

(if not, get this complimentary check list and see if you have.)  This is the premier social network for business networking, including job search or recruiting. 

But you have many more profiles. 

Google Plus

If you have a @gmail.com email address, you have a free G+ Profile.  Open your Google search page on your browser and look for the +YourName.  Click there and take a look at your free real estate on Google+.  What do you think about it?  Does it look like an empty field with crickets and no humans?  Let’s change that!

Do you speak German? 

Try Xing!

Industry Groups

Do you belong to any industry groups?  RAPSDIA? LES?  You have profiles there as well. 

Most of the places you have a login and a password you also have a profile

How do you want to be seen (and found by recruiters and hiring managers)?  Each of these social sites has a different niche, with different people looking at you, connecting with you and which you can connect with. 

Facebook

Facebook is another.  Be careful how you use it.  How are you seen on your Wall?  Do you use FB for socializing?  Politics? Religion?  Only you can decide how you want to be seen anywhere online.

Twitter

How are you seen on Twitter?  Do you have a professional Twitter Profile?  You can have more than one.  If you think that the one you are currently using is less than professional, start a new one!

What other real estate do you have online?  The more consistent you are over all of your urls/sites/profiles, the more likely you are to be found by the right people. 

This is one step in building your personal brand. 

Join us on Wednesdays to ask your questions about what to say on each one

Or schedule a private coaching session

The Right Tools for the Job

tools 3My Dad was a woodworker.  He built furniture. My Mom was a homemaker and baker.  Both of them would always get out the tools and materials needed before they started a project. 

Job search, if nothing else, is a project.  It is not simply a wish.  What tools and materials do you gather to accomplish this project?

The materials you will use are your skills, expertise, desires, career goals, etc.  These will always be unique to each person. 

The tools you use will be used over and over again.  Jobs may only last 3-5 years these days, so you will be doing job search projects at least 6 times in your working life.

The most useful tool is your professional network and the means you use to keep track of it and maintain it. 

I use:

  • Outlook to track my scheduled meetings, calls and coffee dates
  • Access to keep my lists and data (I have all the people I’ve ever talked with about jobs, their contact info, where they work and what their title is, sometimes who their boss is)
  • Excel (as the way to put the info into Access or instead of Access)
  • MailChimp  and AceOfSales to manage my regular emails and newsletter,
  • LinkedIn to keep up with some of my network (not all use it!),
  • Facebook mostly for my non-career network (grandson pictures! And politics!),
  • Google+ to explore this amazing platform and as a supplement to LI and FB
  • Twitter to join the conversations,
  • Pinterest to stay informed visually
  • YouTube to connect with people who prefer this media
  • and some specialized sites like Biowebspin. 

I also use the US Postal Service and cards that my sister makes by hand (such art!). 

But these are general tools, useful for many things.

For a job search, you may want specialized tools like JibberJobber or SuccessHawk.  Although these may be the “mini doughnut maker” or the “120 piece diamond tip carving burr set”, those tools you lust after but never actually use. 

You will also want some lists, checklists and templates.

  • Lists of your skills, the tasks you are competent in and like doing, your expertise, your keywords
  • PAR statements for each problem you have solved
  • Checklists of the process of job search
  • Resume templates
  • Follow up content templates

If you are starting a job search this year, what tools do you already have?  What tools do you need to acquire?  Have you gathered your materials before you start?

Tell me what you prefer!

How big is your career network? Who, in your industry, knows you?

career network

A segment of a social network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

A good career network contains at least two people from each of the companies you would like to work for plus everyone you have ever worked with (if it was civil) and those from your industry that you have met otherwise. For a useful LinkedIn network, you need at least 400 people with less than 5% recruiters and most of the others in your industry and niche.

How many people do you have in your career network? LinkedIn, associations, former co-workers? 

You probably have other people in your network as well, but these are not as critical.

Do you need a review of your LinkedIn or other profiles?

Help deciding whom to approach as a connection?

What needs to be done to keep in touch?

How to turn all this into your next job?

 

Join me for my Open Office Hours on Fridays

 

updated 4/18/17

What are the steps in a job search?

4 big steps to your next job

Job search needs to be organized, not just shooting your resume or your elevator speech in all directions. 

Many people wait for the Fairy Job Mother to drop a job in their lap. That doesn’t work.

Others post their need for a job on social media.  Only Lady Luck can respond. Companies don’t hire because you need a job.

Still others apply to any job that looks interesting, using their generic, personal, whole life on two pages, resume.  Your chances of getting a phone screen/phone interview are about 2% at any of the 200 companies you will need to send it to.

Others meet with their current friends, and perhaps even acquaintances, for coffee and chat.  If you friends are not in your industry niche, they won’t have any good leads for you.  They will have lots of off-target suggestions.

The people who hunt for their next job, using a real plan and set weekly goals find their next, good, job quickly and will have set up a network that will help them find each job after that.

These are the steps you need to take to be in this last group.  75% of all jobs are filled through the “who do we know” method.  Who knows you?  What do they know about you?

  • All about you: What you offer, what you want and where you want it. How to build your LinkedIn and other social Profiles so the right people can find you.
  • https://biosciencejobkit.com/bioscience-li-checklist
  • All about them:  Companies that meet your criteria, who works there, and how to get to be known by them.
  • Reaching out – a networking plan, one-on-one, in person and at events and follow up
  • Resumes and Interviews – how to write your own and how to prepare for the interviews 
 

Talent Communities – Do you belong?

What is a talent community and why is it important to belong to the right ones?

where is my bioscience job? ww.biosciencejobkit.com

Speaking the same (science) language

Marvin Smith of ERE.net has written on “Talent Communities”. His classifications of talent communities are:

  • Talent network
  • Company-branded community
  • Profession-based community
  • Hybrid (branded & profession-based) community

An example of a “talent network” is LinkedIn.  It is becoming more and more important to have a completed profile that demonstrates your skills and expertise.

A “Profession-based community” would be RAPS or ASQ or many of the other associations and groups in our industry.

“Company-branded community” is the one you may not be as aware of.  Some companies, usually the larger and more well-known ones, have a social media presence where people inside the company are available to interact with outsiders. This is a great opportunity to become known to people at the company you want to work for. 

You can’t interact on Genentech’s company website, but you can on their LinkedIn Company Page.  Likes and Comments will begin to introduce you to the people inside the company. This page also will let you know where Genentech people will be (booths at career fairs, etc.).  They also are highlighting people who work there – are you connected to these people?  Can you get LinkedIn to them? Genentech also has a very interesting Facebook presence where you can LinkIn with their recruiters. And an additional page where there is less interaction.

“Hybrid (branded & profession-based) community” is a new and advanced feature that is a combination of both a company community space further subdivided by department or profession.  These are much rarer in the biosciences industries.  Please do let me know if you find any.

You need to be in the talent communities for your profession and for the companies you are most interested in.  It may well be that the smaller companies you like will not have a “talent community” and you may have to find other ways to become known to the people in the department you want to join.  Doing some “forensics” on their web pages to find out what conferences and other networking events they attend may be necessary. 

Have you put together a dossier on each of the companies you are most interested in working for?

For more information about targeting your networking, join us on Wednesdays at 11:30 am Pacific

 

 

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