What is Targeted Networking?


Networking at a gathering

Most jobs are found through networking.  But you need to be strategic and targeted!

So what is targeted networking?  Check out this short video or listen to the podcast on Targeted Networking and Your Career Portfolio

And Don’t do these things

Which is better? A recruiter or applying online?

Which is better?  

“Using” a bioscience recruiter or applying to the bioscience job online?

some of the many job boards, not all have bioscience jobs

The recipe for clinical depression in the bioscience world

I was asked this by a bioscience job seeker who had just spent a considerable amount of time “updating” his CV, but did not know which companies he should be applying to.

Read this blog and you will find that I teach something completely different:

Job boards and “career pages” fill 20% of the jobs out there, but your personal chances of getting even a phone screen are down around 2%. That is a recipe for clinical depression!

Recruiters work for the companies, so if they don’t have the job you are qualified for, they don’t have a job for you and trying to get our attention will really only irritate us and, therefore, you.

[Tweet “The Fairy Job Mother died in 1930.”]  

targeted networking

Recruiters are not Talent Agents.  We don’t pick a player and shop him around to the various teams working to get him the best deal, like a “hot” athlete.  (Or if we were to consider it, you had better be cash on the hoof – better than everyone else out there and within commute distance of the company paying for the search.)

I’m sorry that this is the harsh reality.

75% or more of all jobs, high or lowly, are filled, not by what you know, not even by who you know, but by who knows you.

Here is a short podcast about this.

For more actionable steps to design your targeted networking strategy, Book a Call Here!

How does hiring work and where do recruiters fit in anyway?

Let’s think about the way hiring works

and where recruiters fit into it. 



You are looking for your next job.  

You know what you have done in the past and have inkling about what you want to do next.  You have checked the job boards, even sent in your lifetime CV, but no bites, or you have had phone interviews but no invitation for a face-to-face interview.  What is going on?

Someone is doing your job plus his own. 

He knows that he is not going to be able to get both done in the time frame needed.  Eventually the boss does too.  The boss says, “Dang, we need to hire someone.  Who do we know?”  75% of jobs are filled by the people known to the team, either in-house or through the team’s professional and personal networks.

If they don’t know the right person,

or the people they do know are not interested in that job, the boss calls HR and says, “Hire me a (insert title here).”  HR finds a position description, if the hiring manager doesn’t give her one, and posts the job to the company career page.  Hundreds of people apply, but only about 2% are invited for interviews.  20% of jobs are filled this way.  Because of the inflow of resumes and applications, HR defends their time by using a computer program called an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) which sends an automatic reply to each applicant saying, “Thanks, we will let you know.”  It then matches the keywords and phrases in each application/resume to the position description uploaded by HR. 

If you have enough of the same key words,

your resume gets tagged and a human (probably the intern or clerk), looks at your resume to review it against the other ones that made it through the “black hole” (ATS).  This person makes a selection of what he/she thinks are the top few and either passes them to the hiring manager, calls to do a “phone screen” or hands them off to another HR person who specializes in recruiting to review and pass on to the hiring manager.

When the hiring manager has time,

he/she reviews those few resumes, picks the top 3-5 and either calls or has HR do a phone screen if one has not been done already.  If he/she likes what he hears, then his admin will make an interview appointment for you.   Most hiring managers don’t have much time since they are trying to get the problem solved or meet the deadline, so this step can take far longer then you would expect.

If neither of these methods works, a recruiter is brought in for this particular job. 

Recruiters only know about the jobs their corporate clients have asked them to fill.  There might be 20 different jobs on the company career page, but the recruiter has only been hired to find the few people to interview for one role. 

Are you money on the hoof?

Some recruiters, called contingency recruiters, do send resumes for many jobs that are posted.  Most bioscience companies don’t accept these resumes and have a note on the career page that says so.  A contingency recruiter might shop your resume around to their various clients or potential clients, but only if, in their experience, you look like “gold” to them. 

No one knows all the jobs out there. 

And no one knows all the jobs that might be available for you.  And only you know what is interesting. 

Programs and Products

My programs, delivered by private coaching or group classes, are designed to teach job seekers how to be visible online with the right keywords, known to the people in the departments in the companies that those particular job seekers find interesting, how to be remembered before someone else for a job, how to be liked and trusted enough to be invited to submit a resume.  Click here for private coaching or free open office hours.

A resume does not get you a job. 

A resume is a piece of marketing collateral designed to get you an interview.  It must be tailored to each job because it needs to get through the ATS. Then the people who look at it to review before passing it on to the hiring manager will give you, perhaps 6, seconds of their time.  Even if you use all of the keywords in the position description, if, in the last few years, you have not done what they need to have done, they will discard your resume.

Do you know what keywords you want to use?  Are you visible on LinkedIn?

Do you have your list of top ten most interesting companies?

Are you networking with people in the department you want to work in in each of those companies?

Have you been invited to submit a resume?

Does the resume speak directly to the problem that that department is trying to solve?


If all of these things are true, then I’d be happy to look over your resume for a particular company.  If they are not, I offer LinkedIn Profile Reviews.  You get a recorded review and suggestions for how to improve your resume or Profile. 

If not, you might want to check out my website at: BioScience Job Kit – At A Glance for more help.

Lots of new webinars and podcasts!

I’ve just uploaded lots of new recorded webinars and podcasts (for you audio folks) over on the Resources Page.


The job seeker’s task is to be visible, to be known, remembered, liked and trusted.  And then to write a targeted resume, interview well, get the job and then “rinse and repeat”.  These podcasts and videos show you how.  

Take the podcasts on your jogs while you work off the anxiety of job search, or watch the webinars on your tablet on the couch.  

Remember that you are unique, have an enormous number of skills and that some company is in dire need of your talents!

Who has my jobs?


Can you see the writing on the wall?  

Who has my jobs? Is your scientific or management job about to disappear due to the failure of a clinical trial or the lack of good funding for another or a recently announced merger?

About 85% of all jobs are not filled through job fairs, online applications or recruiters.  But none of us have been taught how to find a job in a way that we control and which will last us the rest of our careers.  Since, as a recruiter, I know both sides of the job search, I can teach you how to identify and qualify the companies you will want to work in, the people you want to work with and how to be known by the right people.  Sign up for my free inbox magazine and the 5 Secrets of Networking for your career and get started today!


My classes are currently on hiatus for the summer, but if you are interested in a 4 part class on each of the 4 steps, please do email me and I’ll schedule one for you and your friends or others.

Industries, Niches, Companies and Colleagues

How can you find the right companies for your job search?


Here is the (long) replay of the webinar about finding the right industry, niche, companies and people for your next job.  

The job seeker’s task is to be:

  • Find-able
  • Known
    • by just the right people in the right places
  • Remembered
  • Liked
  • Trusted

For our free open office hours  just CLICK

small Here


You need to have a well-thought out plan for your job search so that the ATS machines don’t just swallow your resumes whole and send them to a black hole.  That only leads to clinical depression!

Be selective and start with knowledge!


Q&A: Job Search Frustrations


Job search frustrations https://biosciencejobkit.com/recruiter-or-applying-online/

Do any of these job search frustrations sound familiar?

Job search frustrations can be a real roller coaster. 

1. If I go over the internet and put my resume, there are plenty of all 
sorts of recruiters making phone calls to me requesting to see if I am 
ready to perform using some narrow skill they are looking for.

2. I am mainly looking for opportunities that will transition me from the current technical role into leadership or management role, but I get calls that are mainly interested on one of my technical skills and how I can perform on their projects using the skill.

3. My biggest frustration in the job search is companies not willing to inform you if they have filled the position with another candidate. A quick e-mail telling me that they have gone with another candidate would be very helpful. Many companies will never inform you that the position has been filled.

4.  Postings for positions that don’t actually exist (some companies do this bi-annually to keep a stock pile of resumes)

5.  Having to continuously enter the same information in applicant tracking systems

6. New recruiters who don’t know the industry they are working in (“Do you have any healthcare experience?” Did you even read my resume??)

7.  Not knowing the salary range of a position ahead of time, which makes it impossible to tell whether a position is worth applying for

8.  Jobs that suddenly disappear due to budget freezes, executives going on vacation and/or a million other things that have nothing to do with the job

9.  Inappropriate aptitude testing not applicable to the position

10. Extremely long wait times in between interview stages

11. Ageism/sexism/etc (ex: most people look at me and assume that I’m going to take off and have a baby as soon as I get hired)

12  Salary inequality due to the previous bullet

13. “Purple cow” job descriptions which do not match the salary offered

14.  Salary low balling in general

15.  The everyday emotional roller coaster that wrecks havoc on your self-esteem


Why don’t they reply? What is going on in there? What can I do instead?


 To avoid these frustrations, put online applications where they belong, in the bottom 20% of your time on job search.  

Instead, join us for Free Open Office Hours Wednesdays at 11:30 am PST or Fridays at 8:30 am PST.

Which is better? Using a recruiter or applying online?

How to Fail at Job Search

updated 4/18/17

Winter Holiday Networking

The Holidays are coming quickly.

Holiday parties

Even if you are hip deep in a job search you will probably take time off for the big meals and parties that come every year at this time.

How can you “leverage” those events for your job search?

A couple of DON’Ts:
Don’t take your generic resume with you to the events.
Don’t spam the people there with your 30 second “elevator speech”.
Don’t expect anyone to hire you at the event.

Do plan what you will say when someone you don’t know well asks you what you do. It is perhaps the most common question. Practice something like: “I help (this kind of company) do/make/discover/(whatever your key action verb is) (whatever your key noun is/drugs/medical devices/etc.). What do you do?”

Focus on the other person and if it seems that they really might know someone in your niche, be sure to get their contact information for later. But mostly find out if the two of you have something in common, even if it is just your host.

For your relatives and close friends, stress that you have a plan and are working it. You can ask them if they know anyone who works at up to three of your preferred companies if you don’t have a connection there. Don’t expect them to really understand what you do and watch out for the eyes glazing over and stop if they do!!

If you are at a holiday business party for an organization you belong to, see that paragraph above. If you are at your current company’s holiday party and if you are careful, you can ask if they know people at certain companies.

Don’t try to do in-depth networking at a party.

Do talk to the person who is not talking with anyone else, be kind!

Have a wonderful time!

Want to talk about your search? For a short complimentary job search strategy call, book here

Do you make these 3 mistakes in your job search?

mistakes in job search

sitting on the couch, alone, looking for a job

Without a plan it is possible to make way too many mistakes in your job search!

Mistake 1:

Do you work like a dog on creating the “perfect” resume, formatting, spell-checked, every job you have ever had? How many hours do you sweat over it?

What to do instead:

Fill out your LinkedIn Profile completely – add files, docs, slideshows, links where ever reasonable.  Use your industry’s keywords and write in first person.  Be yourself – you want a job that fits you, not that generic person described in a generic resume.  Use parts of this Profile on all of your online properties: G+, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Be sure that there is a way for people you don’t already know or are not already connected with you can reach you.

Mistake 2:

Mail a generic resume (that you wrote in mistake 1) to every one you can think of.  Or hire a service to write a cover letter and send it (without an email address) on fancy paper to every recruiter they can find.   I call this the “message in a bottle” method.  It won’t get you rescued.

What to do instead:

Target, target, target!  Know what, exactly, you want and can do next.  Know who has that job.  Ignore the job postings that don’t fit.  Don’t spam your relatives or friends with a generic resume. 

Mistake 3:

Spend all your job search time online applying to any job that looks even vaguely appropriate.

What to do instead:

Do review the jobs at the companies you think have your job and see what their keywords are.  If, and only if, you have at least 85% of the requirements, do apply online and send a tailored resume for that particular job.  AND spend most of your job search time networking with the people in that company and in that department.


Join us for more about this topic on Wednesdays at 11:30 am Pacific

How to use a highlighter pen

highlighterFor your job search

More and more companies, recruiters and savvy job seekers are using keywords to be a net in the ocean of data on the internet.  Where do you get these keywords? 

The best way to identify your particular keywords is to look in your resume, your CV, your performance reviews and in job postings that are right for you in detail but not in location.  You can either print them out and use a highlighter pen to mark all the important words or cut and paste the text into wordcounter.net. These are the non-fluff words, like protein, expression, purification. Try out the wordcounter.net site by going to Indeed.com and putting in your next job title and a location that you are sure you DON’T want (for this exercise).  Copy and paste to the wordcounter.net site and see what comes up. Put your resume and then your LinkedIn Profile into the site.  The top ten most common words will come up.

Are these your preferred keywords? 

Are they the same as the ones in the job posting you have reviewed?  Why or why not?  Remember that job postings can be as well or poorly written as your LI profile or resume. 

If you don’t have at least 85% of the keywords in a job posting, think very hard about submitting your resume for that job.  Is it because your resume needs work or because the job posting does not include obviously needed skills?   

Remember that companies hire to solve a problem. 

Technical or scientific jobs will use technical and scientific terms.  Yes, soft skills like “adaptable” or “crisis management” are needed but are overused and don’t show the candidate what the job is actually about or the recruiter what the candidate has actually done.  Try not to use them, at least in your resume.  Make these earn their place in your public profiles and resumes.

Once you have your list of “hard” skills, you can craft sentences in your profiles, resumes and cover letters that speak directly to the job you want to do. Why Dragon-Slaying Stories? This will allow recruiters (both in-house and third-party) to connect with you the most likely candidate and you to not waste time applying for jobs that you are not qualified for. 

Remember that “a job, any job” does not exist. 

Companies don’t have “any job” available.  They have very specific ones which need very specific skills as identified by very specific keywords.  What are yours?

Are You Still Leaving Your Bioscience Job Search Up To Chance?