Big Data and Jobs for Life Scientists

Posted in BioBusiness

Many recent articles in various publications including the lay media suggest that persons with quantitative skills and a firm grasp of the scientific method will be in high demand in the near future. This is because there is a current data surge coming from “sophisticated tracking of shipments, sales, suppliers and customers, as well e-mail, Web traffic and social network comments.” And, the quantity of business data has been estimated to double every 1.2 years!

According to a 2011 report Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition and Productivity” put together by the McKinsey Global Institute, harvesting, managing, mining and analyzing “big new data sets” can lead to a new wave of innovation, accelerated productivity and economic growth. And, the place where this may be felt first is theUS healthcare system. The report asserts that better management of big data sets can lead to as much as $300 billion in savings. Also, American retail companies could possibly increase their operating profit margins by as much as 60 percent. However, one of the major hurdles to this paradigm shift is a talent and skills gap. TheUS alone will likely need 140,000 to 190,000 with expertise in statistical methods and data-analysis skills. McKinsey also notes that an additional 1.5 million data-literate manages will be required. Accordingly, “Every manager will really have to understand something about statistics and experimental design going forward,” noted one of the report’s authors.

As far as jobs for scientists in the healthcare realm are concerned, the report suggests that

“….the biggest slice of the $300 billion gain is expected to come from more effectively using data to inform treatment decisions. The tools include clinical decision support to assist doctors, and comparative effectiveness research to make more informed decisions on drug therapy.” That said, life scientists with backgrounds in statistical analyses, bioinformatics, genomics, public health, epidemiology and quantitative analysis will be ideal candidates for these new job opportunities.”

While these types of jobs (mainly health informatics) are certain to available in the future, it isn’t clear how soon. This is because the big-data trend has just begun and, according to economists, it may take years to recognize its financial advantages and benefits. In any event, it is something for life scientists who may be considering alternate career options, to think about. To that end, if you begin to train for these opportunities now, you may find yourself in the right place at the right time in the not-to-distant future.

Until next time….

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

Some Alternate Career Suggestions

Posted in Career Advice, Uncategorized

Since 2001, 300,000 pharma employees have lost their jobs, primarily in R&D and sales. That’s according to Clifford Mintz, the founder of BioInsights, which develops and offers bioscience education and training. While the losses have been steep, they’re balanced by emerging, in-demand careers in the industry.

The industry’s struggles are well-known: Many companies are facing loss of exclusivity on their biggest sellers but have little in the pipeline to pick up the slack. Productivity is dropping as the cost of bringing a new drug to market soars. Government and payors want more effective drugs for less money. The list goes on.

Developers are looking to new markets and new technologies to address these issues. But how do these trends play out for the pharma job seeker? Many people, particularly Ph.D.s, may have to consider getting additional training if they want to land their dream job. “Companies used to be willing to just hire smart people. But with the economic downturn and global competition, companies can no longer afford to invest in people who have promise. They need to see proven skills,” Mintz explained. With the right blend of skills and experience, however, there still some pharma jobs that are in demand.

Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

“Clinical research is the lifeblood of the industry,” Mintz said. As developers expand in emerging markets, there’s a particular demand for people to manage and organize overseas clinical trials. “There’s a huge need for clinical research professionals worldwide,” he said, noting that most Phase I and II trials are conducted outside of theU.S.

Another one of the industry’s perennial needs is regulatory affairs professionals. “Regulatory affairs experience is a skill that all companies large and small would die to get their hands on,” explained Mintz. The increasingly complex and uncertain world of FDA regulation–particularly when it comes to new technology and science–means that companies are always on the prowl for individuals with solid regulatory knowledge and ability to interact with the FDA. You can read more about the demand for clinical research and regulatory affairs jobs here.

Biomanufacturing

The pharma industry’s interest in biologics remains strong–just look at Sanofi’s buyout of Genzyme, or Roche’s purchase of Genentech. They’re lured by disease-altering biologics that are less likely to face generic competition than traditional drugs. As a result, there’s been increased demand for professionals who can navigate the complex world of biomanufacturing. Those with a background in upstream and downstream processes, large-scale protein purification, fermentation technology and bioengineering can make the transition to biomanufacturing.

Healthcare Information Technology

The rise of bioinformatics and genomics coupled with the push for electronic medical records has created jobs in healthcare information technology. Health informatics–the intersection of healthcare and IT–is ideal for people with expertise in genomics, bioinformatics or software that understand how to work with and manipulate large data sets and databases. The Obama administration has made EHRs a priority, and there’s a need for software engineers and biologists who are comfortable working with medical information.

Medical Devices

“The medical devices industry has been experiencing explosive growth for the past decade,” Mintz said. Regulatory hurdles in the medical device industry are much lower than they are for biologics or small molecules, making the industry a more stable alternative to biotech and pharma. The demand for devices, which address problems that can’t be treated with medicine, will continue to grow as the population ages. Job seekers with strong backgrounds in bioinformatics, genomics, engineering and translational medicine are best suited to this field.

Medical Communications

Medical communications–which includes medical writing, editing, graphic design and science journalism–continues to boom. The demand for these jobs has risen because companies need a slew of communication materials to send to patients, physicians, researchers, investigators and the general public about their products and business.

Patent Law and Technology Transfer

Recent changes toU.S.patent laws have increased the demand for patent agents and patent attorneys in the life sciences field. Pharma’s growing reliance on basic research from learning institutions means that there’s a need for technology transfer experts. These experts manage the patent estate and intellectual property of universities and colleges that may engage in licensing deals with the industry. A law degree is a must to compete in this field.

Until next time…

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

Are Pharma Layoffs Over?

Posted in BioJobBuzz

From 2001 to present, roughly 300,000 pharmaceutical employees have lost their jobs. That is a massive number; second only to the job losses in the automotive and financial services industries. The main reasons for the layoffs have been a lack of return on investment on R&D activities and impending patent cliffs in 2013 for as many as 15 blockbuster drugs. 

Ed Silverman who runs the Pharmalot blog speculated in a post yesterday that the number of pharma layoffs may be dwindling. His assertions are based on an analysis of the annual number of pharma layoffs provided by the outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray and Christmas. Ed’s wrote:

 “So far this year, pharma layoffs have totaled 19,076, and this includes the 13,000 job cuts planned by Merck, which is actually eyeing many foreign positions, therefore, swelling the latest tally. Last year, pharma eliminated 53,636 jobs, down from 61,109 in 2009, when annual layoffs peaked. In fact, the 2009 bloodletting was outsized compared with every other year – the next highest annual layoff tally occurred in 2008, when 43,014 industry cuts were announced. Between 2003 and 2007, the number of jobs that were eliminated ranged from about 15,000 to 31,000 annually, according to the firm.”

This led Ed to posit that the worst may be over and those pharma employees who still have jobs may be able to relax a bit. However, it is important to note (as Ed also points out) that many big companies are still purchasing or opening new  R&D and manufacturing facilities in emerging markets like India and China and more and more R&D jobs are being outsourced. Further, while many US pharma reps have lost their jobs hiring reps in emerging markets continues to explode. Interestingly jobs that are in demand and still available to Americans include those in regulatory affairs, compliance, IT, clinical operations and marketing. Unfortunately, these are very specialized jobs and many of those pharma employees who have been layed off lack the requisite skills to compete for those jobs!

While I think we may have seen the last of massive layoff in big pharma, smaller and less publicized layoffs will likely continue at many US life sciences companies. The downsizing trend taking place in America will likely continue until drug pipelines are populated with new candidates and life science executive realize that outsourcing R&D job is not a viable solution for their productivity problems.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!

 

Looking for a Job in the Life Science Industry? Try China!

Posted in BioJobBuzz

By now, most BioJobBlog readers have heard that China is poised to become a world leader in the life sciences. As some of you may already know, over 80 per cent of the worlds active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that are used to produce FDA-approved medicines are synthesized in China and exported to manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Further, not a day goes bye without a press release about a new partnership forged between multinational life sciences companies and a Chinese partner. Finally, the Chinese government is heavily investing in the life science industry in an attempt to manufacture medicines for internal use and to export. 

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Chinese life sciences companies are hiring. One such company is ShangPharma Corporation. ShangPharma was established in 2002 and has locations in Chengdu and Shanghai, China. It is one of China’s largest contract research organizations and employs over 1,600 persons. The company offers discovery and preclinical development services in both chemistry and biology including API and biologics manufacturing. 

The company is currently looking for a person with a PhD or Masters degree with expertise in CNS and/or cognitive subhuman primates (cymologous and/or rhesus monkeys) models. This is a Group Leader position and the ideal candidate will have a background in pharmacology and neurosurgery. Strong communication skills and the ability to speak and write reports in English are required. Please click here for more information or to apply for the position.

While working in China may not be the first choice for most Americans, it may be ideal for foreign students who trained in the US and have a good command of the English language. Whether you are Chinese or American, a sobering fact to remember is that almost 300,000 American pharmaceutical employees have lost their jobs since 2001; making this one of the worst life sciences job markets in history!

Until next time…

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

 

BioCareers: Online Networking Tips

Posted in Social Media

I recently wrote a professional development article that appeared in the May edition of the American Society of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) monthly publication entitled “Why Online Networking Can Make a Difference in Your Job Search.” The reason I wrote the piece was because an increasing number of social medial-savvy, younger scientists have been successfully generating job leads by belonging to online social networking sites. Some of the more useful online networking sites for bioscience jobseekers include BioCrowd, LinkedIn (join groups), Twitter (follow scientists and other life sciences professionals) and others. 

Unfortunately, many scientists do not see any value in belonging to online social networks and a few have even derided them! I suspect that those are the folks who are having trouble getting responses or interview offers from prospective employers. In any event, for those of you who are intrepid enough to give online networking a try, there are five tips that I can offer before you take the plunge.

  1. Choose the online networking sites that are appropriate for you (hint:  Facebook doesn’t count)
  2. Create a professional user profile devoid of personal information but replete with scientific accomplishments
  3. Connect with others on the site who share your interests and may be helpful to you in a job search
  4. Expand your network by inviting colleagues and professional friend to join (remember, it is the quality not the size of your network that matters)
  5. Google yourself occasionally to manage (edit, delete, retract, add) the information on the web that is available to prospective employers.

For those of you who may be interested in reading the entire article please click here.

Until next time…

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

 

BioCrowd and Quertle, a New Biomedical Literature Search Engine, Ink a Deal

Posted in BioBusiness

BioCrowd (www.biocrowd.com) and Quertle (www.quertle.info) announced today that BioCrowd has enhanced its site by embedding Quertle’s semantic biomedical search engine. BioCrowd is an online networking site for bioprofessionals that offers it members discussions, blogs, podcasts, job searching tools, and research product reviews. With the addition of literature searching capability via Quertle’s new generation biomedical search engine, BioCrowd has evolved into a one-stop site for persons involved in biomedical research.

Quertle’s search engine uses advanced linguistic methods to find conceptual relationships, not just query terms scattered throughout a document. Searches yield highly relevant documents instead of the long lists of sometimes incomprehensible results offered by other literature search sites. Quertle’s pioneering approaches, including Power Terms™ – which represent entire classes of related concepts such as "diseases" – provide its users with a means to quickly get answers and make discoveries through literature searches.

By accessing Quertle through BioCrowd, community members will now have full access to a gamut of web resources routinely used by life scientists. "Embedding Quertle in BioCrowd adds the best literature searching capability to an existing tool chest of key web resources," said Professor Vincent Racaniello, a virologist at Columbia University School of Medicine and a BioCrowd co-founder. "There is no longer a need to visit multiple sites to gain access to the tools and functionality demanded by life sciences researchers." Clifford Mintz, PhD, BioCrowd’s Chief Business Officer added, "We talked to a variety of biomedical search engine companies and Quertle’s product surpassed its competitors."

About BioCrowd

BioCrowd is an online networking site exclusively designed for bioscience professionals. It was started by Clifford S. Mintz and Vincent Racaniello, two longtime bioscientists, who recognized a need for junior and senior scientists to network with one another and other bioscience professionals to realize and achieve professional or career goals.

About Quertle

Quertle is a biomedical search engine focused on delivering informative results to biomedical researchers using advanced linguistic technologies and an in-depth understanding of the biomedical field.

 

A Guide to Managing Career Change

Posted in Career Advice

In this economy, many BioJobBlog readers may find themselves in the unenviable position of having to consider changing careers to find gainful employment. While career counselors like me can offer job seekers ideas about possible alternate or non-traditional careers, actual navigating a career change can be daunting, painful and often times overwhelming. With this in mind, I came across an article on HelpGuide.org that helps to demystify career changes and offers helpful hints (and links to useful articles) that describes how would- be career changers can manage and shepherd the process. 

"Changing Careers: A Guide"

Overview

The first step in considering a career change is to think carefully about what really drives you. You might find it hard to get past thinking about “what pays the most” or “what is most secure,” especially in today’s economy. However, it’s important to first discover your primary interests and passions. This can open doors to careers that you might not have considered. Once you have that foundation, you can start fine tuning your search to the right career. You may be surprised at how you can fit your passions into a certain career!

Explore your options

  • Focus on the things you love to do. What have you dreamed of doing in the past? What do you naturally enjoy doing? Jot down what comes to mind, no matter how improbable it seems.
  • Look for clues everywhere. Take note of projects or topics that stir your compassion or excite your imagination. Reflect on stories of people you admire. Ask yourself why certain activities make you happy, and pay attention to times when you are really enjoying yourself.
  • Be patient. Remember that your search may take some time and you might have to go down a few different roads before finding the right career path. Time and introspection will help you identify the activities you most enjoy and that bring you true satisfaction.

Overcome obstacles to happiness

It’s always challenging to consider a huge change, and there may be many reasons why you may think changing careers is not possible. Here are some common obstacles and how to overcome them:

  • It’s too much work to change careers. Where would I ever begin? Changing careers does require a substantial time investment. However, remember that it does not happen all at once. If you sit down and map out a rough plan of attack, breaking down larger tasks into smaller ones, it is a lot more manageable than you think. And if the payoff is a happier, more successful career, it’s worth it.
  • I’m too old to change careers. I need to stay where I am. If you have worked for a number of years, you may feel that you’ve put too much time and effort into your career to change midstream. Or you may be concerned about retirement and health benefits. However, the more you’ve worked, the more likely you are to have skills you can transfer to a new career. You may also consider planning a transition for after retirement if you are close to receiving a pension or other benefits after a number of years. 
  • I don’t have enough skills to consider a new career. You may be unaware of the skills you have, or underestimate your marketability due to low self esteem. However, you probably have more skills than you think. Consider skills you’ve learned not only from your job but from hobbies, volunteering or other life experiences. And gaining skills is not an all or nothing proposition. You can volunteer once a week or take a night class to move forward, for example, without quitting your current job.
  • In this economy, I’m lucky to have a job. I don’t want to rock the boat. In today’s climate, it might feel like too much of a risk to consider changing careers. However, if you’re unhappy in your current job, doing research on other options will only benefit you in the long run. You may discover a career with a more stable long-term outlook than your current career, for example. And you don’t have to quit your current job until you are confident of your new career path.

Dealing with underemployment and job loss

Being unemployed or underemployed can be tremendously stressful. You may be feeling the pressures of meeting mortgage payments or other financial obligations. You might be feeling ashamed with your family and friends. And a very real loss is that of your identity at work. This is especially true if you have been in the same field for a very long time.

However, unemployment also has a bright side. It gives you the chance to reflect on your career path where you might not have before. If you’ve been considering a new field, now is the time to research and see what might be the right fit for you. You may end up in a much stronger position than if you had originally kept your job.

To learn more, visit Job Loss and Unemployment Stress: Tips for Staying Positive During Your Job Search&

Identify occupations that match your interests

So how do you translate your interests into a new career? With a little research, you may be surprised at the careers that relate to many of the things you love to do. Many online tools can guide you through the process of self-discovery. Questions, quizzes, and temperament sorters can’t tell you what your perfect career would be, but they can help you identify what’s important to you in a career, what you enjoy doing, and where you excel. One example, frequently used by universities and the government, is the RIASEC/Holland interest scale. It identifies six common areas that people often feel especially drawn to, such as investigative, social, or artistic. Based on these areas, you can browse sample careers that match those interests.

The Career Decision-Making Tool

The Career Interests Game

The Motivated Skills Test

The Career Values Test

Research specific careers

If you have narrowed down some specific jobs or careers, you can find a wealth of information online, from description of positions to average salaries to estimated future growth. This will also help you figure out the practical priorities: How stable is the field you are considering? Are you comfortable with the amount of risk? Is the salary range acceptable to you? What about commute distances? Will you have to relocate for training or a new job? Will the new job affect your family?

Occupational Outlook Handbook (US Department of Labor)

Career Guide to Industries (US Department of Labor)

Best Careers (US News and World Report)

Get support and information from others

While you can glean a lot of information from research and quizzes, there’s no substitute for information from someone currently working in your chosen career. Talking to someone in the field gives you a real sense of what type of work you will actually be doing and if it meets your expectations.  What’s more, you will start to build connections in your new career area, helping you land a job in the future. Does approaching others like this seem intimidating? It doesn’t have to be. Networking and informational interviewing are important skills that can greatly further your career.

You may also consider career counseling or a job coach, especially if you are considering a major career shift. Sometimes impartial advice from others can open up possibilities you hadn’t considered.

Evaluate your strengths and skills

Once you have a general idea of your career path, take some time to figure out what skills you have and what skills you need. Remember, you’re not completely starting from scratch—you already have some skills to start. These skills are called transferable skills, and they can be applied to almost any field. Some examples include:

  • management and leadership experience
  • communication (both written and oral)
  • research and program planning
  • public speaking
  • conflict resolution and mediation
  • managing your time effectively
  • computer literacy
  • foreign language fluency

Identify transferable career skills

  • Don’t limit yourself to experiences only at work. When you are thinking about your skills, consider all types of activities including volunteering, hobbies and life experiences. For example, even if you don’t have formal leadership or program planning experience, founding a book club or organizing a toy drive are ways that you have been putting these skills into practice.
  • List your accomplishments that might fit in. Don’t worry about formatting these skills for a resume at this point. You just want to start thinking about what skills you have. It can be a tremendous confidence booster to realize all of the skills you’ve developed.
  • Brainstorm with trusted friends, colleagues or mentors. They might remind you of transferable skills you might have forgotten, and help you think of how you might want to articulate these skills in the future.
  • Learn more about your qualifications. Take the free online Transferable Skills Survey.

Develop new skills and acquire work experience

If your chosen career requires skills or experience you lack, don’t despair. There are many ways to gain needed skills.  While learning, you’ll also have an opportunity to find out whether or not you truly enjoy your chosen career and also make connections that could lead to your dream job.

  • Utilize your current position. Look for on-the-job training or opportunities to do projects that develop new skills. See if your employer will pay part of your tuition costs.
  • Identify resources in the community. Find out about programs in your community. Community colleges or libraries often offer low cost opportunities to strengthen skills such as computers, basic accounting, or how to start a business. Local Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Administrations, or state job development programs also are excellent resources.
  • Volunteer or work as an intern. Some career skills can be acquired by volunteering or doing an internship. This has the added benefit of getting you in contact with people in your chosen field. Visit Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits: Helping  Yourself while Helping Others
  • Take classes. Some fields require specific education or skills, such as an educational degree or specific training.  Don’t automatically rule out more education as impossible. Many fields have accelerated programs if you already have some education, or you may be able to do night classes or part-time schooling so that you can continue to work. Some companies even offer tuition reimbursements if you stay at the company after you finish your education.
  • Consider starting your own business If you’re getting worn down by long commutes or a difficult boss, the thought of being your own boss can be very appealing. And it may be you can find your perfect niche even in a slower economy. Depending on the specialty, some companies prefer to streamline their ranks and work with outside vendors. However, it is especially important to do your homework and understand the realities of business ownership before you jump in.

Make sure you are committed and passionate to your business idea. You  will be spending many long hours getting started, and it may take a while for your  business to pay off.

Research is critical. Take some time to analyze your area of interest. Are you filling an unmet need? Especially if you are considering an online business, how likely is your area to be outsourced? What is your business plan, and who are your potential investors? Learn more in the resources section below.

Expect limited or no earnings to start. Especially in the first few months, you are building your base and may have start up costs that offset any profit initially. Make sure you have a plan on how you will get through that time.

Final thoughts             

  • Pace yourself and don’t take on too much at once. Career change doesn’t happen overnight, and it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the steps to successfully change careers. However, you will get there with commitment and motivation. Break down large goals into smaller ones, and try to accomplish at least one small thing a day to keep the momentum going.
  • Don’t rush into a change because of unhappiness in your current job. If you are stressed and unhappy in your current job, or unemployed, you might be feeling a lot of pressure to make a quick change. However, if you don’t do enough research, you might end up in an even worse position than before, with the added stress of a new position and new learning curve.
  • Ease slowly into your new career. Take time to network, volunteer and even work part time in your new field before committing fully. It will not only be an easier transition, but you will have time to ensure you are on the right path and make any necessary changes before you are working full time in your new field.
  • Take care of yourself. You might be feeling so busy with the career transition that you barely have time to sleep or eat. However, managing stress, eating right, and taking time for sleep, exercise and especially loved ones will ensure you have the stamina for the big changes ahead.

 

Continue reading

Fatal CV/Resume Flaws

Posted in Career Advice

When it comes to job searching, the curriculum vitae (CV) or resume is the most important document that a jobseeker must create. Despite the importance of this document, many jobseekers, especially graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, fail to give them much thought or put much time into creating them. In today’s economy, typos, poor grammar and too much information are certain to cause most hiring managers to take a pass on you as a job candidate. However, as Caroline Potter of Yahoo HotJobs describes in her article entitled “The Biggest Resume Mistakes You Can Make” there are more critical issues that must be considered and addressed when crafting a successful CV or resume. 

In the article Ms Potter asserts that “The biggest flaw for a resume (CV) is when it fails to showcase a person’s accomplishments, contributions, and results and instead spouts a job description of each position he’s held.”

To learn more about the things that you ought to avoid when crafting your resume, click here.

Until next time…

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

 

The Job Search: Tips for a Successful Phone Interview

Posted in BioJobBuzz

Life sciences employers ranging from academic institution to private sector companies are increasingly turning to telephone interviews as an initial means to screen prospective job candidates. While in many instances these interviews are perfunctory, they are conducted for two main reasons. First, the employer wants to verify that the information presented by the candidate in his/her curriculum vitae is correct and accurate. Second, and perhaps more importantly, to determine whether or not a candidate has sufficient oral communications skills that warrant the cost necessary to bring a candidate in for a face-to-face on site interview. 

The use of telephone interviews has become increasingly popular because of the escalating costs associated with bringing candidates in for onsite interviews and a growing number of foreign born applicants applying for life sciences jobs. Put simply, a prospective employer can easily determine an applicant’s command of the English language and his/her immigration status in a telephone interview. Both immigration status (permanent resident or citizenship) and outstanding command of the English language have become of paramount importance to most life sciences employers over the past five years or so. However, it is important to note, that individual employers place different emphasis on the qualifications and skills of applicants for different job opportunities within an organization.

Like it or not, you may find yourself in the position of having to participate in a telephone interview before a decision is made on whether or not you may be invited to visit for an onsite interview. To that end, Pete Kistler, CEO of Brand-Yourself.com, recently posted a great piece that describes how to best prepare for a phone interview. He offers seven easy-to-follow tips that are likely to increase the probability of a visit for an onsite interview.

1. Use a landline. You don’t want to risk having problems with cell phone service. It is irritating for employers to conduct interviews if the call breaks up frequently or is dropped completely. If you don’t have a land line at home, just make sure you are in an area with as much cell phone service as possible. Do what you can so the process runs as smooth as possible.

2. Keep your materials handy. In fact, lay everything out in front of you. This includes your resume, notes about your career objective (even if it isn’t included in your original cover letter it’s a good idea to have this out depending on the questions he will ask you), a pen and pad of paper for note-taking and anything else you think may be helpful during your interview. Because you won’t have to schlep into an office, you can have anything out in front of you to aid with your success.

3. Steer clear of distractions. Find a quiet place to interview and stay there! There shouldn’t be any noise in the background to distract you or your potential employer. However, it is understandable that this can be tricky if you have young children at home who need your attention. When you set up your interview appointment, try to schedule it for as precise a time or window as possible. That way, you are able to avoid possible distractions (ex.: your phone interview is between 4 and 4:30, so no one can have company over during that time, the kids are fed and occupied or a sitter will watch them, if need be.)

4. Speak slowly and clearly. When you speak to people face-to-face, you are able to understand what they are saying more clearly because you can see their mouth move. So in a way, you are reading their lips! Neither you nor your potential employer will be able to do this over the phone of course, so speak clearly and a little bit more slowly than you would if you were talking to this person in person. If you can’t hear him, drop hints that he isn’t speaking clearly or loud enough by politely asking him to repeat himself. If this makes you uncomfortable at all you can always blame it on your phone: “I’m really sorry, it’s hard to hear you, the volume on my phone just won’t go up!”

5. Remember – you can’t be seen. That means that anything you say cannot be interpreted by your body language. Beware of jokes or sarcastic remarks that would have been harmless had he seen your facial expression. Maintain your professionalism; stay on target with the interview topics and focus on the key information about you that will get you hired.

6. No eating, drinking or chewing gum! This is self-explanatory. But, we humans are creatures of habit and might pop a potato chip in our mouths at just the wrong moment. However, when I say no eating or drinking I mean during the phone interview. You should eat beforehand to get your brain going so you can focus.

7. Prepare questions ahead of time. Just like in a personal interview, prepare a few questions to ask your potential employer at the end of your phone interview. Some examples are:

“What is the start date for the opportunity?”

“What software/equipment would I be using?”

Remember – do not ask about salary or benefits until the employer has brought it up.

Fortunately, it can be less intimidating interviewing over the phone with these telephone interview tips and you may even feel more confident that you’ll do well. Great! As long as you are fully prepared and take the necessary precautions, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a successful phone interview.

Until next time….

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

SocialTwist<br />
Tell-a-Friend

Social Media for Life Scientists: Videos, Wikis and Blogs…Oh My!

Posted in Social Media

Mary Canady who writes the Comprendia Blog and helps to manage the San Diego Biotechnology Network has crafted a number of useful social media lists for scientists and others who work in the life sciences industry. 

Videos are de rigueur and you can find a plethora of science video websites on Mary’s comprehensive list (almost, she forgot BioCrowd). 

Many life sciences and technology companies are experimenting with social media; primarily by writing corporate blogs. Check out Mary’s list of corporate life sciences bloggers to find out what they are thinking and blogging about. 

Finally, wikis are growing in influence and importance in the life sciences. There are a number of well crafted sciences wikis out there that may be useful. Click here to see the list.

Hat tip to Mary!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!