The Secret, High Power Start for Your Job Search

Before you start your job search

Jump start your job search

Your job search doesn’t need to be long, depressing and unproductive.

The secret to starting a fast, productive job search is to know exactly what you have to offer and how to tell people about it.

Knowing all of your skills and which ones you want to use in your next job will allow you to skip the unproductive parts of a search and move directly to the jobs you want.

Being able to talk about your skills in a concise and interesting way will allow people to know what you do and figure out if they need your skills to solve their problem. Or if they know someone who does.

Don’t be at a loss for words! Work on it ahead of time so you know which nouns and adjectives are the most appropriate.

Don’t expect that everyone can read your mind or knows what it is you do. Be able to tell them without boring them or talking from the 30000 foot view. You want them to see and hear your interest in what you do, but you don’t want to expect them to share your passion for it.

More tools

Do you have a complete list of your skills and expertise?

How to Fail at Job Search

Visible online so hiring managers and recruiters can find you

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!

Reputation, Personal Branding, and Social Proof


Your reputation is now called “Personal Branding” because you do have a degree of control over what other people think of you.

And you do have control over what you put on your “online real estate” (your profiles).  People who check out your profiles will form an opinion of you by what is on your profiles.

A job seeker or consultant’s job is to be visible online, to be known, liked and trusted.  Your reputation will affect the last three and you can manage it in your online visibility.

Branding is a marketing term that has crept into every day language.  Personal branding really means what our parents referred to as your reputation or “What will the neighbors say!  Make us proud!”  You can demonstrate your greatness online without bragging and then have your friends and connections endorse those things or even write recommendations (or you can help them do so by giving them a template).  Of course you will do it for them first!

As a recruiter, when I look at two potential candidates and one has 99+ endorsements for one of the skills I am looking for and the other has 2, I will be more interested in the one with 99+.  I know that the system can be “gamed”, but I will, at the very least, think that the first one actually knows how to use LinkedIn and is in the niche I need.

Now if  the first one is no longer interested in doing what 99+ people have endorsed them for, then they are using false advertising and we will both end up wasting our time.

Check your recommendations and endorsements to make sure that they are likely to encourage a recruiter to call you for the job you want, not the one you have not done for 10 years.

For a quick look at your Profile, Click Here

For something more in-depth, Click Here


What do you look like on social media?

social media is crucial

Social Media can make or break your chances of getting hired.  

Many people WILL look you up on social media like LinkedIn, G+, or even Facebook to see who you are, what you present, even what your politics are.

Hiring managers and recruiters will surely look at your social media presence.

I look up people I’m meeting in coffee shops so that I don’t have to bother people I’m NOT meeting.  Do you have your picture on your LinkedIn Profile or G+ Profile?  Can I tell it is you? Or is it you in the distance? Or do I need to figure out which of the 3 people in the picture is you? 

What will Hiring Managers and recruiters see?  

Do they have to dedicate hours to finding your last embarrassing picture from that party in high school? (which, of course, they won’t.)  Or is it right there, easy to find and perfect for trashing your chances of even getting a phone call for that professional job?  Of course you know to remove them, but what if someone else has it on their page and tags you?  What about Instagram or other, newer forms of social media?   

Or, if you graduated from high school before the internet preserved our mistakes for posterity, is your LinkedIn Profile skimpy?

Is it hard to read, making it impossible to imagine you doing what the hiring manager needs to have done? Or have you posted your grab-bag resume instead of choosing your words carefully? This is your personal “online real estate”.  It is your billboard and you want it to be at least presentable.  

Do you need help discovering “your” words?  Writing them in good “dragon-slaying” stories?  Knowing how to use the more interesting parts of the Profile? Did you know that you can put slides, pictures, documents, even videos on your LinkedIn Profile? How can use use this to be more easily found by the people who need your skills?

One of the tasks of the job seeker (or even consultant) is to be visible online, since that is where we go now to find people and solutions.  If you are afraid of identity theft or too many emails, there are certainly steps you can take.  If you never want another job or client, are now retired or being “kept” and are certain that life-as-you-know-it will not change in your lifetime, then don’t be visible!  But if you know that change is, protect your personal brand by keeping your social media serving your own best interests!   

Click here for some help!

Strategic Plan for Your Career Can Only Be Made by YOU.

Slide11 (2)


Many people don’t have a strategic plan, or even any plan, for their working life.  A job is not a career.  And the definition of a “good job” has changed.  It has become absolutely essential for each person to manage their career as no one will do it for you.  The jobs you were prepared for in public school have all been taken by computers or off-shored.  Creativity and thoughtfulness are now imperative if you want to be able to retire from a “good job”.  So what is your plan?

What is your goal?

Slide10 (2)

Many people don’t have a career goal.  Do you?

Not having a goal is OK if you really don’t care where you end up.  But, even though it can be excruciatingly difficult, choosing really is important.  You know that saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.  Especially when it comes to money and jobs.

And it is important to plan well.

You can’t just say that you want to be president of the United States and then not learn history or not study politics or not volunteer or not go into politics and run. Similarly you can’t say you want to discover a cure for cancer and then not do a degree in science, or a postdoc, or pay your dues at entry-level positions in bioscience companies.

So what do you want to accomplish in your career? What are the steps you need to take to get there? Is the job you’re contemplating going to take you closer or further away from that particular goal?

If you get halfway there you can still change directions. But if you never move in that direction you’re simply not going to get there.

Once you know what direction you want to move in, then I can help you take the next step.

Book an appointment to talk about

My Kindle Book: 52 Job Search Tips

I’ve published a book on Amazon 

How to Find Your Next Job: 52 Job Search Tips
Would you have time to review it?  You can  purchase on Amazon for only $2.99 in the Kindle edition. (and yeah, the cover is fugly!! Any suggestions?)
If you find it useful, I’d love it if you would post a review on Amazon!

Are you a bioscience job seeker?

Are you a bioscience job seeker?  

Do you have your Playbook?  

Contact for more help!

Or check out the at a glance page here

The Bioscience Job Seeker’s tasks are:

  • Be visible online
  • Be known by the people in your niche and preferred companies
  • Be remembered by them before they hire someone else
  • Be liked
  • Be trusted to accomplish the task!

Contact for more help!

Do You Want to Be Found by Recruiters and Hiring Managers?

found by recruitersYour current career network may not be doing the trick for you.  Or you may have fallen out of touch with the people you really want to work with.

So how do you want to be found by recruiters?

Face-to-face contact, i.e. having lunch or coffee with someone, is probably the best way.  But what about something less time consuming?

Are you visible online?  Or do you email or snail mail regularly?

As a recruiter, I’m online daily, looking for the right people for my clients on a number of different sites, including LinkedIn and others more specific to the job that I’m trying to fill. It is very frustrating to find someone with what looks like the appropriate title at the appropriate company with the appropriate experience and have no way to connect with them other than through LinkedIn’s metered service.

There’s a section in your profile where you can sit give advice for contacting you. You can put in your email address with spaces or obviously incorrect symbols to prevent robot spam or you can say, “My Gmail email address is” and a human can figure out then it’s really

This also works for allowing hiring managers, long-lost roommates, old friends, and the rest of your network to reach out to you privately.

Does being found by recruiters
and other strangers irritate you?

Some people are very private and don’t want to be reached by anyone unless they initiate the conversation. I don’t understand this. It seems to me to be operating from a place of fear. You can get a separate email account and make sure that it is covered by very careful spam protection. You can check it infrequently when you are happy with your job, and more frequently when you’re open to other possibilities.

Some people think that recruiters are just a waste of time. And we very well may be if your online profiles are terse and don’t reveal what you like doing, want to do next, or are expert in. We might contact you for things you are simply not interested in, or haven’t been interested in for years, because your profile only shows the old things, not the new things.

Or do you think that your current manager
might see your Profile?

Some people are afraid that if they update their LinkedIn profile, their managers will see it and think that they are looking for a job. This may in fact be true! But if you keep your LinkedIn profile current with each new responsibility, problem solved, interest, then it will not look unusual each time you update it. LinkedIn can be a convenient place to store the facts about your career. You can add links, slides, written public documents, presentations, etc. And you can tell your manager that you decided to move that stack of paper “ataboys” to the web.

Does your industry match your career goals?  Sure you were in research as an undergrad or post-doc, but now you may need to change it to Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals or Medical Device on LinkedIn.

Remember that all of your profiles, LinkedIn, G+, Labroots, and every other one that can be searched by the search engines, is your “calling card”.  It is the expanded version of your business card and presents those things that you want your current and future career network to know about you.  Both the content and delivery (style, words, sentence structure, stories, etc.) are important. What did the people you want to work with need to know about you? What do the people who are looking to fill a job you want need to know about you?


Check your LinkedIn profile using the checklist or get a personal review with recommendations here

Getting BRUTALLY Honest with Yourself

BSJKSkillsListWe all have an enormous number of skills and expertise, but you need to be brutally honest with yourself to know what your bioscience job skills are.

What bioscience job skills, exactly, do you want to do in your next job?

You probably won’t get everything you want, but if you don’t know what you want and whether you can actually do it, you will definitely NOT get what you want.
[Tweet “Wanting “a job, any job” will not get you one. via Biorecruiter”]

Start with a list of what you have done, are good at, like, want to do next. Start at a general or high level and work down to very specific skills. There are no “any” jobs, especially in the bioscience industries.  All jobs are specific and all employees are hired to solve a particular problem.

What problems have you solved?

Even if you are just graduating, you have solved problems and know some of the problems you never want to see again.  You know what you feel comfortable doing and which programs, machines and processes you know how to use.  And which ones you want to learn next.

People who have been in the bioscience industries for a bit will have a longer list and many more skills that they don’t want to use in the next job.

Most people think that this list is their resume.  They are the foundation of each resume, but even more they are your keywords and phrases.  You will find them in your old resumes, your performance reviews, your daily tasks. You will use them in your online profiles, your “elevator speech”, your headlines and signatures as well as the tailored resumes you will write for each job application.

These are the basis of your “personal brand”, what we used to call your reputation.

Your list of keywords is your private document.  Don’t put it out in public.  It is your “foundation garment” and you will use it to build your career.

Has Opportunity Knocked?

Here is a bundle of template, podcast and instructions