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Putting the Research Into Job Search

Karin Shank, M.S., M.L.S.

As life scientists, many of us are researchers at heart.  In our chosen careers we have studied, investigated and solved big problems.  Engaging this part of our brain is natural for us and feels good.  If you were faced with tackling a new research project, employing a new technology, or learning a new process, you would first do some research.  Why should research for a job search be any different?  At Monday’s Jobs Network meeting NCBiotech Research Librarian Karin Shank shared a wealth of tools required for applying this strategy for your job search.  She had great tips for finding reliable jobs boards and her advice to create a separate e-mail account for your job search is an excellent idea.  This way, any spam associated with creating accounts with different jobs boards will be limited to your job search mailbox and your job search related communications will be kept separate from your personal communications. 

Karin encouraged  approaching your search from a different angle:  search companies that are of interest to you, then try to network your way into the company to see if the company’s mission, values and culture are a fit for you.  This is a great way to learn about positions that may not be posted.  Use your LinkedIn network to see if you have any connections at the company of interest.  Note:  you can broaden your LinkedIn network by joining the NCBiotech Jobs Network LinkedIn group- now over 1100 members strong!

As you prepare to network and interview, it’s important to know the current challenges in your field- industry-wide and at specific companies. This information can be gleaned from various news articles or from trade journals.  It’s advantageous to show potential employers that you are aware of the problems they face, and that your experience and expertise can be part of the solution. 

When it comes to discussing salary, it is crucial that you enter the negotiation process knowing what the going-rate is.  Karin provided a number of online resources for researching salaries.

Karin’s presentation was followed by NCBiotech Web Developer Howard Franklin who walked us through the features of the NCBiotech Jobs Board. Our jobs board is unique in that only NC jobs are posted here and it’s free for companies to post their jobs to our board, an attractive feature to the many start-up companies in the area.

It’s time to start your new research project by taking control of your job search with the many tools at your fingertips. 

Karin’s slideshow can be accessed here.



I'm a 2014 Bioworks graduated. Along with a few others, I graduated at the top of my Bioworks class from Johnston Community College. I have 5 years of manufacturing experience and 15 years of environmental service experience. I've applied at Novo Nordisk several times with the qualifications but no interview. I've also applied at other pharmaceutical plants as well. Could someone falsely tamper with my work background report to hinder me from getting interviewed or getting hired into the pharmaceutical industry? Desperately seeking job in the field I work so hard for and answers.

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