Preparing for Job Interviews

Posted in Articles, Career Advice

Much as been written about how to prepare for a job interview. I know that many of you are busy and don’t like to read long articles. To that point, the old adage: “one picture is worth a 1000 words” is especially apt for this post.  The following infographic came to me from Atiq Rehman of Acuity Training in the UK.

Until Next Time,
Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!

BioJobBlog Surpasses the 2.0 Million Reader Mark!

Posted in BioEducation

I started BioJobBlog in 2007 primarily as a means for me to express myself about life science careers and issue and challenges confronting the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical devices industry. That said, I never thought that BioJobBlog would ever amount to much; it was simply a vehicle for me to rant and rave about things that were important to me! It is a daunting challenge to begin a blog with no readers and then realize that 5 years later over 2.0 million unique readers have visited to read my thoughts and ideas about a wide breadth of topics.

I want to thank the readers who continue to visit BioJobBlog. And, I hope that what I have written over the past five years has either helped or induced you to think about issues in the life sciences industry. While I have no plans to stop blogging; my schedule is becoming increasingly challenging and I can no longer post articles as frequently as I have in the past. Nevertheless, I will continue do what I can to keep the content at BioJobBlog interesting, fresh and thought-provoking. 

Please feel free to contact me with ideas, thoughts or comments about the blog (or anything else for that matter). 

Thanks for supporting BioJobBlog!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!


Jooble: A New Job Search Engine

Posted in BioJobBuzz

New job search engines come and go. That said, I was recently contacted by the folks who run Jooble, a job search engine that operates in over 42 countries. While I haven’t used it myself, this is what the company has to say about it.

“Jooble is a vertical job search engine that works in 42+ countries. We continue to expand our job database and each day Jooble has more than 100,000 new job listings

You may use the advanced search in Jooble and enter key words, such as location (city, state), salary ranges, date posted and many other options. Moreover, users can subscribe to our free mailing list which entitles you to daily e-mails delivery of the latest job listings based on keyword searches. This service will improve and accelerate your changes of finding that dream job. Please feel free to subscribe to our mailing list if you wish to get the best and latest job announcements.

Jooble operates in 42+ countries, so if you would like to find a job in other locations you may try to search jobs in: 

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia , South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey , Venezuela, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States

Just Jooble and find your dream job in just few clicks!”

Check it out!

Until next time..

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!


Scientists and Social Networking

Posted in BioJobBuzz

I first thought about starting a social network for life sciences professionals about a year ago after joined I Facebook and LinkedIn and then learned about SciLink, one of the first social networks for scientists. Apparently, others had the same idea and today, there are currently, by my reckoning, no fewer than 20 social networks for scientists—each promoting a unique approach to networking for scientists.

David Bradley, a UK-based science writer who can be followed on Twitter as sciencebase, did me a favor by posting a piece oh his blog in early November that reviews many of these networks. Surprisingly, most of them were designed almost exclusively for academic scientists! I was thrilled to learn this because we created BioCrowd , our new social network, for ALL life science professionals not just academicians and industry scientists. David has graciously agreed to allow me to repost his article entitled "Social Media for Scientists" below.

Social Media For Scientists

Towards the end of October, I received a flurry of emails asking me to check out new social networking sites for scientists, I’ve already reviewed the nanoscience community, of course. I suspect that, the academic year having moved into full swing, there were a few scientists hoping to tap into the power of social media tools and the whole web-two-point-ohhhh thing.

This from Brian Krueger:

“I came across your blog during my weekly Google search for “science social network.” I thought you might be interested in my website, It’s a social network for the sciences that I’ve had on-line for the last two years and I recently got my University to send out a press release about it. I think you should stop by and check it out. Let me know what you think, I’m always looking for suggestions on how to improve the site.”

LabSpaces has all of the features of a social-networking site with the addition of a daily science newsfeed, lab profiles, a science forum, blogs, and a science protocol database. Apparently, the site provides space for researchers to create their own user profile, add their publication history, upload technical research protocols, blog about science, and share research articles with the community. The site will soon host a free video conferencing service to facilitate long distance collaborations and journal clubs.

New Zealander Peter Matthews who works in Japan emailed:

“I am a full-time researcher from NZ, working in Japan, at a museum with many international research visitors. This multilingual environment made me very aware of: (1) the difficulties that non-English based researchers face when using English, and (2) the difficulties that English mono-linguals face when trying to access or publish research in other important research languages, such as Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, and so on. Hence my website: The Research Cooperative – Please have a look, join if you want, and please tell any friends and colleagues about this site if you think they might find it useful.”

Pascal Boels, Managing Director of emailed with a medical tale:

“Our website is for and by medical professionals. It’s a video-sharing site for surgeons and medical professionals to show off their newly minted skills. It makes it easy for medical professionals to upload videos or slideshows and share those with the community. You can search for videos by specialty, organ/region, tissue, etiology, operation type, or technique. Many surgeons perform original and high-quality techniques in their operating room and equally many surgeons would like to learn from these new and inspiring techniques. Up till now it was very difficult, time consuming and expensive to take a look in each others operating room and share practical knowledge, tips and tricks. provides the solution for this problem. We are currently serving over 4000 surgeons from more than 124 countries, sharing over 400 procedures

Priyan Weerappuli had long been interested in scientific research but felt that applied research was guarded by private institutions while basic research was held within the confines of colleges and universities by overpriced journals and an oversimplification that occurred whenever research results were translated for more general audiences. His forum/platform will attempt to open this research to a general audience –

Some correspondents are claiming they’re approaching web 3.0 nirvana:

“ResearchGATE is proud to announce a major update: We greatly improved our search functionality and called it ReFind. The name symbolizes the importance of an efficient and result-driven search functionality within research in general and within our network in particular. ReFind is one of the first search engines based on semantic, “intelligent” correlations. It enables you to find groups, papers, fellow researchers and everything else within and outside of ResearchGATE without having to read through dozens of irrelevant results. Just type a few sentences into ReFind or simply copy and paste your abstract. Our semantic algorithm will then search the leading databases for similar work, providing you with truly relevant results.” [Sounds like my Zemanta/ idea, DB]

One observer pointed out, however, that ResearchGate’s semantic search is maybe not the greatest thing to happen to search in a decade (especially, when we have the likes of True Knowledge Ubiquity, and Zemanta. Indeed, some users have said it is not much of an improvement on conventional search.

Then there was:

“ – Science in the 21st century – A wide forum for science – on an interdisciplinary, international and individual level., the only universal online portal for science, advanced teaching and academic research, bridges a major gap in scientific research and learning. is a virtual conference room, lecture hall, laboratory, library and meeting venue all in one.”

But, perhaps the best is saved for last. An Oxford graduate student, who has completed his PhD, Richard Price, has launched, which he says does two things:

“It displays academics around the world in a ‘tree’ format, according to which institution/department they are affiliated with. And, it enables researchers to keep track of the latest developments in theirfield – the latest people, papers, and talks.”

Price wants to see every academic in the world on his tree and already has Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Paul Krugman, and Noam Chomsky as members. But, that’s the hype what about its potential? It resembles BioMedExperts because both use a “social” publishing tree, but is that enough to engage scientists?

It will be interesting to see whether any of these sites gain the traction their creators hope for and how things will pan out as the credit crunch bites harder. “There are a bunch of them out there,” Krueger told me, “It’s kind of scary how many came out after Nature and I went on-line in 2006. There’s definitely a lot of competition out there, it seems like a new one appears every month. I wonder how the economy and loss of tech funding is going to affect the larger start-ups.”

Then, there are those perhaps more well-known social media sites and networks for scientists, that are listed in no particular order:

Nature Network – uber network from the publishing giant

BioMedExperts – Scientific social networking

BioWizard – Blogged up Pubmed search

Mendeley – Digital paper repository and sharing

Labmeeting – Ditto

YourLabData – socialised LIMS

SciLink – Sci-Linkedin - mostly workflows. similar to Researchgate. Not particularly social beyond groups and sharing documents with collaborators, but email is better, and arguably more secure. – collaborative science news publishing

SocialMD – Med-Linkedin

Ozmosis – Ditto

DNA Network – network of DNA/genetics bloggers

ResearchCrossroads – Socialised grant databases

MyNetResearch – Socialised LIMS at a price

SciVee – YouTube for scientists (see also Watch with Sciencebase page

Scientist Solutions – science chat

There are so many, I can barely keep up, but if you have any you think I should add to the list, let me know via the comments box below. Or, more importantly, if you have used any of these systems please leave your thoughts.

Meanwhile, my apologies if you were expecting a lesson in how to use the likes of Twotter, FiendFreed, Ding, Pyuke, or Facebok’s feeble science apps, to help you get on in science socially, but I thought it was about time I did some linking out to the web 3.0 brigade in the world of science, so here they are.

Addendum: Since David published this piece in early November, BioJobBlog learned about several other social networks for scientists including labroots, beaker, scientistsolutions and wizfolio.

Until next time…

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!


The Art of Self-Promotion: A Must When Looking for a Job

Posted in Career Advice

As many of you may know, I annually participate in several career fairs (sponsored by scientific societies) where I present seminars to students and postdocs who are desperately seeking employment.  I talk about resume writing, interviewing techniques and designing and managing job searches. While all of these things are helpful, in the end, finding a job really comes down to one thing—networking or perhaps more aptly put —self promotion. Yes, I said it—you really do have to SELL yourself when trying to land a job! This is very difficult for scientists because we are taught (and it is hammered into us) that self aggrandizement is a cardinal sin if you are to be taken seriously as a serious scientist. While this may have been true in the past, it is no longer the case in today’s highly competitive and shrinking job market.

With this as a backdrop, I found a compelling article by Alina Tugend in Sunday’s New York Times that offers insights into self promotion and how to integrate it into routine job searches. I hope that after reading the article you will begin to understand why those scientists who shun the art of self promotion are typically the ones without jobs!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!

In Case You Were Wondering….Federal Research Funding for the Life Sciences Will Remain Flat

Posted in BioJobBuzz

For the past 60 years, American science was second to none. However, the US is perilously close to losing that distinction. Put simply, American science, like its economy, is in free fall.

Federal funding, primarily through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the lifeblood of American life sciences research. Between 1998 and 2003, the federal government doubled NIH’s budget every year—almost 25% of all grant applications were funded and life was good! However, since 2003, budget increases have vanished and the NIH remains trapped in a five year run of flat funding. Research funding rates have fallen to 10% or less and many academic scientists are voluntarily leaving or being forced out of their jobs.

This is not the first time that funding levels have plummeted. From 1989 to about 1994 (when I was a tenure track Assistant Professor), funding rates fell from about 20% to less than 10%. However, back then, there was little global research competition and American was able to recover to retain its scientific dominance. However, the world is a very different place now and the supremacy of American science, particularly in the life sciences, is clearly at risk.

According to an article in the Trenton Times, (my local paper), science and engineering have accounted for close to half of the growth in the American economy since World War II. Analysts suggest that without adequate research funding and ready access to research grants fewer scientists will enter the profession. “Already Asian countries are graduating 10 times the number of scientists and engineers as the United States. If the current trends continue in about a decade 90% of the world’s scientists and engineers will be in Asia” According to Elias Zerhouni, current director of NIH “In 10 to 15 years we’ll have scientists older than 65 than those younger than 35. This is not a sustainable trend in biomedical research.” Unless federal funding for research is increased this ominous trend will continue. That said, it may be too little too late. As you all know, finding science jobs in the US these days is becoming increasingly difficult even for qualified applicants. With this in mind, one of the most well attended talks that I give at career development symposia is entitled “The Road Less Traveled: Alternate Career Paths for Life Scientists”. As much as I hate to admit it, traditional career pathways for most life scientists may be things of the past.

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Networking: Do Handshakes Really Make a Difference?

Posted in Career Advice

Much has been said (and written) about the impact and power of a firm handshake in business settings. Are the urban legends and "old wives tales" really true? Peggy McKee the medical sales recruiter , weighs in on the subject in a recent post.

According to Peggy, a recent study suggests that, all other factors being equal, a firm handshake will give you the edge you need in getting the job.  The Fine Art of the Handshake gives you several pointers to remember on grip strength, eye contact, where to stand, and what to say.  But mostly, just remember to be firm, friendly, and confident. The firm handshake thing is appropriate for both men and women!  Also, remember that the firm handshake applies to both men and woman!

For more information about handshakes and other networking strategies please contact Peggy!

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!

Job Security of Life Scientists?

Posted in BioJobBuzz

As a self-anointed career development professional, I frequently read blogs and online articles dealing with jobs and career development advice. That said,  I happened upon a piece in Yahoo Education entitled “Risky Business: Finding Job Security in Tough Times”. The article featured careers that may provide greater than average job security to employees. Everything was going great until I read the no. 4 career on the list–Medical Scientist– I kid you not. This is what the author had to say about medical/life scientists:

 “With increases in funding for treating cancer, AIDS, mental illness, and other diseases, corporate pharmaceutical, biotech, and university research labs need more people to develop vaccines and treatment drugs. Depending on your medical specialty, you’ll typically need a master’s degree or PhD. Often M.D.-holders choose research work over medical practice. You can begin traveling this path by earning a bachelor’s degree in a biological science, and focusing on chemistry, biology, statistics, and research methods. Salaries in private sector biotech firms are typically higher than those offered at the college research level. There are also jobs with government medical-research agencies. Median salary range: $44,830 to $88,130.”

I ‘m not sure where the author has been or what she has been smoking but it seems to me that she is not in sync with industry trends. Maybe I ought to write to her and ask her to send me a list of companies that are currently hiring. I guess you really can’t believe everything that you read!

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Top 10 Places to Live in the US That Are Recession Proof

Posted in BioJobBuzz

I came across an interesting article in Forbes Magazine that identified the top 10 places in America that are not being dramatically impacted by our slowing (are we in a recession yet) economy. According to the article they are:

1. Oklahoma City, OK

2. San Antonio TX

3. Austin, TX

4. Houston, TX

5. Charlotte, NC

6. Dallas, TX

7. San Jose, CA

8. Raleigh, NC

9. Salt Lake City, UT

10. Seattle, WA

For those of you, who are interested in seeing photos and garnering some interesting stats about these cities, click here.

A quick perusal of the list shows, that most of these cities are either south of the Mason Dixon Line or West of the Continental Divide. Unfortunately, none of the cities are hotbeds of biotechnology or life sciences research (with the possible exception of Seattle). It seems that if you live in Texas, you may be living large. But, then again, isn’t everything BIGGER in Texas?

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting (try Austin, it rocks)!!!!!!!!!