Saturday, September 10, 2011

Experiment 8:Using Google Maps to find target companies

Here comes a disclaimer on what may be a very boring blog post: One of the reasons I am keeping this blog is to record for myself my progress in the career/job search. I'm recording both the big breakthroughs and the inane updates for myself and anyone else who might be curious about how you are supposed to find a job. That's right, I'm 28 years old, and the last job I applied for I got when I was 17. And it required rainpants. So presenting oneself professionally, aggressively and effectively for the purpose of employment seems very foreign. I'm writing it down so I can look back later and figure out what works and what doesn't.

There are many parts of job hunting that don't feel like job hunting but are really important- polishing my resume, pinging my network, preparing for interviews, un-wrinkling professional clothes, etc. But the part of job hunting that is a bit harder is finding jobs to apply for that I have some chance to get.

Job boards are a good place to start, but I find that really draining (I don't have clinical experience or a PharmD,... or 20+ yrs of management experience...ugh. Where are the jobs for new PhDs?). Several people have recently asked me "what my target companies are?" and I have no idea. So under the guise of finding target companies, I went to Google Maps of Seattle, and searched "biotech." Then I went to each company's website to figure out what they do, and then see if there were jobs open. If there were jobs that seemed close (I am using AvidCareerist's cutoff of 75% of job requirements), I went to LinkedIn to see if I knew anyone there. I've asked for a few introductions, and sent a couple emails to hear more about these companies. So far the only people I've heard back from said I really wouldn't be a great fit (we were actually looking for a crystallographer, not just someone who isn't afraid of structural data).

I liked this because it revealed some new companies/positions I have not already seen on the jobs boards- smaller places that the Merck, Amgen and St. Jude's posts that dominate a lot of jobs boards. Job hunting is boring, so I am happy to have ways to change it up. But, I'm still not really sure what I will say to any of these potential LinkedIn connections should I ever hear back from them. I'm also not sure if I job that is only posted on a company's "Careers" page is more or less likely to be an urgently open position or not. I'll report back later.

And I also still don't have "target companies." What does that even mean?

1 comment:

  1. "we were actually looking for a crystallographer, not just someone who isn't afraid of structural data"

    This quote made me laugh out loud. Yes it is very different from some academic labs in that knowing what you are doing is somewhat important and the job requires more than an undergrad who is willing to follow the crappy protocol written by the previous student because they are too green to realize said previous student was completely untrained to do the work properly.

    I wonder what percentage of academic scientists would have the skills to work in industry if they were ever forced to do so? It would be fascinating to me to know that statistic if there were a way to test it.