Young scientists wanting to start careers in the biotech industry often wonder what the best way to get your foot in the door successfully is. Obviously, the scientist must have the education and be a technical fit for the position. However, getting your application to stand out can often be a challenge in the industry machine. The old saying “It’s not what you know but who you know” is key. Networking as a scientist can sometimes be a struggle. This blog post will discuss a few tips to help break down that door that feels like a barrier to obtaining a career as a biotech industry scientist by utilizing some basic networking activities.
Attend trade shows/vendor shows
As a scientist, attending trade shows is always a highlight. Scientists present data, socialize and build scientific connections. Young scientists often overlook the opportunity to make business connections. The exhibit hall can be a point of anxiety for many. The people in the booths are very rarely interested in science and want to give a sales pitch. However, this is a unique opportunity to build a network of industry contacts. Here’s an example of an approach that can be utilized:
- Find an exhibitor that you might be interested in working for or that manufactures a product that is critical for the lab’s success (Microscope vendor, Service provider, Consumable provider)
- Introduce yourself to the vendor
- Express your interest in the organization or how much their product impacts research in the lab
- Ask for the contact information of the Sales or Support team members that are assigned to your institution, or ask them to take your contact information and give it to them
- If this is a company you are really interested in, connect with the person you spoke with on LinkedIn that same day
- Repeat with multiple vendors
This will help establish a network that can be used as a resource when it is time to job seek.
Build a LinkedIn network
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform in the biotechnology industry. Many believe it is only for job seekers. It is seen as a Social Media platform to be used like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. When you think about LinkedIn, think about it as a platform to keep up with cutting edge scientists (both academic and industry) and follow industry advances. Here are some ideas for building connections on LinkedIn:
- Create a profile on LinkedIn that reflects you and your scientific interests
- Follow organizations and companies that are interesting to you, or you may potentially consider working for
- Companies are conducting live webinars, symposiums and product introductions regularly. Attend them and note the presenters as well as the host
- Following the event, send them a LinkedIn connection request with a note about how much you enjoyed their event/presentation and how you would like to connect to continue following the great things they are doing
- After any interaction with an industry or scientific professional, try to connect with them on LinkedIn as soon as possible while they still remember you
- Regularly, like and share content from scientists and the industry
Work with a Recruitment Firm that specializes in the Biotech Industry
Not all recruitment firms are aligned and focused on placing scientists in positions that are a good fit for the scientist and the organization. Seek out a recruitment firm that has a high touch service. A service that spends more time getting to know you, not just what you are looking for in a career. It’s a more holistic approach. It’s about YOUR IMPACT and the LEGACY you are going to create for yourself. This type of recruitment firm also has strong relationships with the companies they partner with. This means that they are trusted. When you are presented as a top candidate, you have an advantage over someone who just applies through the company web page or LinkedIn.
The biotech industry can be tricky to break into. To get your foot in the door, networking is critical. There are three things that can be done to boost your network:
- Attend trade and vendor shows and connect with the vendors as well as other scientists
- Connect with every professional on LinkedIn that crosses your path. When it comes time to look for that next position, let them all know.
- Lastly, use a high touch recruitment firm that can sell you to potential employers and so that your application will not get lost in the corporate machine
At Insight Recruitment, we pride ourselves on our industry knowledge and candidate relationships. If you’re looking to recruit in the biotech market, don’t hesitate to contact us today at Kristi@InsightRecruitment.com or give us a call at 402-429-9456 to see how we can help you track down your next star hire.