Your biotech job search starts here
The biotech industry is competitive and tough to break into, but it’s also full of opportunities for hardworking and creative people. Working in biotech can be a highly fulfilling endeavor, where the prospect of waking up and going to work fills you with excitement and joy. As corny as that sounds, that my friends is your first tip. Enjoy what you do, and do it with passion! Without passion, you’ll find yourself miserable, and that negativity will spread to those around you. Take the time to discover what truly brings you joy. Don’t worry, it only takes years to figure that out. In the meantime, read below to gain insight into making your resume stand out.
Tailor your brand to the job description for your biotech job search
Tailoring your resume to the job description is an essential step in the job search process. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t tailored your resume, you’re probably not getting hired.
Writing your resume is similar to branding yourself because both involve crafting a clear and compelling message that effectively communicates who you are and what you have to offer.
Just as with branding, your resume should showcase your unique skills, experiences, and achievements in a way that sets you apart from others.
A resume is a marketing document that highlights your skills and experience. It’s also a tool to help you get an interview. It should be simple and organized. Use bullet points, white space, and consistent formatting to break up the text and make it easy to read. Keep in mind that a recruiter will only spend a few seconds scanning your resume before deciding whether or not they want to read more about you–so don’t waste that time by making them work too hard!
Use keywords/action verbs to optimize your resume
To start, read the job description carefully and highlight any keywords or phrases that stand out to you as important. These are likely going to be terms used by recruiters when searching for candidates online. You will want to use the keywords you identified in the job description and also relevant to your experience in your resume. While this may seem obvious, many people fail to do this. For example, if you are applying for a position in drug development with a biotech company and one of the requirements is “experience working with animal models,” then it would be wise for you to include this in your resume as well. Your goal is not just to get past HR; it’s also about getting past whoever reviews resumes from candidates who make it through HR screening.
Use action verbs. Rather than using vague language like “managed” or “organized,” be more specific by using words like “supervised” or “directed.” For example: Instead of saying that you managed a team of six people who worked on Project X, say that you supervised them in their work on Project Y (and add some information about what exactly they were doing).
|Research Action Verbs (Harvard Resume Guide)|
|Analyzed, Clarified, Collected, Compared, Conducted, Detected, Determined, Diagnosed, Evaluated, Examined, Experimented, Explored, Identified, Inspected, Gathered, Interviewed, Investigated, Measured, Reported, Researched, Reviewed, Searched, Summarized, Surveyed, Systematized|
You also need to quantify your achievements. Quantifying your achievements is not just a good way to make them sound more impressive, it also helps you quantify how much time and effort went into them. Try using numbers in place of words when describing what you did at work or school, like “I improved the transfection efficacy by 39%” instead of “I improved the transfection efficacy.” The latter sounds vague, whereas the former gives an exact number that makes sense when compared to other similar situations.
Biotech job search 101: Highlight your relevant experience
To stand out from other candidates is to clearly demonstrate your relevant experience. You should include details about your role and responsibilities, examples of how you’ve used your skills and any certifications or licenses that are relevant for the position. If possible, include a brief description of how you helped mentor others using those skills.
The best way to highlight this information is by creating an objective statement for each job posting that clearly states what makes someone like yourself uniquely qualified for it–and how they would benefit from hiring someone like yourself! This will help potential employers determine whether or not they want to interview someone with similar qualifications as yours (and hopefully give them pause before making their final decision).
The same goes for coursework: if there is any overlap between what was taught in class and what could potentially be useful for this job opening at hand–even if it’s just general knowledge–then mention it! If you have a degree in biology, genetics, or another science-related field, then highlight your relevant coursework. For example, if you took a course on molecular biology and learned about DNA sequencing methods, then mention this in your resume as an example of how you applied your knowledge to solve problems.
If there are any awards or honors from courses or research projects that you’ve been involved with at school (e.g., best paper award), include them on your resume as well so employers can see how well-rounded and accomplished you are. This is also an opportunity for you to discuss how these results have impacted society at large or helped further science in some way.
All of these extra little things that you are rolling your eyes at doing will illustrate why someone should hire YOU over another equally qualified candidate who didn’t bother including such details on their resume because they thought no one would care about such things outside academia anyway.
A strong resume is the key to getting your foot in the door for a job interview. It’s important that you spend time crafting and polishing your resume so that it represents you in the best way possible. Hiring managers don’t want to spend days reviewing your resume, but you should not be shy about highlighting your work in a concise and easy-to-read way.