The World’s Most Comprehensive Resource for Scientists Transitioning to Industry

by David Jensen If you want to get hired in industry, you first need to know what they’re talking about, right?

by David Jensen Job seekers need to be able to interpret the jargon used in job ads and interviews.

Should you?

by David Jensen There’s more common ground between industry and academia than you think.

by Beryl Lieff Benderly An essay in Molecular Biology of the Cell describes what it’s like to work as a scientist in the biotech industry.

by Elisabeth Pain There are restrictions and limitations on doing for-profit science, but there are also many advantages to joining industry.

by David Jensen Answering these six questions can help you choose your career path without having to make major course corrections.

by David Jensen Answering these six questions can help you choose your career path without having to make major course corrections.

by David Jensen A job in industry has much to recommend it, but it’s not always the right answer. The best advice, says David Jensen, is to look before you make the leap to industry.

Searching and finding

by Peter Fiske Maybe you can’t find a job for the same reason you can’t get a date. 

Peter Fiske You need to put on your scuba gear, get out your spear gun, and go to where the rare fish live.

by David Jensen Many technical professionals don’t like the job search because they think they have to be insincere to do well. Not true, says our Tooling Up columnist.

by David Jensen To get a job, defy the herd.

by David Jensen There are certain things about the job search that everybody knows. The problem is, many of them aren’t true.

by David Jensen Finding a job in 2009 will take a perfect plan, perseverance, and a positive attitude.

by David Jensen Is there hope these days for scientists who enter graduate school expecting to be trained for employment outside the ivory tower?

by David Jensen The key to a successful job hunt is to precisely target particular jobs and to demonstrate that you can solve the hiring manager’s particular problem.

by David Jensen A successful job search involves more than posting your resume on the Web. Here are some pointers for honing your job-seeking skills.

by David Jensen If the usual rules aren’t working, you may need to bend or break them to get the juices—and your job search—flowing.

by David Jensen “Guerrilla marketing” was developed for resource-poor small businesses, which is why it works so well for scientific job seekers. Who’s shorter on resources than a postdoc.

by David Jensen Which approach works best: slick, ingratiating responses or being real? It’s a bit of both, really.

by David Jensen Networking is the process of establishing links between people, with the intent to promote communication of mutual benefit.

by David Jensen There are some credentials that no one ever talks about.

David Jensen There are times when you should reject the advice of your mentors.

Getting hired

by David Jensen Some of the things you hear during the job search are about as silly as a bad pickup line.

by David Jensen Your chances of finding a job improve if you are considered a candidate and not just an applicant.

by David Jensen In a variety of job-seeking contexts, the right choice of words can make a big difference.

by David Jensen In a job market where even entry-level jobs are going to people with industry experience, how can you compete?

by David Jensen When moving away from the bench and into the business side of industry, it’s important for scientists to realize that there’s not just one gaping chasm to cross, but two.

by David Jensen Need to find out who’s who inside a company? Here’s how the pros do it.

by David Jensen In industry these days, verbal recommendations mean a lot more than those written on paper.

by David Jensen To go beyond “good enough,” think hard about the needs of the hiring manager and the position.

by David Jensen There’s little consensus among experts on what constitutes a good CV or resume. But it is possible to identify some common threads in their advice.

by David Jensen Here’s what happens when you send in your C.V.

by David Jensen When it comes to how job applications are processed by companies, some things have changed—but others haven’t.

by David Jensen Avoid these rookie mistakes and place yourself among the top 20% of applicants for jobs in industry.

by David Jensen From a networking standpoint, the purpose of a scientific meeting is to accumulate connections and thereby improve your odds of professional success.

by David Jensen Like your cover letter, your industry CV should be customized for every job you apply for.

by David Jensen It’s true that some employers don’t even read cover letters, but you shouldn’t miss this opportunity to personalize your application package.

by David Jensen The concept of “resume real estate” can lead to small changes in your CV that yield big rewards.

Peter Fiske One of our most popular articles still, 18 years after it was written.

Peter Fiske Our columnist explains all you need to know about resumes and CVs.

David Jensen Rethinking your industry CV


by David Jensen Even for experienced interviewers, some basic rules of courtesy and etiquette are worth reviewing.

by David Jensen The goal of a telephone interview is to reduce the size of the applicant pool. Don’t let them screen you out.

by David Jensen You may be comfortable talking with scientists, but interviews with Human Resources are a different beast.

by David Jensen The most important aspects of your job interview are things you may not have thought about.

by David Jensen When giving a job talk to an industrial employer, remember that you—and not your science—are the product the company is thinking about investing in.

by David Jensen This common interview question can be dangerous if you don’t know how to handle it.

by David Jensen Ups and downs continue during Scott Jackson’s interview at ABC Technologies.

by David Jensen On interview day at ABC Technologies, Scott Jackson’s experiences range from mundane to terrifying.

by David Jensen With the right attitude and actions, you can rise to the top on interview day.

by David Jensen A job talk is entirely different from scientific talks or presentations at management meetings.

by David Jensen David Jensen investigates the often confusing aspects of protocol involving current and prospective employers when looking for a new job.

by David Jensen Those first few seconds are really important, and there may not be much you can do about it.

by David Jensen Make eye contact, know what hazards to avoid, and follow up.

by David Jensen Interview questions are becoming more personal and probing.

by Peter Fiske What the other person is thinking.


by David Jensen Some nitty-gritty tips and describes some techniques that should be in every scientist’s negotiation toolkit.

by David Jensen Once a company has made you an offer, they’ve crossed the threshold and they really want to close the deal.

by David Jensen Few job skills bring as much value to your career as the ability to negotiate.

Attributes, skills, and how to get them

by Beryl Lieff Benderly What Dow Chemical’s chief technology officer looks for in new employees may not be what you think.

 by Michael Price Bioscience Management Bootcamp gives business-minded scientists a crash course in the skills they’ll need to work in industry or become entrepreneurs.

by David Jensen If you’ll take a chance and adopt a more positive mindset, you’ll stand a much better chance of ending up in the ranks of the seriously employed.

by David Jensen What are the qualities that scientists must have to be key players in an industrial setting?

by David Jensen Your success in the job search depends partly on how much people like you.

by David Jensen Because we don’t live in a perfect world, things besides intellectual brilliance are just as important in getting things done—and in getting hired.

by David Jensen Resilience can get you through grad school and beyond. Here’s how to thicken your skin.

by David Jensen Advice from top executives reflects their years of experience climbing the corporate ranks, hiring people, and watching others succeed and fail.

by David Jensen Industry employers relish the killer instinct, which allows scientists to push their projects and ideas past obstacles.

by David Jensen The ability to work well in a team is integral to today’s company environment.

by David Jensen What is that ephemeral quality that makes some people stand out in a crowd as others vanish into the background? Can you learn it?

by David Jensen Like a culture of microorganisms, some career skills need to be nurtured and cared for before employers can observe and rely on them.

by Sarah Webb When dressing for a job interview, it pays to cultivate conformity—and attention to detail—instead of individuality.

by David Jensen The extra skills you need to get attention from industry don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Types of jobs and industries

by Jennifer Carpenter

by Clifford Mintz An overview of the types of jobs available in industry and the skills needed to obtain them.

by Naomi Lubick Scientists interested in any phase of drug research and development can find opportunities within CROs.

by David Jensen ‘Sales’ is not a four-letter word.

by David Jensen A recent book describes several clinical career paths that can be entered by people without clinical experience.

by David Jensen An “applications scientist” job can be a great link between the bench and other types of industry careers.

by David Jensen Ph.D. scientists working in business development scout for new technologies, plan new initiatives, negotiate licensing agreements, and often work directly with customers.

by Meenakshi Kashyap The skills project managers need.

by David Jensen Project management, as a career track and a core skill, requires detail management, good communication, and people skills.

by Katie Cottingham These days, you are quite likely to find Ph.D.s leading multidisciplinary clinical research teams, alongside physicians and M.D./Ph.D.s.

by Crispin Taylor All about medical writing careers and how to get those jobs.

by David Jensen If you want to work in industry in this economy, tweak your CV to emphasize the “development” side of R&D

by David Jensen Jim Gardner follows a career as a medical writer with another as a corporate sleuth.

by David Jensen Serving as liaisons between the government and drug developers, regulatory affairs specialists play a key role in getting drugs to market.

by David Jensen Biotech and pharma companies are stepping up their product-manufacturing facilities—and looking for excellent problem solvers to run them.

by Science Careers Staff We present our best information and advice on working in the pharmaceuticals industry.

by Karyn Hede Scientists working in pharma say the industry is among the most direct ways to improve human health.

by Michael Price After years of layoffs, drug companies are turning to the youngest Ph.D. scientists for fresh ideas.

by Michael Price and Elisabeth Pain As the industry moves away from the big pharma model, drug development scientists are likely to find more and better opportunities at smaller companies and academic labs.

by Michael Price Drug development companies are now hiring more computational biologists, creating an abundance of high-paying jobs.

by Jim Austin Employment in the chemical industry has been slow for several years. But chemists with the right skills have been finding jobs anyway, and today, prospects for young chemists with industrial aspirations are improving.

by Elisabeth Pain Dutch biochemist Jeroen van Roon started building strong ties with a specialty chemicals company early in his training. His networking paid off.

by Elisabeth Pain What kinds of research jobs is the biotech industry trying to fill?

by Jim Kling Biotech companies gearing up to manufacture product face a shortage of talent, as most young scientists interested in biotechnology have congregated to research.

by Angela Saini The defense industry offers opportunities for scientists and engineers that go beyond designing weapons and aircraft.

by Lucas Laursen There are two basic categories of geoscientists, and one of them is in demand.

by Carolyn Gramling Flat federal funding means tight times in academia, but jobs abound in the petroleum, mining, and environmental consulting industries.

by Albert Michels Companies are usually looking for an indication that candidates have an affinity for both industrial mathematics and teamwork.

On the job

by David Jensen A guide to how to succeed based on Other People’s Experiences

by David Jensen In almost every work environment the ability to influence others is an essential job skill.

by David Jensen Short stays don’t look good to future employers—so why are they so common?

by David Jensen Being viewed as an outsider can happen to anyone, and it can have devastating career consequences.

by David Jensen Here’s what you need to know about third-party services that offer to help with your job search.

by David Jensen Scientists and other professionals can increase their job satisfaction by kicking their addiction to praise.

by David Jensen You can’t avoid politics in the workplace—but you can stay above the fray.

by Peter Fiske Grad students and postdocs are like sherpas—or maybe they’re like sled dogs. On tough expeditions, sled dogs sometimes get eaten.

Q&A: Life After a PhD

Elsewhere in Science, 4 July 2014