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Old 2013-05-21, 08:35   Link #81
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Originally Posted by guest View Post
I remember there are a few people here who live in Boston, USA, and are in the manager levels of their company. So I figure I will give it a try. I used to work at an academic institute (biotech/medical) doing experiment at a laboratory (research tech/assistant). But my boss didn't have fund to support the lab anymore so I was one of the people who got laid-off. After that, I have been applying for job opportunity everywhere in Boston but no luck. It has been two year. Can someone here who understand biotechnology tell me how to get a job, or tell me where to get help? I really don't know what to do. I need help, desperately. Any help or suggestions about job hunting will be greatly appreciated.
My old academic institution (not in Boston) had a posting section on their website where labs could list positions that they wanted filled. It looks like Tufts may have something similar, and possibly other institutions. Your skills should allow you to apply for jobs in both basic research and clinical labs, although there's a chance that you'll need some certifications to work on the clinical side. Aside from looking at individual institution's hiring boards, have you checked any job websites? Aside from sites like Monster, there are some biotech-focused ones. I can't remember the big one that I found a few years ago, but in searching just now I found Medzilla, which might be worth a try.

Finally, you don't need to limit yourself to research institutions. Have you checked listings with pharmaceutical companies? Clinical work and the pharmaceutical companies are more secure funding-wise than basic science research. Pharmaceutical companies do basic science research as well, but your work may not be published and you'll be under a non-disclosure agreement for a number of years, which can make it very hard to leave the pharmaceutical side and return to academia if you ever have the desire to.

Good luck.
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Old 2013-05-21, 17:46   Link #82
Blackbeard D. Kuma
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In today's job market, applying online is not always enough. Networking is pivotal. Honestly, having a face and personality (this one's very important) to go with a resume makes a world of difference. Joining memberships and associations also leads to networking and contacts. Attend events pertaining to your industry. People need to get more involved and active in the job search because things won't just come to you. And be aware that not all jobs are advertised online. There's something called the "hidden job market" where you'll only find out about jobs by personally talking with people in industry.
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Old 2013-05-22, 02:02   Link #83
domomonster
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My first job was as a Kitchen Hand, which paid well but the hours were shit and basically it was a dead end job unless I wanted to try and get an Apprenticeship (which I wasn't interested in). Since then I have done a few other jobs in Hospitality, been a Bricklaying Labourer (one of the hardest physical jobs you can do) and currently I work in Security as a Bouncer for a few different Pubs, Bars and Clubs.

My only advice would be not to only focus on one goal when deciding what to study, cause then you might finally get into it and absolutely detest it as a job. And by that time it can be real hard to find something else. This is probably why I still haven't found anything stable to do for work that I love... Also be careful of jobs that advertise "possible earnings" because this could mean you might only get paid if you make a sale, and when you're new you might end up working for months without getting paid until you get fired :/ happened to a few people I know...
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Old 2013-05-22, 04:11   Link #84
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These type of threads are kinda hard to do on an international thread, as what the employers look for is vastly.. and I mean VASTLY different from culture to culture.
From what I observe, the interview standards in east Asia is pretty similar to each other, which is almost a 180 degree difference from America, which is extremely different from an average West European ones, etc.
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Old 2013-05-22, 04:14   Link #85
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Applying online is actually one of the worst things you can do. There are loads of automated systems that filter out all but the most absurdly impressive CVs from the pile.

Go forth and talk to people, oldschool style!
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Old 2013-05-22, 04:34   Link #86
domomonster
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Applying online is actually one of the worst things you can do. There are loads of automated systems that filter out all but the most absurdly impressive CVs from the pile.

Go forth and talk to people, oldschool style!
Agreed! It makes you look better because you made the effort to come in and show your interest in person
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Old 2013-05-22, 08:27   Link #87
aohige
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Years ago, I applied for a company in a business I had years of credentials for.
The interviewer was impressed, and I was sure I got the job.

Oddly, I never heard from them again.
Couple month passed, and I got an offer for even better job.
A month into my new job, I heard the company I went to interview for bankrupted and shut down.

I realized why I never heard back from them. Imagine my face.
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Old 2013-05-22, 08:31   Link #88
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
Years ago, I applied for a company in a business I had years of credentials for.
The interviewer was impressed, and I was sure I got the job.

Oddly, I never heard from them again.
Couple month passed, and I got an offer for even better job.
A month into my new job, I heard the company I went to interview for bankrupted and shut down.

I realized why I never heard back from them. Imagine my face.
Bro, I had the same experience back in '06, even though it was a temp position. I know how you feel.
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Old 2013-05-22, 18:59   Link #89
Blackbeard D. Kuma
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Another thing to keep in mind is that unfortunately some areas of study are not very practical in the real world. Pursue something that's in demand (and hopefully it'll also be something you enjoy, or at the very least, not hate).
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Old 2013-05-22, 22:19   Link #90
guest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
My old academic institution (not in Boston) had a posting section on their website where labs could list positions that they wanted filled. It looks like Tufts may have something similar, and possibly other institutions. Your skills should allow you to apply for jobs in both basic research and clinical labs, although there's a chance that you'll need some certifications to work on the clinical side. Aside from looking at individual institution's hiring boards, have you checked any job websites? Aside from sites like Monster, there are some biotech-focused ones. I can't remember the big one that I found a few years ago, but in searching just now I found Medzilla, which might be worth a try.

Finally, you don't need to limit yourself to research institutions. Have you checked listings with pharmaceutical companies? Clinical work and the pharmaceutical companies are more secure funding-wise than basic science research. Pharmaceutical companies do basic science research as well, but your work may not be published and you'll be under a non-disclosure agreement for a number of years, which can make it very hard to leave the pharmaceutical side and return to academia if you ever have the desire to.

Good luck.
Two years. I have tried everywhere. It's not because I preferred academic institute. I tried pharmaceutical companies as well but I can't even get one interview. I also tried outside of Boston. I can't get any interview. So far, I only got three or four interview in the past two years, all academic institutes. That is terrible, considering I have sent out thousands of applications all over places. I will try Medzilla. If you have anymore information, please do tell. Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbeard D. Kuma View Post
In today's job market, applying online is not always enough. Networking is pivotal. Honestly, having a face and personality (this one's very important) to go with a resume makes a world of difference. Joining memberships and associations also leads to networking and contacts. Attend events pertaining to your industry. People need to get more involved and active in the job search because things won't just come to you. And be aware that not all jobs are advertised online. There's something called the "hidden job market" where you'll only find out about jobs by personally talking with people in industry.
What do you mean by "having a face and personality (this one's very important) ?" I just don't understand. I don't know them. If I just call human resource and tell them, "hey, I am looking for a job. Can I make an appoint with your researchers?" I am sure they will just tell me, "please apply online" then hang up on me, not to mention it's difficult to get contact phone numbers of Human resource.
As for networking, that's what I did when I first got laid-off. I asked around and talked to people. Some of them would tell me that they thought xxx lab was looking for hiring. I sent my resume and nothing happened. Slowly, I lost contact with them. I tried to call them. But then, they said they don't know who is hiring anymore, because they didn't think I would go on for so long and not able to get a job. They stop asking who would be hiring. Also, because of this economy, they only hear more lay-off. Can you please explain more about this to me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
These type of threads are kinda hard to do on an international thread, as what the employers look for is vastly.. and I mean VASTLY different from culture to culture.
From what I observe, the interview standards in east Asia is pretty similar to each other, which is almost a 180 degree difference from America, which is extremely different from an average West European ones, etc.
That's why I specifically said "Boston." And I am desperate, really. Two years with no job, I could be kicked out of my apartment because I couldn't pay for the rent anymore and lived on the street soon.
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Last edited by guest; 2013-05-22 at 23:15.
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Old 2013-05-22, 22:54   Link #91
maplehurry
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well, there're always those part time jobs out there.
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Old 2013-05-22, 23:11   Link #92
guest
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Originally Posted by maplehurry View Post
well, there're always those part time jobs out there.
I tried that (part-time, temporary, contract jobs) too. Never got any interview. Most of these, like 99.9%, are offered by pharmaceutical companies and actually, there are only handful of these in market now. Most of jobs are full-time. Like I said, I can't get an interview with pharmaceutical companies. I really would like know what I did wrong.
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Old 2013-05-23, 07:27   Link #93
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by guest View Post
What do you mean by "having a face and personality (this one's very important) ?" I just don't understand. I don't know them. If I just call human resource and tell them, "hey, I am looking for a job. Can I make an appoint with your researchers?" I am sure they will just tell me, "please apply online" then hang up on me, not to mention it's difficult to get contact phone numbers of Human resource.
I think his advice was meant to apply in general. It's good advice, but I can't imagine it working for many scenarios in biological sciences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guest View Post
That's why I specifically said "Boston." And I am desperate, really. Two years with no job, I could be kicked out of my apartment because I couldn't pay for the rent anymore and lived on the street soon.
If you're desperate and don't have any major compelling reason to stay in Boston (such as a dying parent) then you might need to broaden your city search.

I can think of two other possibile things to try. First, have you gone over your resume a few times? You probably have, but it's worth saying anyway that it should be as perfect as possible in both presentation and editing. Second, what have you been doing for the past two years, and what are you doing with your days now? Gaps in activity can make some people nervous. If you're working unrelated jobs then I think it would be understandable. If you're not doing anything, though, then perhaps consider volunteering in a lab setting. It takes time and energy but all of the institutions I've done that at will provide you with a free or subsidized meal for every four or so hours of work, and more importantly, it allows you to demonstrate your abilities and network within the institution; if an opening were to come up then you would probably be the first person that they would take, even before posting about it. It also shows that you've been maintaining your lab skills, which would be another plus.

One of my friends is a post-doc who I think is still in Boston. I'll ask her if she knows of any openings for a lab technician. Unfortunately I haven't kept up with many of my other contacts, but if I hear of anything I'll let you know.
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Old 2013-05-23, 08:59   Link #94
Mr Hat and Clogs
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
Years ago, I applied for a company in a business I had years of credentials for.
The interviewer was impressed, and I was sure I got the job.

Oddly, I never heard from them again.
Couple month passed, and I got an offer for even better job.
A month into my new job, I heard the company I went to interview for bankrupted and shut down.

I realized why I never heard back from them. Imagine my face.
Last 6 places I've worked for eventually went tits up for whatever reason - economy, someone ripping them off, lack of incoming jobs and so on.

I'm pretty sure I'm like some Reaper of Businesses.
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Old 2013-05-23, 09:57   Link #95
Edijs
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Summer Job.

Hello.

I wondering, anyone knows homepages or something like that, where can go aboard for summer job? I live in Latvia, i know, only i can go to Norway or England. But i want to Japan or somewhere far away. I can't find any info about that. Im going for food service, like working in hotels or restourant, i can be a barthender or waiter too, becouse i have studied that. So if anyone have any info, could please give me?

With respect!
Eddie.
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Old 2013-05-23, 11:48   Link #96
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I can think of two other possibile things to try. First, have you gone over your resume a few times? You probably have, but it's worth saying anyway that it should be as perfect as possible in both presentation and editing. Second, what have you been doing for the past two years, and what are you doing with your days now? Gaps in activity can make some people nervous. If you're working unrelated jobs then I think it would be understandable. If you're not doing anything, though, then perhaps consider volunteering in a lab setting. It takes time and energy but all of the institutions I've done that at will provide you with a free or subsidized meal for every four or so hours of work, and more importantly, it allows you to demonstrate your abilities and network within the institution; if an opening were to come up then you would probably be the first person that they would take, even before posting about it. It also shows that you've been maintaining your lab skills, which would be another plus.
I would love to work at a lab as a volunteer but how do I apply for this? All places are posting part-time or full time job. I have never seen people posting volunteer jobs at a lab.

Thank you very much for your help.
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Old 2013-05-23, 12:05   Link #97
Ledgem
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I would love to work at a lab as a volunteer but how do I apply for this? All places are posting part-time or full time job. I have never seen people posting volunteer jobs at a lab.

Thank you very much for your help.
You already have this response from me in PM but I'll repeat it here for the benefit of anyone else who is wondering.

Most labs will not post about volunteering. Volunteering positions are usually handled through an institution's volunteering department. Nearly every hospital seems to have a volunteering department, and if they have an academic center associated with them then the volunteering department might offer placement in labs. My graduate institution worked that way, with the volunteering department placing people in clinical settings, clinical labs, and research labs. Most of the volunteering programs cater toward high school and college students or elderly people who are retired, but I've seen plenty of people from other demographics working as volunteers. I know of one lab that had a post-doc for 1-2 years who was there as a volunteer, and then when the lab gained funding they hired him. It's a way for you to literally get your foot in the door and to make those connections, and if a lab is thinking about hiring someone, it's a way for them to evaluate you risk-free.

It's obvious, but you should also be clear that you can't work as a volunteer forever. Plenty of labs will take what ever free labor they can get for as long as they can; if you can become a critical part of a lab's operations and you think that they have the funding to afford you, that would be a good time to become more aggressive about being hired.
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Old 2013-05-23, 18:10   Link #98
Blackbeard D. Kuma
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Originally Posted by guest View Post
What do you mean by "having a face and personality (this one's very important) ?" I just don't understand. I don't know them. If I just call human resource and tell them, "hey, I am looking for a job. Can I make an appoint with your researchers?" I am sure they will just tell me, "please apply online" then hang up on me, not to mention it's difficult to get contact phone numbers of Human resource.
As for networking, that's what I did when I first got laid-off. I asked around and talked to people. Some of them would tell me that they thought xxx lab was looking for hiring. I sent my resume and nothing happened. Slowly, I lost contact with them. I tried to call them. But then, they said they don't know who is hiring anymore, because they didn't think I would go on for so long and not able to get a job. They stop asking who would be hiring. Also, because of this economy, they only hear more lay-off. Can you please explain more about this to me?
When an employer or someone on behalf of a company actually meets you in person, it makes a tremendous difference. What you put on paper doesn't do you justice as a working professional and person. The person from the company can see first-hand what you're like as a person, and that's arguably more important than the skills you have for the job.

Look at things from their perspective. They have to go through hundreds if not thousands of resumes to find the right pool of candidates. That is tedious work and they have to discern what separates you from the crowd just by looking at a piece of paper (which as I said before, doesn't give them a complete picture of you). So when you talk to them in person, you already have an advantage over those that are just applying online because it shows that you've taken the initiative and put in the time and effort to meet people face-to-face. Employers like that, and that gives them an indication of what you're like as a person. It shows that you're confident, assertive, eager, determined, enthusiastic, interested, and ambitious.

Does that explanation help?
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Old 2013-05-23, 21:42   Link #99
creb
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I spent some years in academia in the microbiology field, which overlaps in many ways with biotechnology, and we only posted job listings because we were legally required to. We'd fulfill the legal requirement to bring in X amount of people to interview, but we always had a person in mind for the job already. Networking is, by far, the single most important aspect when it comes to landing a job in the sciences (at least at larger, well-known institutions).

Unlike the private sector, there's rarely that layer of HR keeping potential employee and boss separate to at least provide a veneer of objectivity, so in many cases, you have a fairer shot at getting a job in the private sector.

You haven't stated what type of degree you have. In most science-related fields, I would say a Masters is strongly advised, even if you're just trying to be a lab tech.

Boston is also a college town. College towns can be notoriously difficult to land a job in in your situation. It's a meat market with the flush of new graduates every year, and it's very common to replace workers after a year or two with new blood from the new graduating class. I would always expand my job-search market to places that aren't so saturated with college students.

Volunteering is huge. I know, when you're desperate to be taking in some income, the thought of working for free can be depressing, but having work experience gaps on your resume can be a killer. Even if it's just a couple hours a week, it's better than nothing.

Be open to working a job that has nothing to do with biotechnology. Even if it's waiting tables. Income is better than no income, and doing something/anything is better than allowing yourself to sink slowly into a depressed state without even realizing it as you stay unemployed for extended periods of time.

Personal appearance, fair or not, even if you're a man, can affect your chances at landing a job. If you're unemployed, you have a little more spare time, so take the time to work out if you're not already doing so. It'll also help to fight off depression if that's something you're having to deal with.

Good luck.

Last edited by creb; 2013-05-23 at 21:55.
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Old 2013-05-28, 14:23   Link #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creb View Post
I spent some years in academia in the microbiology field, which overlaps in many ways with biotechnology, and we only posted job listings because we were legally required to. We'd fulfill the legal requirement to bring in X amount of people to interview, but we always had a person in mind for the job already. Networking is, by far, the single most important aspect when it comes to landing a job in the sciences (at least at larger, well-known institutions).

Unlike the private sector, there's rarely that layer of HR keeping potential employee and boss separate to at least provide a veneer of objectivity, so in many cases, you have a fairer shot at getting a job in the private sector.

You haven't stated what type of degree you have. In most science-related fields, I would say a Masters is strongly advised, even if you're just trying to be a lab tech.

Boston is also a college town. College towns can be notoriously difficult to land a job in in your situation. It's a meat market with the flush of new graduates every year, and it's very common to replace workers after a year or two with new blood from the new graduating class. I would always expand my job-search market to places that aren't so saturated with college students.

Volunteering is huge. I know, when you're desperate to be taking in some income, the thought of working for free can be depressing, but having work experience gaps on your resume can be a killer. Even if it's just a couple hours a week, it's better than nothing.

Be open to working a job that has nothing to do with biotechnology. Even if it's waiting tables. Income is better than no income, and doing something/anything is better than allowing yourself to sink slowly into a depressed state without even realizing it as you stay unemployed for extended periods of time.

Personal appearance, fair or not, even if you're a man, can affect your chances at landing a job. If you're unemployed, you have a little more spare time, so take the time to work out if you're not already doing so. It'll also help to fight off depression if that's something you're having to deal with.

Good luck.
I applied for jobs outside of Boston but I didn't get any interview. Which city would you recommned then? I am looking into volenterring postion now. I am editting my resume one more time, even though I have done this several times already. And yes, I have a master's degree in biology. This is a tough market and really bad economy recession out there. I just heard two more people going back to their home country becasue they were laid-off or couldn't get a job after post-doc traning.
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