4 Things You NEED to know to get a good job

There are only 4 things you need to know in order to
get a good bioscience job.

4 things you Need for your next job
1. Know what you want to be paid to do
2. Know your industry niche and the companies in it
3. Know your network well and, especially, …

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Steps to your next bioscience job!

Take control of your career

Target Your Message and Your Job Search

Which is better? A recruiter or applying online?



What are Your Keywords and Why would you need them?

Why do you need to know what “your keywords” are?  Do you know them?

Have you taken the time to build the “treasure chest” of your keywords for your Profiles and resumes?  For your conversations and networking meetings?

This is the first step, before you apply for a job.

What are you proud of?  Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?  What are the words that describe them?  How can you show what you did?


keywords spreadsheet



Get a copy of the spreadsheet here


Target Your Message and Your Job Search

4 kinds of resumes

Be Visible

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

Complimentary Podcast: How to choose your next job

How to choose your next job

choose your next job

Choose your next job?!  Yes, there really are many jobs out there – We are well into the “War for Talent”.

But it can seem like there are no jobs if you don’t know that 75% of them are filled by personal networking before they ever reach a job board.

Who are you talking with?

Do you know what you want to do?

Where you want to do it?

Who is currently doing it there?

What problems they need to solve?

Here is the latest Office Hours talk on How to Choose Your Next Job

For a longer podcast on how to choose the right words, click here

What is your next title?

Getting BRUTALLY Honest with Yourself

Your list of skills and keywords

Slide12 (2)


Do you have your list of skills and keywords on your computer?

You will need this list of skills and keywords so that writing your resume and online profiles is not difficult.  And you don’t need to start with a blank page!  You can use a template or format. Using a list of your skills and keywords will give you a “leg up”.

You exist in a cloud of words that describes your work life or your home life.  Some of them are overused to the point of having no meaning, like “responsible self-starter”.  Some are so specific that only someone actually doing what you are currently doing would understand. The ones from your home life do not belong on a work document meant to attract the right job.  The ones from your work life are unlikely to attract the right people to go to the concert with.

When you pull together a list of words to use,  you can focus on the right words to attract your perfect job.  So start a list.  You won’t just send it off to random people.  You will use it to select the words suitable for the occasion.  You may have PCR, qPCR or whatever comes next on your list, but you want to uses the one that the company you are applying to uses, or they won’t know what you are talking about.

Do You REALLY Need a Resume for EVERY Job???


Do you hate having to write a new resume for every job?

I’m sure that you have heard that you need a resume tailored to every job you apply for.

But “Why?” you ask.  Because your resume is not really all about you.  It is about how you can help that particular company.

“But”, you say, “That is so much work!” It doesn’t have to be.  

Let’s look at this a bit more: A resume is not your memoir.  It is not your whole life on 2 pages.  Even a CV is not everything you have ever done.  You are so very much more than what goes in either of these.

So what exactly is a resume?  

A resume is an advertisement, written for a very small and specific audience about how you can solve their particular problem.  

Does every company have, or think they have, the same problem? Of course not!  Or, at least, they would never admit it.

Does your experience apply to more than one company? Of course it does!  But you need to make it fall off the top half of the first page as the solution to their problem!

Don’t pile your skills and expertise on the hiring manager’s desk like a pile of Legos™ and ask what he would like to build with it.  He needs someone who can “hit the ground running”.  And he wants to know that you have dealt with problems like his.   

What questions do you have about your resume?  Join us for free open office hours and ask your questions there

Or schedule a private consulting session

 How Many Applicants Get Interviewed? Will You?

Your Resume is NOT About You

Do you know how many kinds of interviews there are?

Are you using the right keywords?

Are your keywords in your profiles too high-level to attract the right recruiters and hiring managers?  Too specific for them to see where you fit?  

Have you told dragon-slaying stories about the wrong dragons?  Or worse yet, just listed your skills?  Are you displaying your expertise for the virtuosos or talking in words the HR team and the hiring manager can understand?

Or are you just waiting for the fairy job mother to drop a job in your lap since you took the time to put your name on LinkedIn?

Download the LinkedIn Profile Checklist (click on the picture of the clipboard at the upper right) and spend a few minutes doing it right!

Are you visible online?

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



What is a Keyword?


Job and key concept

Job and key concept

From  Dictionary.com



  1. A word that serves as a key, as to the meaning of another word, a sentence, passage, or the like.
  2. A word used to encipher or decipher a cryptogram, as a pattern for a transposition procedure or the basis for a complex substitution.
  3. Also called catchwordLibrary Science. A significant or memorable word or term in the title, abstract, or text of a document or other item being indexed, used as the index entry.
  4. Digital Technology. a word used to classify or organize digital content, or to facilitate an online search for information: Search the database for the keyword “Ireland.”.


The internet, search engines and Applicant Tracking Systems (where the resumes and applications go when you apply for a job online) all use keywords to sort all that data. 


Your keywords are the words in your online profiles, your resume, your background and future that serve as a key to the meaning of the work you have done and will do.  They are also the words that will help a hiring manager, or recruiter, decipher what you can actually do and how you would fit into the company.  AND, if they are the correct ones, they are the words that the computer will use to allow you to pass through the “Black Hole” of the ATS.


Remember that lingo in one company may not match the lingo in another so remember to look for synonyms.  If you have a cross-industry job (accounting, HR, etc.) remember that different industries may also have different lingo.


You will use “your” keywords whenever you look for a new job or enroll in a new online networking group.  The people in your “tribe” (as Seth Grodin says) will use the same keywords.  People who don’t will not understand you as well. 


Your keywords will describe your skills, expertise, and tasks.  You will use them to describe the software and equipment you use.  If you are an expert in one kind of equipment, you will be a better fit at companies that use that equipment than you would be at companies that use the competitor’s equipment but a better fit than someone who doesn’t know how to use either. 


You should have your keywords somewhere on your computer or in a notebook so that you don’t have to recreate the wheel every time.  You will need to add to it, reorder the list (by what you want to do next or never again), take some things off that you haven’t done for so long that they are outdated.  But you won’t have to try to think it up fresh every time. 


You will use these words over and over in Summaries of what you do, in “dragon-slaying stories” of your accomplishments, in conversations with networking partners, in interviews.  These are “your” words.  The people who share them with you are “your tribe”.  And many will become your friends – the people who “get” you. 



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?