The euphoria of graduation day has worn off. You have done it – finished up that degree, made your family proud, and now it is time to strike out on your own. Your love of the field led you to seek and earn a degree in biotechnology, but how do you go about finding a job in such a field? It isn’t as hard as you might think. You can find a job in biotechnology, or any field, with a little bit of dedication and prep work.
Biotechnology – or the use of technology to modify organic (living) material – is a vast field that has been around for years. While there are several subcategories of the field, the main ones are agriculture, industry, medicine, and bioinformatics. The vastness of the field works in your favor, as there are many options for employment. You could end up working in a brewery or winery to make that perfect drink, or working in the field to minimize the damage an oil spill or other chemical spill might have on wildlife, or even working in a lab on pest control, genetics, or pharmaceuticals. All of it is biotechnology.
Post your resume. The vast array of options aside, how exactly do you go about securing that all-important job? In addition to a biology or biotech degree, you will need a strong resume. Post it to every online job bank you can. Some really good ones for biotech jobs are BioSpace, Cleanroom Jobs and Biotechnologyjobs.com. Posting your resume allows employers to find you. When they call, the initial screening is already complete, and you’ll know you passed.
Search online. Search the online job bank databases as well. Don’t just stick to popular sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, and HotJobs. Try looking at databases dedicated to the biotech job scene. In addition to the above two, check out iHireBiotechnology and New Scientist Jobs. Many universities offer free job placement services and career counseling – take advantage of that while you can. They may have connections or knowledge of listings for entry level jobs that are not posted elsewhere.
Attend job fairs. Another approach to landing that job is to attend job fairs hosted by companies in the biotechnology industry. You can find out about these by reading newspaper classifieds, visiting the human resources pages of the companies you are interested in, and by checking announcements posted in job forums. Make your social networking time pay off!
Network. Lastly, don’t be afraid to use word of mouth when it comes to successful job searching. Sometimes, the adage, “It’s not what you know, its who you know” proves true. Ask friends, family, or someone “in the know” if they are aware of any jobs that would be right for you. Sometimes, your best tools for job searching are your mouth and ears. Use them wisely.
As vast as the field of biotechnology is, you are bound to find at least an entry level position in a reasonable amount of time. With patience and persistence, the perfect biotechnology job will come your way. Use the resources that are available to you, and watch your career take off.
Jason Kay holds an MS in biomedical engineering. He recommends beginning your job search and learning practical job search strategies at JobGoRound.com. Also see the latest cleanroom jobs at CleanroomJobs.net.