Earlier this week I got an emal from someone in their second year of a Forensic Science degree, asking for advice on anything they could do at this point to help chase down their first job upon graduation.
Beleive it or not the job hunting can start anytime and it's never too early to get yourself out there in your professional area. We do lots of academic activities and regularly talk to people in year 1 and 2 as well as finalists.
The below is my response to my colleagues question, and I hope it's helpful to others:
Forensics is notoriously difficult as a field, however I’d suggest you can tilt the game in your favour by helping yourself, and start this anytime. Basically you need a network of hiring managers that know you and find you credible as a potential new hire, and do the following to build this.
- First of all, setup a LinkedIn profile, and add yourself as a Student Forensic Scientist.
- Follow Forensic related groups on LinkedIn and forensics labs, police forces, Government departments like the Home Office and other entities in the forensics area
- Once in these groups you can begin to build your network, LinkedIn allows you to connect to people you have emails for to keep it exclusive… however it also lets you add people you’re in a common group with hence the last step is important
- This network will doubtless include Lab Managers, and other hiring managers in forensics.
- Further you can build the network over the long term so dip in and out of it adding a few contacts every now and then
The point of all the above is that every lab has turnover, about 15% is average some are higher. If someone goes on leave unexpectedly, sometimes people check their LinkedIn network first, likewise many will post that they are hiring. By being available to them, you’re massively more likely to get hired. Also once connected you get emails and can contact them directly with a CV.
I’d suggest even though it’s a year to go till graduation… this groundwork could be really good to get moving with.