Career Advice

Is your dream job with a large organization or a small company? It’s common for life sciences professionals to have a preference one way or the other when considering employment opportunities. While many people might have a primary reason for desiring to work at a small company or a large organization, most individuals haven’t really compared the differences and the implications on their career. Are you impressed by large established organizations? Or, do you seek out innovative start-ups and small companies? To help with your career planning, we’ve compiled a list of the major pros and cons when working in small companies versus large organizations!

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No matter how technically astute you are, if you can’t sell your strengths during your job search, your job search can run much longer than you like.

Here are some tips from Fatemah Mirza, professional resume writer at CareerTuners on writing a resume for pharma or biotech resume.

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The decision to make the switch from an academic lab and career to a biotech company doesn’t come easy. Many scientists are wary of the lack of independence and doing science for profit.  But there are advantages too. Working in a biotech lab allows you to work on many varied and interesting projects that actually come to completion. The fruit of your labor is a brand spanking new kit and the excitement comes when the first sales start coming in.

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When immuno-oncologist Martijn Bijker decided to move from academia to industry, he asked a friend to review his CV. His friend — who had worked in the pharmaceutical sector for two decades — told him to relegate his lists of publications, posters and presentations to the back of the document. The focus, he said, should be on teamwork skills and the ability to perform the job requirements.

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Data from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, which highlights employment projections for the ten years from 2014 to 2024, covers a range of jobs most likely to be in demand during this period.

While the handbook is specific to the US market, we see similar trends in the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world. Budding jobseekers would do well to consider the following roles described in the report, and to tailor their experience, professional development and credentials accordingly.

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Seminar Goals

  • Improve understanding of unique biotech industry features for scientist job seekers
  • De-mystify job hunting in industry
  • Provide step-by-step process for conducting a job search for scientist positions in industry
  • Slides: career.ucsf.edu
    • Grad students and postdocs; career; nonacademic jobs;

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IN MANY ways, biotech may be the key to a higher quality of life. The industry develops cleaner energy sources, furthers medicine and produces cures, and develops higher-yielding crops to feed the world’s growing population. Whether you have spent the past few years working on a PhD or are about to finish your first degree, entering the biotech industry is an alternative to the more conventional life-science paths that lead through medical school or end in academia.

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Before you snag an interview, you have to find a job opening. In addition to checking classified ads or sites like CareerBuilder, keep tabs on the more streamlined sites like Medzilla, which only posts medical or biotech jobs listings. Check the websites of mid-size and large pharmaceutical companies, or even the sites of scientific magazines.

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Biotechnology is an emerging segment of the employment market projected to expand by 4%–8% nationwide by 2024. Certain parts of the US have registered much higher growth, making the biotech career path more popular in select areas of the country. Massachusetts, for instance, reported a 35% increase in biopharmaceutical job listings in 2015 with more than 4,000 positions forecast to be created by 2018. Similarly, states such as Maryland, Washington, California, New Jersey, and North Carolina have high concentrations of life science jobs and biotech positions.

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The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry produces drugs and other products that help people and animals live healthier lives, recover from injuries, and fight illnesses. From its humble origins in local pharmacies and apothecaries that prepared “home remedies” during the Middle Ages, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology (or pharma/biotech) industry has grown into one of the leading industries in the world. In the U.S., it's the third most profitable industry in terms of percentage of revenues. It's also home to cutting-edge biological and chemical research, and offers numerous and various career opportunities.

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Why Choose a Career in Biotechnology?  ‐  Because you can help   save lives, cure diseases, help feed the hungry, help create a substitute for oil energy use, and be a pioneer in green  technology. The people who work in biotechnology make discoveries at the forefront of science in the areas of

  • drug discovery,
  • food and fiber crop improvement,
  • environmental protection and
  • manufacturing (medical devices, biotech drugs and other bioscience products).

Biotechnology is a growing industry in United States offering excellent opportunities, pay and benefits. Many positions are available for people with a background in biological science with good laboratory and computer science skills.

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When thinking about biotechnology, many people picture a scientist in a lab coat developing a lifesaving drug or medical device. While this image represents onecommon biotechnology career path, lab work is not the only option. With many exciting discoveries to make and new problems to solve, biotechnology professionals can make a difference in the lives of others in many ways.

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Many people that want to find ways to help others overcome illness may not necessarily want to work directly with patients. For example, you might be the type of person that would rather help develop medications and vaccines that will enable doctors and nurses to deliver the best medical care possible. Under these circumstances, you may want to consider a career in biotechnology. Typically, the pharma industry has a number of positions that you can occupy as soon as you have your bachelor's degree in chemistry or biology. That said, if you want to progress in your career, you will need additional education and training.

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There is good news for job seekers in the biotechnology industry: The market is booming, and there is no end in sight. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, biotechnology jobs are expected to grow an additional 10 percent by 2026, meaning the time is right for skilled professionals to break into or advance in the field.

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As a Career Consultant, I work with clients on all the tools and techniques that are needed to succeed in the job search—including interviewing skills. One thing I have noticed over the years is that candidates often get “trapped” in certain interview questions that are designed to make them say something negative or self-defeating (which generally leads to rejection).

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I couldn’t remember why I got my PhD anymore.

I was in the middle of a postdoc at the University of California in San Diego and was starting to feel like I was on a dead-end career track.

I used to dream of being a famous scientist and changing the world with my research.

Now, however, I was just hoping to get funded for a few more months and praying to get a recommendation from my academic advisorone day.

Then, one day, I made the decision to move into industry.

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Many people make significant job search mistakes and never even know about it. These blunders are easy to make, and they can cost you the job offer or lose you thousands of dollars. Below, is a reveal 10 of the biggest mistakes, and explain how to avoid them.

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Working in a biotechnology industry can be a very rewarding career because the industry is highly diverse, fast-paced, intellectually stimulating and exciting. In contrast to traditional biotechnology, the modern biotechnology is expanding at an accelerating rate thus widening its horizons. The aspects of modern biotechnology include genetic engineering, gene therapy, rational drug design, tissue culture, stem cell techniques and the list is exhaustive. Learn More