Who actually has the job?

Who actually has the job? Not your buddies, or you would already have it. Not your extended family either. Do you currently know the people who need your skills?


noun, verb, jobbed, job·bing, adjective


1.  a piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one’s occupation or for an agreed price: She gave him the job of mowing the lawn.
2.  a post of employment; full-time or part-time position: She was seeking a job as an editor.
3.  anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility: It is your job to be on time.
4.  an affair, matter, occurrence, or state of affairs: to make the best of a bad job.
5.  the material, project, assignment, etc., being worked upon: The housing project was a long and costly job.
  – Dictionary.com

So who actually has the job you want?

Job postings are lists of jobs.  Recruiters do the job of finding the right person for their client.  HR does the job of bringing the desired person into the company and/or may do the job of the recruiter.  But it is the hiring manager who actually has the 1.  a piece of work, especially a specific task. 

How can you be known by the hiring manager?

For a full view and more info, click here

Manage the bioscience interview

tip 49 - manage the bioscience interview

You got a bioscience interview! Congratulate yourself!  You have passed so many hurdles.

Now don’t blow it by being too eager! Be professional and take control of each bioscience interview from the beginning.

  • Choose a time to interview that will allow you to be completely up to speed.
  • See if they will give you the name of the person who will be interviewing you on the phone.  
  • Review what you are bringing to the table, but more important, what problem the company is trying to solve.  
  • Which of your dragon-slaying stories fits this job?  
  • Which words do you want on the tip of your tongue so you sound like a member of the tribe?  

Want to talk about it first?  Schedule a time here

A View from the Inside: a look inside hiring

how do you want to be found?

What happens inside a company when they post a job?

We are hiring

Have you seen this excellent Slideshare by Jenny Kahn about what happens inside the company before, during and after a company posts a job?

What hiring looks like from the inside:


Know, remember, like and trust

Hand outstretched for a handshakeHow does anyone get hired? 

First you have to be known.  Resumes are simply one way for the hiring manager to get to know you.  Today there are many, many ways.  Profiles online, face-to-face meetings for coffee, or beer, or golf, or… introductions by mutual friends, online or off.  You have to be known for what you can do for them.  I know lots of people who are not in the bioindustry, so I’m of no use to them for many jobs and I’m not likely to place them in my client companies.  You know many people outside your industry and there are many people you know whose industry you don’t know.  How can you be known by the people in your industry whom you want to know you?

Once known, you need to be remembered when your skills are needed.  Are you following up regularly?  You need to stay top of mind.  And you don’t want to be a stalker or annoying.  How can you help at least four times before you ask for something?

If you have met the right people and are remembered, are you liked enough for the people to want to work with you?  Studies have shown that many hires are made on “gut feelings”, which is to say, did the hiring manager like you.  It is not a good way to hire, but you might as well take it into consideration.  You will not stay employed for long if no one likes you at that company or if you don’t like them.

Trust is needed because you will be taking a part in growing their “baby”.  Whatever project you are hired to work on is the cherished idea of someone in the company.  Are you trustworthy?  Can you see, embrace and forward their vision?  And how can you convey that to the recruiter and hiring team? 

What do you think? 

Why should someone hire you?

Why should someone hire you and not someone else? 



Job Search Is Broken

Job Search Is Broken (Photo credit: Tim Tyrell-Smith)

No one will hire you simply because you need a job.  You don’t want that job anyway.  If you are currently employed it may be as difficult for you to articulate your skills as it is for a fish to see water. If you are currently unemployed, you may feel like you have no skills simply because you are so beaten down by the job search. 


One big problem for a job seeker is that hiring managers can’t read your mind, don’t know you, and don’t know what you can do.  Your general resume makes this even harder and a LinkedIn Profile that has only your last job title and company is poor information for the recruiter, HR person or hiring manager.  On top of that, the jargon used at your last place of employment may not be the jargon at the place you want to work at next. 


Only you can show or tell the new potential manager what you know and can do.  If, and only if, those are the skills that the hiring manager needs in his/her next employee, will s/he bother to contact you?


There are a number of hoops to jump through before your resume even gets to the hiring manager’s desk. Did you apply online?  Where?  Does the computer program that filters resumes (called an Applicant Tracking System or ATS) recognize the keywords you used as the ones in the posted job description? If it doesn’t, (and machines are dumb and don’t use synonyms) your resume vanishes into the black hole.  Many companies don’t review their ATS for previously submitted resumes when they have a new opening.  Even if they do, did you happen to use the right words for the new job?






1007005 (Photo credit: yu_DP+)

If you decide to ask a friend or acquaintance to pass your resume to the hiring manager, how much power does your friend have?  How busy is the hiring manager?  What is their relationship? Does the hiring manager take this person’s recommendations seriously? Or does that resume on expensive paper simply get put in the “circular file” as my Dad called the trash can?  Did your friend ask you for the resume or did you push it on them? 


No one CAN be hired if the hiring manager doesn’t know that they exist. 


Even more unlikely is posting your resume all over the internet – someone will have to be interested enough in the keywords that you use to spend the time to find your resume.  Yes, recruiters do learn Boolean search just for this purpose, but they are looking for specific keywords.  Are those in your resume?


You can pay someone to write your resume for you and blast it out to recruiters, etc.  Do they know your correct keywords?  And blasting your resume is like spamming the world. Generally a dumb idea. 


If you have been spending your time “looking for work” by using these methods, you are wasting your time.


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How to read a job posting


Help_wantedJerome Young, Contributor Forbes Magazine said it well a few years ago.

Decoding a job posting is a skill they don’t teach it in school.


Parts of a job posting


Company Logo

(Usually with a link to the company’s website.  Go there – read the whole thing.  Is this a company that you would like to work for?  Why?  While you are on the web, do a search for the company, check with Google News, look on LinkedIn and see who you are connected to inside the company.)


Title of the job

(most jobs have “normal” titles, but some can be “creative” and not really tell you what the company is looking for.  But this does tell you a bit about the culture – “not boring”.  Is this the same title you have now or had last?  Is this a reasonable next step?  You can’t go from Research Associate to VP in one step.)



(This is not always in a job posting, so check their website. If it is not within your commute distance, be sure to look for a relocation benefit or be prepared to move yourself.  Many, even most, companies do not want to relocate someone; it can get expensive.  Relocation is 50 or more miles. )


When it was posted

 (This too is not necessarily on the posting, but like house for sale ads, the longer it has been out there, the better for you.  But check to be sure that it is still an active opening and not simply one that someone forgot to take down.  Applying first may, or may not, do you any good – the person that looks at “today’s applicants” may not do it until there are X number anyway.)


Position type

(full-time, part-time, etc. What do you want?  Would a part-time job get your foot in the door, or would it be a sidestep off your career path?)


Job Code

(This is an internal code to keep things straight in the HR department.  Make a note of it; you may need it later.)


Area of expertise

Some job boards require this.  It is doubtful that you will see this on the career pages of the company.



This should be the place where the writer of the job posting tells you what you would do, why it is important and exciting and who you will work with.  Some writers are much better than others.  It should tell you what has to happen in the job, what problem needs to be solved, how you can tell if you have solved it.  Mostly they don’t.  The first three items listed are usually the most important. 


Look for keywords and phrases.  Print out the position description/job posting and take a highlighter to it.  What words/phrases make this job description different from another one?  Yes, there will be “fluff” – “works well with a team”, “responsible for owning and achieving interim and final contractual deliverables for assigned projects/programs, according to the time, quality/scope and cost constraints”, etc. Use the words somewhere in your resume, but don’t use too much fluff.  While we know that your resume will only get about 10-30 seconds of viewing time, you need to spend at least 15 minutes on each job posting you think looks good. 


Do you “own” at least 85% of the keywords?  If not, this is not the job for you. 



These are the “have” items usually, rather than the “can do” items.  Yes, sometimes the education requirement seems rather unnecessary, but if they ask for a PhD and you only have a Masters, this is not the job for you.

Or on the other hand, if you have a PhD and they are asking for a Masters, it probably means that they will think that you are overqualified.  You need to “own” at least the top three qualifications and use them on the top half of your resume.  Otherwise, the human that looks at your resume may not see them.


Pay attention to the words used.  The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that will parse your application and resume only understands synonyms if the HR department has programmed them.  So use the ones in the job posting.  If they want an old software and you know that one and the next one, please remember to mention the old one!  If they spell out something, you should too.


Do you know what your keywords are?  I’ve done a video on using LinkedIn.com/skills to find your keywords.  Click here to view it.  And do leave a comment. 

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