Contagion infects Maryland’s Biotech Industry September 22, 2011Posted by chrisfrew in BioBuzz, Biodefense, biotech, life science, Movies.
Tags: Biobuzz, biodefense, biotechnology, Contagion, emergent, Emergent Biosolutions, infectious disease, johns hopkins, movies, stem, vaccine
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Industry and Academia partner to host hundreds of students and Biotech employees across Maryland for a night of science and entertainment, at the BioBuzz Movie Night viewing of ‘Contagion’.
Last week, the Johns Hopkins Center for Biotechnology Education and Emergent BioSolutions sponsored a unique movie viewing of Contagion that was organized by the BioBuzz networking group. The movie idea came up only about two weeks before hand from the mind of BioBuzz regular, Chris Crews. Chris is an Environmental, Health and Safety consultant and thought it would be a fun and unique opportunity to watch Hollywood’s interpretation of how scientists would react to such a scenario; with an extra focus on his specialty, biosafety. And he was right! The invitation went out just 7 days before the event, and interest spread like an out of control virus throughout Maryland. Within that week’s time about 100 people, including students, employees from dozens of local companies or NIH scientists, all registered for this unique Movie event.
We couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate sponsor for the event. Emergent BioSolutions, a company with one simple mission, “to protect life”, actually does develop vaccines and therapeutics used in preventing and treating infectious diseases. Many of their employees were there that night and enjoyed being a part of it. Feedback from those who came was that the movie was a pretty good portrayal of how science and medicine can address our nation’s medical safety, and how difficult it would be to control such an outbreak. In fact, the best quote I heard after the movie was, “The most unrealistic part of the whole move was the hedge fund manager who seemed to have a conscience in the first scene with Jude Law”.
Personally, I hope that movies such as this will also be an inspiration for young students to pursue careers as future scientists. The biodefense and biotech industries are a cornerstone of Maryland’s economy and offer cutting edge, scientific job opportunities, as well as the chance to contribute to our nations health and safety. It’s an exciting part of science that I hope more kids will be inspired to pursue. Hopkins, another cornerstone of our region and a sponsor for the event, is very committed to advancing science education. In fact the goal of the Center for Biotechnology Education is to build a pipeline of students and professionals equipped to achieve success in K-12 education, graduate school, and the workplace in the fields of biotechnology, bioinformatics, bioscience regulatory affairs, and bioscience business and leadership. All of these fields were highlighted in Contagion and it was evident how critical they would be to ensuring a positive outcome if, and when, a global pandemic actually does unfold. I only hope that when it does happen, we’re advanced enough to have the infrastructure and the science to save ourselves.
Well, all in all it was a fun event and it was exciting to see such a great crowd get together. Keep an eye out, ’cause we’re going to keep planing more BioBuzz events like this one to encourage a more social Biotech community here in Maryland. Thanks again to all who helped to make the 1st BioBuzz movie night a success, and we look forward to seeing you at the next one!
Movie Night Details:
A Checkered Flag for Biotech at Baltimore’s Grand Prix September 6, 2011Posted by chrisfrew in baltimore, biotech, STEM.
Tags: Baltimore, bgp2011, Biotech, biotechnology, diabetes, ej viso, grand prix, Indy, Indy car, insulin, izod, KV racing, Levemir, novo nordisk, Pharma, pharmaceutical, racing, science education, stem
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In reflection of this Labor Day weekend’s inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix event, I must say that I was quite proud of my city for the great hospitality and scenic venue that we were able to display for the Indy racing world to see. The weekend drew more than 140,000 spectators according to some estimates, and the citizens of Baltimore were terrific hosts, in my opinion at least. The feedback from the drivers was that, aside from some initial day 1 bumps & unmarked turns, the course was very challenging and they liked that it showed off many of the city’s great landmarks; the inner harbor, Oriole park at Camden Yards & Raven’s Stadium.
I was fortunate enough to get an insiders perspective of the race thanks to Charlie Frank of The Box Media & KV Racing Technologies. Charlie’s company is working with Indy Driver EJ Viso (@EJVISO), a member of the KV Racing Technologies team, to increase sponsorship & branding for EJ and his crew. So, with an Indy Car expert at my side, and a very welcoming and friendly KV Racing as my host, I had the chance to ‘look under the hood’ and see behind the scenes at all of the hard work and dedication that it takes to compete in this elite sport. The cars were amazingly complex with high tech diagnostic systems & state if the art components, the crew worked seamlessly as a single unit and were on top of their game all weekend long. The drivers, who were all very friendly and down to earth, were laser focused and in the zone come race time. Between the intensity of the buildup, the heat on the track, the quick thinking and endurance to drive that race car through city streets at top speeds for over two hours; it was obvious that you need to be in great physical shape and mentally at the top of your game to compete on this stage. Seeing the KV team in action, they all worked together like “well oiled machine”, excuse the pun, and it all paid off for them in the end as Tony Kanan took home third place with an incredible late race finish. EJ, who started the race in 9th position and spent much of it in the top 5, fell back to a 15th place finish after a 30 minute yellow flag forced him to pit again in the last final laps of the race. I’d just like to say thank you & congratulations to Tony, EJ and the entire team at KV on their incredible racing this weekend!
Where does Biotech fit into all of this, you may ask? Well, outside of my great experience with Charlie and the KV squad, there was one other driver and team that really stood out to me over the weekend; Charlie Kimball, (@racewithinsulin), and his team sponsored by Novo Nordisk. What makes Charlie unique is that he is the first American open-wheeled race car driver competing in the sport with Diabetes. Maybe it’s because I’m a science geek at heart and the one guy who would get excited at an Indy Race to see a Pharma company on a race car, especially when their product is helping to make it possible for the driver to be out there on the race track. Or maybe it was because after watching how intense the KV Racing crew worked all weekend and the endurance their drivers showed before, during and after the race, I’m impressed even more by what Charlie Kimball is able to accomplish. Not only for himself and for the sport, but for all of the other people out there living with diabetes. Every time he gets behind the wheel he’s proving that it’s very possible to chase your dreams & lead a high intensity life while safely managing your diabetes.
Charlie is using a Levemir FlexPen to manage his insulin and it’s obviously working for him, as he was in the top 10 for much of the race. Levemir is the brand name for Insulin Detemir which is used to treat type 1 diabetes and is an rDNA drug developed by Novo Nordisk (@novonordisktbl ) Our advancements in biotechnology and our better understanding of DNA, proteins & biochemistry are enabling many people to live lives that they never would have dreamed possible just a few years ago. I guess the main reason that I think Charlie and his accomplishments are so cool, is because it’s another great example of how science and medicine impact almost every aspect of our culture, our sports, our heroes and our lives. Without the advancements in biotechnology, Charlie may not have been racing the streets of Baltimore in front of 140,000 fans this weekend and he may not have had the chance to inspire someone to become the next great race car driver, the next great engineer, or maybe the next great scientist.
So, when your talking to your kids about this weekend’s race or if you’re trying to convince them to do their science homework, make sure that you remind them how cool & important science really is; especially for someone like Charlie Kimball. Remind them that science isn’t just about microscopes, the periodic table and lab coats, it’s about giving someone the chance to drive an Indy race car and cross the finish line going 120 mile per hour in the streets of you’re home town!!!
BioBuzz Montgomery County – August 31st August 15, 2011Posted by chrisfrew in Uncategorized.
Tags: #JHUMCC, Biobuzz, Biotech, events, funding, happy hour, johns hopkins, Life Science, Maryland, montgomery county, MSCRF, networking, research, Rockville, Stem Cell, TEDCO
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Sponsored by the
Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund
Join us for another BioBuzz in Montgomery County for some great food and fun networking at Stella Restaurant! People from all around the the region have been coming out all year for this unique and welcoming monthly happy hour. It’s a great place to meet up with coworkers past and present, make new connections or just catch up on the latest industry gossip. If you’re new and haven’t yet made it out to an event, then we hope that you’ll join us this month and see what all the Buzz is all about.
We’re excited to have the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (@MSCRF) as our featured sponsor for this month’s event! The MSCRF reps will be there to meet scientists and executives from our community and discuss recent development and funding opportunities available to companies in our State. We hope that you will also join them at The Maryland Stem Cell Research Symposium this October. It’s the Maryland Stem Cell premier event that delivers comprehensive scientific talks, poster presentations, Ethics discussions and networking time, enabling cell therapy basic research and technologies from the lab to pre-clinical and to commercialization. I know that they are very proud to be a part of BioBuzz and are looking forward to meeting new members of the local bio-science community and seeing what great resources our area has to offer.
As always, TechUSA and Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus will be hosting the event and offering free drinks to the first 50 who arrive. So, come on out and meet your colleagues, past and present, from the other Bioscience companies throughout Maryland. BioBuzzers from HGS, Teva and Emergent are becoming regulars to the event, so if you’re from one of the other great local companies I hope that you’ll join us and make sure your company is represented as well.
Don’t forget to also join our BioBuzz LinkedIn group so that you can stay connected to everyone you meet at the event.
Event Details: BioBuzz is a free networking event and includes drink specials for our guests.
I hope to see you out for another fun evening!!!
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So, apparently April has brought more than just showers this year; it’s brought a ton of new job openings as well. The industry seems to be bursting with new projects and openings at many of our clients from NC to NJ and throughout the Mid-Atlantic. I guess the first quarter’s now behind us, budgets have finally been approved and work orders are being developed because there is activity everywhere.
Signs are good for those on the job market, however; for those of you looking to hire these days…. it’s a different picture. What we’re seeing and the feedback we’re getting from our clients is that it’s becoming harder and harder to find that right candidate for your opening. You can expect this trend to continue and get worse, so strap in and get ready for an employee war. In Maryland, it’s a combination of a few things that stem from one major, yet positive problem. As our BioCluster continues to grow, as it has been, we’re running out of qualified people to meet the higher demand. Especially, for the mid-level skilled worker (production or bench side), the talent pool is thinner than ever.
Now, for the senior technical specialist positions, i.e. Senior Scientists, Process Development Engineers, Project Managers, Manufacturing and Operations managers, there is still a serious lack of local talent, but that solution is easier to solve. We simply recruit them nationally and assist them to relocate here to the area. The main hurdle is always the high costs of living here in MD, Mo Co especially, but at this level it can be overcome with the school system and cultural/social advantages of our metro area. However, for your highly desired, mid-level workers with their moderate salaries, most of them just can’t afford the moving costs, yet along costs of living in this high priced market. Don’t get me wrong, they are out there. In fact, we’ve recruited and relocated five junior to mid-level candidates already this year for a couple of our clients. However, to do so it takes a good recruiting partner to do some extra recruiting and networking, manage the candidate through the hurdles and challenges with a relo to a new area, and maybe even some extra relo assistance from the employer to make it happen.
I’m bringing this up, not to damper the spring spirit, but because I have already had three conversations this week alone about this very issue. “How come it’s so hard to find Associate 2-3′s and Lead Associates?” “Why can’t we identify more Scientists with Industry experience?” Well, they’re just not that many out there. My thoughts are that we can all continue to play Hungry Hungry Hippo over the same small pool of local candidates, or we can start investing in a solution that will attract more mid-level candidates to the area. Subsidized housing is my first thought for a solutions, and I’m sure there’s a landlord out there with a vacant apartment building that they’d be dying to fill up. The state government is doing great things to booster the Bioscience industry and support new startup companies. After all, Maryland ranks in the top five of BioClusters in the US and has more state support than almost any other. Such support has delivered marquis programs like the $12.4M in Stem Cell research grants, $8M in Biotech Investor Tax Credits and the recently approved “Invest Maryland” which will infuse about $50M back into the Maryland Venture Fund and provide another $50M to VC Firms for early stage Biotech investments in Maryland. Its programs like these that won O’Malley the BIO Governor of the Year award last year and have elevated our state to its 2nd place ranking in the Milken Institute’s 2010 State Technology and Science Index. However, with all that being said I have to get back to my point and call out the Elephant in the room. What good are new jobs and startup companies without enough workers to run them?
But, I guess since solving problems like these is well above my pay grade, I’m sure the demand for these workers will keep me and my and my staff working hard for the foreseeable future. So that’s good.
Maryland Biotechs starting to Spring forward again March 21, 2011Posted by chrisfrew in Uncategorized.
Tags: Biobuzz, bioscience, Biotech, HGS, Hiring, Human Genome Sciences, Intrexon, jobs, Life Science, Lupus, Maryland, Maryland Biotech, networking, Novavax, recruiting, staffing, temp staffing
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Spring is almost here; the weather’s getting warmer and everything around us is starting to grow; including the region’s Biotechs. Just think about all of the great news we’ve seen out of Maryland Biotechs this past month and how promising our region’s future is. At the top of that news, HGS received FDA approval for it’s blockbuster potential Lupus drug BENLYSTA; the first new Lupus drug in over 50 years! This momentous news is a true game changer for HGS putting them in position to not only develop many new therapies but to now join the ranks of some of the most successful large biotech’s; such as MedImmune. In other good news, Novavax received a $179M BARDA contract to continue development on it’s seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines, and Sanaria received a $3M NIH grant to continue phase II development of its Malaria vaccine. As for what the future holds, one of our newest local companies Intrexon, a cutting edge synthetic biology company, was featured in Forbs for their promising new technology. In fact, Billionaire investor, Randall J. Kirk, who has been investing in biotechs for over 27 years, says that the company is “by far the best thing I’ve ever seen.” He likens the company to “the Google of the life sciences” and predicts that in a decade it could become “the largest, most significant company” in its burgeoning field.
We’re very happy for all the success our clients, associates and colleagues in the region have had in recent months and congratulate everyone on all the hard work that it’s taken to get to this point. With all of this good news and success, there is sure to be some new jobs coming about in the near future. As Emily Mullin (@emilymullin) from the Business Journal reports in the Back to Work Blog, there are already 283 biotech jobs open in maryland according to biospace.com job postings. Three out of every four (75%) of them are at MedImmune but that still leaves 70 other biotech jobs open across Maryland. As our region continued to develop, we at Tech USA will continue to do our part to support our client’s growth with the best group of Scientific Recruiters in the region (Selfless Plug). We also do our part to invest in making Maryland a healthy, collaborative bioscience community, and that’s why we sponsor the monthly BioBuzz events across the state.
If you haven’t been yet, you should definately put one on your calander soon. Especially if you live in Maryland or the DC Metro and are looking for a place to connect with kindred minds for a cold beer after work, or just hang out with other bioscience professionals to hear the local gossip, you should come and check it out. BioBuzz in Rockville will be at Stella Resturaunt this Tuesday at 4:30. We have 1 or 2 events that take place each month, usually one in Rockville & another in Baltimore, and they are a great place to network with a diverse group of the region’s bioscience workers that range from lab techs, bench scientist and engineers, to operations and HR personnell and even our resident executives, entrepreneurs and investors. The next event is this Tuesday, March 22nd, so come on out and join us for a fun night! If you can’t make it I’ll try to post a recap of the night as soon as I can so you can see all you’re missing.
Anyway, Happy Spring to everyone and congrats on all of the success!
Giving some Quality advice for the Society of Quality Assurance January 31, 2011Posted by chrisfrew in Uncategorized.
Tags: american society of Quality, career, interviewing, interviews, jobs, recruiting, staffing
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On December 2, 2010, one of my team members at Tech USA, Jessica Nemeth, was invited to attend the annual meeting and luncheon of the National Capital Area Regional Chapter of the Society of Quality Assurance, or NCARSQA. The annual event, held this year in Silver Spring MD, gives the Association the opportunity to gather its members to reflect back upon 2010, hand out awards to a few honorable members and participate in a few interactive presentations on important industry topics. Jessica, one of Tech USA’s Senior Scientific recruiters, was honored that she was asked to participate in the luncheon as a presenter on one of the pannels. As the resident recruiter, she was able to share her insights on interviewing and getting a job in the Quality Assurance field. Having placed dozens of people in these roles over the past three years at Tech USA she was able to lend some great personal experiences to the group. Speaking on this topic is one that Jessica enjoys and takes part in a number of times each year. In fact, her invitation to speak to the ASQ group came after one of its members witnessed a previous presentation of hers at Johns Hopkins earlier that year.
Allison Schaefer, NCARSQA’s 2010 Vice President, was responsible for organizing the event and was kind to share her remarks that “Ms. Nemeth provided valuable tips for individuals who may be entering or considering entering a job search.” The audience was a mix of Quality Assurance professional’s working in a GMP, GLP or GCP environments who ranged in experience from more senior managers or directors, to more entry level individuals who are just getting their career started. With such a diverse audience, Ms Schaefer saw additional value in that Jessica reminded attendees about the importance of making a good first impression, and on how to keep organized during the job search process. “After the luncheon, we received positive feedback about Ms. Nemeth’s presentation and speaking skills from the attendees”, said Allison Schaefer.
The luncheon began with Jessica’s presentation on “Interviewing: Tips and Suggestions”. Her presentation illustrated several areas of concentration:
- How to get the Job search started
- Working with a recruiter: how to get the most from that relationship
- Phone Interview Preparation
- How to Ace the Onsite Interview
- Enhancing your Interviewing Skills
I know that Jessica, and Tech USA, is always interested in participating in similar events and are constantly looking to create mutually beneficial relationships with the community they serve. If you would be interested in Jessica, or a Tech USA recruiting expert, coming to help out you or your organization in a similar style, please let them know!
For more information about Tech USA or partnership opportunities, contact Courtney McLaughlin at email@example.com or become a fan of TechUSA Hunt Valley for all of the up to date information on the job market and our upcoming events.
The BioBuzz in Maryland January 23, 2011Posted by chrisfrew in Uncategorized.
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Over the Summer TechUSA’s Scientific Division teamed up with the Hopkins Biotech Network to host a series of monthly bioscience networking events they called BioBuzz. People all around Baltimore quickly caught wind of this new bioscience group that met at the popular waterfront restaurant Bay Café, and before long this BioBuzz event, popularly termed “BIO on the BAY”, became the place to be on the last Thursday of each month for good food, good company and good industry buzz. The Director of TechUSA’s Science Division, Christopher Frew, was recently interviewed by Ken Grant of Analtech for his popular scientific video blog, iChromatography, to find out “What BioBuzz is really all about?” Follow the link below to see Chris talk about the origin of BioBuzz and explain the impact that their Baltimore event, “BIO on the BAY”, has had in the local biotech community.
If you are in the industry and are interested in joining us, we’d love to have you out at our next event in Rockville to see firsthand what all the “Buzz” is about.
Register for BioBuzz: View BioBuzz Event Details
The Tech USA Team and guestes at ‘Bio on the Bay’ this Summer.
For more news and information on Tech USA, visit our website at www.techusa.net
Making the move from Academia into Industry April 18, 2009Posted by chrisfrew in Uncategorized.
Tags: academia, career, graduation, job, Post doc, resume, science
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My team at TechUSA recruits on hundreds of positions each year, and throughout the year there is an underlining requirement that most of my clients request from us; they want candidates with industry experience. I used to struggle with this because I was finding dozens of technically qualified candidates that were coming out of academia or their post docs but I couldn’t get them an interview with my clients. I was frustrated and so were my candidates.
As a non-scientist with a driving technical curiosity, here’s what I have discovered. Academia is all about creating good science and acquiring knowledge. In academia one’s focus is on themselves, their research, their publications, and moving their science forward. Many of the most brilliant minds thrive in academia, which is an optimal environment for learning and making groundbreaking scientific discoveries. However, the mindset doesn’t transfer well into an industry setting. Industry isn’t just about knowledge. It’s about developing a product, and doing so with a budget, rules and deadlines; all while working with a wide range of technical and non-technical stakeholders to do so. It’s a much more complex environment which is in many ways contrary to the academic norm. The industry work environment requires team oriented problem solving and decision making. The ability to make decisions without data and to distance yourself from your work in order to make objective decisions are also frequently given to me as important success factors. A worker also needs to understand the importance of documentation and following sop’s and why they are critical to producing a successful product. There is also the political component to working on this side. As one Process Engineer put it for me, “to work in industry you have to have the ability to tell your boss that he’s wrong, without making him feel like you’re telling him he’s wrong”. Otherwise, you need to be able to communicate effectively, pick your battles or “play the game” in order to accomplish your goals and be effective.
I’ve realized that my client’s don’t always need industry experience, but they do need “industry attitude”, and that’s what I try to coach my candidates on. Therefore, what will you do now to prepare yourself and obtain these attitude traits so that you too can transition effortlessly from academia? My suggestions are to practice it like anything else that you do. First, practice working in groups and leading teams on both scientific and non-scientific projects. Join and lead organizations, such as theHBN, Women In Bio, National Society of Black Engineers, American Chemical Society, and mentor others so that you can develop the ability to work with non-technical collaborators and communicate effectively. Hiring managers want thinkers and problem solvers who are scientifically sound but can also collaborate effectively and accomplish tasks. Force yourself to step away from the science from time to time to see the big picture of your work. Then, engage with a recruiter, resume writer, or mentor to convert your CV into a resume that appropriately highlights the right combination of your knowledge, skills and abilities that would be attractive to an industry hiring manager. With the right preparation and practice on selling yourself the right way, you’ll be able to transition smoothly into the job you’re looking for.
Formula for Success with a Technical Recruiter March 24, 2009Posted by chrisfrew in Uncategorized.
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In today’s tough market many people are relying on recruiters to help find them a job. Working through a good recruiter is an extremely effective way to open doors, expand your job search and gain valuable insights to get the job that you’re looking for, especially for a highly niche industry such as Biotech. However, as a highly educated and technical candidate, working with recruiters can also present many challenges. First, many recruiters are not scientifically educated and have a comparatively lower technical aptitude. Often they may present jobs that don’t match what you want, or neglect to present jobs that do. They often don’t follow up with you as you would like, and may at times make you feel as if you are not their top priority. Though frustrating, these challenges can all be overcome. I’ve uncovered a few key components to the recruiter-candidate relationship that have made a significant contribution to each successful placement that I have had during this tough job market. I’m going to give you some tips that will make you the top priority, maximize your search efforts and help you to land the job you’re looking for.
A relationship with a recruiter is one in which you both initially want something different from each other. You want them to work hard to find the right job for you, but for them it’s about finding the right candidate for their client. These different priorities often cause conflicting expectations about the relationship and the various frustrations listed above. Ultimately though, you both want to make a placement; specifically yours. So how do you turn the focus from their client to you? To become their top priority you simply have to become a partner in the process. After being a recruiter for over four years I can tell you that I truly want to help everyone that I speak with, but I’ve learned that it’s impossible to do so. Therefore, the candidates that I invest the most time with and are able to help, are the ones that commit themselves to investing in our relationship. They make it easier for me to help them, and I do. What I love most about the biotech industry is that it is a fraternal community where many people know each other, and are very open to helping one another out. Maybe it’s the risky nature, or the challenging work. Whatever it is, develop that same bond with your recruiter and I promise it will work out for you.
Here are some useful tips that will help to make your experience with a recruiter, a successful one.
1. Get to know your recruiter! – Your job and career, next to your family, is one of the most defining and important aspects of your life. Personally, if I’m going to entrust something that valuable in someone, I’m going to get to know them. Ask about their business, experience, how they work and their clients, and determine if they are a recruiter that you want to work with. Most importantly, don’t forget that you’re starting a relationship so get to know your recruiter on a personal level as well. The stronger the personal connection is with one of my candidates, the more committed I will be to helping them. After all, this is a relationship business and the first goal that I have on any new call or meeting is to begin what I hope will be a long and beneficial relationship. When I speak to candidates who get this, right away I know that I have a good candidate and commit more attention to how I can help. I call this the ‘X’ factor, and every recruiter knows that good candidates have it. I know that if a candidate can build a relationship with me, they’ll do the same during the interview and it will help them get the job.
2. Be honest and upfront – It’s important to be completely up-front with your recruiter, and ask for the same in return. This is important because if you expect a recruiter to invest in you as a priority, then you have to be completely upfront and honest about your experience, other search efforts, where you’ve applied, your desired compensation, etc. From the recruiter perspective, if a candidate is sincere and honest about themselves then I am willing to invest much more time into their search because I know exactly what I’m working with and what job I need to find in order to place that candidate. I see this is a key aspect in building our relationship, defining our commitments to each other and ultimate success.
3. Be able to clearly express the kind of work that you are looking for- The more clearly and specific you are able to describe the type of work you are looking for, the easier it will be for a recruiter to identify the right job for you when they finally find it. This clarity is important for a recruiter for two reasons. First, jobs in this industry are diverse and extremely complex to understand, especially for a non-scientifically educated recruiter. The more clearly you can break down the job you are looking for, the easier it will be for a recruiter to relate you to it. Secondly, I personally encounter dozens of jobs each week from our current clients, various job ads, leads from other candidates, or just networking. The first thing that enters my mind each time is, “who do I know that would be a good fit for this one?”. So, when the right job does open up and I don’t have a clear understanding of what a particular candidate wants, it won’t be their name that I remember. If you want get first shot at a new job opening, then be clear about what you want and yours will be the name that I remember when the right job opens up!
4. Be able to clearly express your qualifications and experiences – As I mentioned before, often a scientific recruiter may not be technically trained or have a full comprehension of the technical skills and abilities that you have and how they apply to the various jobs that you’re interested in. I don’t mean to paint the wrong picture of recruiters as unintelligent, simple minded, sales people. After all, many recruiters work very hard to try to learn and understand the technical terms and the background of their candidates; however, it is still a challenge because of their lack of education and relatable experience. I have worked hard for four years to study, comprehend and relate the careers and technical backgrounds of my candidates to the jobs that I find them, and after four years it is still difficult for me at times. Even at just four years of experience, most recruiters don’t have my tenure. What I personally find helpful is when my candidates outline the general research, study area or job functions they have worked in, outline the techniques, equipment and job duties of their work, and then explain the how they relate to the jobs that they are looking for. This helps because it breaks your background down to the basics from which a recruiter can then build on to relate to the jobs that they are qualifying you to. I know that it can be frustrating at times to simplify your work and career as such, but if you are going to utilize this channel of job searching and networking it is tremendously helpful and will surely pay off in the end.
5. Help them, help you – Going back to suggestion number one, it’s about the relationship. As a recruiter, I work hard to understand my candidate’s background, career and what they need in order to be successful. After all, I need to know this in order to qualify a good candidate for the dozens of different kinds of jobs I work on. Therefore, I can’t tell you how helpful it is when one of my candidates does the same for me. Not only does it strengthen our relationship but also my commitment to finding them a job. Success in my job, which means finding you a job, comes down to a few main things; strong relationships, candidate referrals, job leads, and new clients. I ask every candidate that I work with to help me with these things which are all essential if I am going to get my candidates jobs. ****I understand the reluctance because they’re not just sharing names, they’re sharing their relationships with people they know and who know them. This can be an uncomfortable request. However, it’s a crucial part of the process that helps a recruiter succeed at making placements. I’ll often explain to someone new that I work with, “The person who that will introduce me to the manager that will hire you for your next job, may very well be the next candidate that I meet.” This is a very helpful way to see how valuable this networking and information sharing is for everyone. After all, we both in this together so the more we help each other the greater our success will be.
6. Develop a “strategic alliance” – My belief is that, like life, recruiting is a marathon and not a race. Therefore, above all else, getting a candidate a job is the most important thing at all times, whether it is through me or not. This means that I’ll commit to doing anything that I can to help each candidate that I work with get a job, weather it is through me, their own efforts or other sources. I have found that the easiest way to do this is through a strategic alliance which I have outlined as such. First, I’ll commit to helping you with any job that you’ve already applied for if you give me a full list of the companies and jobs. This could mean interview preparation, helping to get their resume past the gatekeeper into the right hand, or giving them the inside scoop about the company or people who are interviewing them. I’ll also connect with you on LinkedIn which gives you access to the profiles of decision makers in almost every life science company in Maryland for you to either connect with or get more information about before your interview. In return, I ask that you inform me of every new job that you want to apply for and give me one week to help you get the job through my resources. If after one week I cannot do so, then apply on your own and I’ll still hold true to the first part of our alliance. Lastly, if we are successful in getting you the new job then I also ask that you recommend me to your superior to help recruit your replacement. This has been an incredibly successful alliance agreement that has allowed us to help dozens of candidates get jobs these past few years and, more importantly, develop great relationships with each of our candidates which are going strong today. If you feel that this is a good outline for a mutually beneficial relationship with your recruiter, then I encourage you to use it as well.
There is obviously no exact way to guarantee that you will find a job through a recruiter but there are ways in which you can increase your chances. After four years of placing candidates with jobs in the life science industry, these are a few insights that I have found to be helpful and I hope that you will too. Please feel free to contact me or my team if you’d like us to start helping you find your next job.
Other Resources that may help: