This week we had the pleasure of presenting to the Students at Manchester Metropolitan University, one of the UK’s top Universities for Science and it was a privilege to be there.
We wanted to present away from the CV writing / interviewing side of the job market advice, and more focus on the headspace around finding that first role in science and how to build ‘market presence’.
There is a lot of pressure on graduates these days, more than in the past mainly due to how public our successes are especially on social media but also due to the cost of higher education. You have invested a huge amount in yourself to get here and want to realise the value of that investment. Reasonable thinking.
However away from the outcome, it’s important to give yourself a break and know that as long as you are trying your best – you are getting it right. Some successes will be out of your control as will some ‘failures’. The only thing we can control is the strategy, and activities we do.
We spent an hour initially talking about how to work out what you want, and getting ordered on what outcomes you are wishing to achieve on the job market. By knowing what you are after, you can make better choices in what you pursue and where you expend your energy.
Social media and your online presence is key. Getting on LinkedIn and using it to expand your network, and follow groups and companies pertinent to the scientific market.
Step (1) is connect to me, you’ll have thousands and thousands of 2nd degree connections as a result of just doing that. Follow companies, join groups, connect to people who might be able to help you or hire you.
Twitter, make it scientific looking describe yourself as “emerging scientist” or similar and like and follow companies that you find. Get Google chrome and add a pagemonitor to it, every time you go on a job page you liked, add a pagemonitor tag to it and you’ll be updated whenever a change happens to that board.
Moving onto working smart on the job market. Getting away from Google and what ‘it tells you’ the market looks like and instead- going finding out for yourself!
The following websites were recommended for using to locate potential employers:
- Hunter.io (search most companies and get peoples direct email addresses)
- https://www.ukas.com/search-accredited-organisations/ (search laboratories)
- https://issuu.com/benham/docs/bionow_directory_2015/74 (list of laboratories)
- http://www.pharmafile.com/browse_companies_top/1073 (another list of labs)
- http://www.ukspa.org.uk/members/our-members (list of every science park in the UK)
We also recommended getting out there in networking events and some low cost but potentially high impact places and activities.
- Networking events (Daresbury business breakfast)
- Free trade shows (Making Pharmaceuticals, Making Cosmetics, Lab Innovations, MedTec)
- Chemspec Europe and CPhI if you don’t mind the airfare, again free to go
- Business cards can be made for very low investment –i.e. £10 for 250 on Vistaprint
- Letters have much higher impact than that used to due to the dominance of email
Get all of that done and you’ll find yourself a well networked individual, who outwardly looks and acts like a scientist, showing interest in companies (that urgently need to hire people with exactly your skill set). As a strategy for success, that’s not bad!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any followup questions I know some of you already have!