If you work in a technical discipline, it should come as no surprise that companies across the United States are struggling to find and retain the talent they need to grow and thrive. With unemployment in the United States holding steady at around three percent, there are more open jobs available than ever before with fewer applicants to fill them. As such, it’s no revelation to hear that over 50 percent of hiring managers report that finding qualified talent is one of their major pain points.
Despite this, many potential candidates find themselves having similar issues getting in front of hiring managers, scheduling interviews, and eventually scoring the job they want. With a recent BioSpace survey indicating that 67 percent of life science respondents plan to look for a new job in the next year, what can candidates do to stand out in this crowded labor market?
Locate the Demand
Luckily for job seekers, there’s plenty of demand for qualified applicants in key fields. With rising healthcare costs, a rapidly aging population, and innovations that would have been inconceivable ten years ago, there are numerous life science disciplines driving the advances that will change the lives of future patients including the medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries.
With so many potential focus areas, it’s important to do some introspection to consider which of these best align with your previous experience, personal interests, and professional skillset. Are you looking for a position in a field similar to one you’ve worked in before, or are you looking for something that gives you an opportunity to expand into an emerging field that intrigues you? Think about both your personal and professional interests. Do you commonly find yourself researching the latest advancements in your free time? It could be an excellent opportunity to take that knowledge and use it to transfer into a new role.
Also, take a moment to think about what’s currently driving demand in the industry. Is there a new novel product that shows great potential? Are there new regulations that will require subject matter expertise? Looking at the underlying forces driving demand and consider whether you can take advantage of them with your skills and experience.
Take Stock of Your Local Job Market
No matter if you’ve just started your job search or have been looking for some time, it’s always important to look in your local market first. Do you regularly see relevant openings? Do they come around often? How long have those jobs been posted?
If you’re looking for a job in life sciences, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, North Carolina, and New York City are the areas with the highest number of open positions and applicants looking to fill them. If you currently live in one of these areas, maybe it’s time to think about relocating to a region with more opportunity?
Consider Your Experience Level
Most companies structure their organization in a chart that looks like a pyramid. The higher you go up that pyramid, the fewer jobs you’re likely to find. If you’re looking for a job that requires a high level of experience, ask yourself “am I targeting highly-competitive positions?” If your answer to that question was yes, you’ve got some homework to do.
Applying for a competitive position means that every facet of your professional presentation needs to be solid. Take the time to review the common stuff like your resume and cover letter, but don’t forget to think of things that fall outside of that realm like your social media profiles and interviewing skills.
If you’re only thinking about looking for a new job, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. The rise of the internet has made it easier than ever for employers to post jobs and for candidates to find them. Looking for a position in a crowded job market requires you to take a more proactive approach. Don’t wait until you’re in a situation where you have to find a new job, be prepared. Update your resume, draft a cover letter template, network, update your social media presence, and think about what type of organization you want to work for and what areas you want to work in. Being organized about your job search before it starts means you’ll have all the tools you’ll need to hit the ground running and be well on the way to finding your next opportunity.
Give Yourself a Leg Up
A successful job search is a combination of putting your best foot forward and giving yourself every opportunity to be noticed by potential employers. One way to help give you a better chance of being noticed for the positions you’re looking for is to work with a staffing firm like Black Diamond Networks. A talented recruiting partner will take the time to review your resume, experience, skills, and professional interests in an effort to match you with a position that meets your requirements. A skilled recruiter will have a firm understanding of where the hiring demand is and what skills and experience managers are looking for in those areas. If you’re looking to make your next move, Black Diamond Networks would love to connect with you. We’re hiring life sciences professionals for contract opportunities across the United States.
Click here to view our open positions, or give us a call at 1.800.681.4734.