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Exploring Career Opportunities: Navigating the Life Science Job Market

Steps to an effective job hunt in the life science industry

Finding the job you want in the life science industry can be tough due to very competitive landscape and only a small percentage of applicants even make it through to an interview. How can you increase your chances and make sure that you are one of them? 

In this article, we've broken down the three main stages of finding a job – preparing, applying for, and securing the role – and give some pro tips to help you become a stand-out candidate. Have a look at each section to see how you can maximize your chances of getting the job you want.

1. Research and preparation

This stage is mostly about ensuring that you are putting your best foot forward from the beginning. Life science jobs are competitive and you’ll have to beat a lot of other experienced candidates in the early stages of your application.


Be sure to fully update your most recent experience any new skills you have gained in your current role. Taking time to showcase your key attributes helps busy HR personnel and hiring managers see immediately to what extent you are qualified for the job. This is a huge advantage as they are likely to skim read your CV/resume and if important information is not present or easily seen, this will affect your chances of getting an interview.  


For highly specialist roles, of which there are so many in life sciences, there is nothing worse than a generic CV or resume. Each company is unique, working with different materials and technologies in various therapeutic areas. HR and hiring managers will want to see very specific examples of how your skills and experience will advance the technologies, specialisms and processes that drive their company. Filtering out irrelevant skills and experiences will streamline your CV and ensure you look like the ideal person for the job.


In this instance, we mean optimizing your application for the various technologies that it may pass through. Most likely an applicant tracking system (ATS). These highly efficient systems will scan through your CV/resume looking for pre-programmed key words and phrases that match the job description in question. If these keywords, phrases and acronyms aren’t written in a recognizable way you risk your key skills and experience not registering with the ATS, sending your application to the bottom of the pile. Over half of candidates are eliminated for a job via the ATS system if they don’t match the job description.

Review your online presence:

So much of the job hunting process happens online. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure that you are presenting yourself well on both job searching AND social media platforms. You can count on prospective employers googling you once they receive your job application or just before they reach out to you. Would you be happy with what comes up on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.? Either keep these social feeds free from appropriate pictures, a lot of bad language and ravings over sensitive subjects or take time to make them private! 70% of employers say that they turned down candidates because they discovered something negative or inappropriate online.


Sometimes the best job come to you. Recruiters or a company’s talent acquisition may conduct their own searches and approach you with an opportunity. This saves you a lot of hassle of trolling through job sites/boards and almost guarantees you an interview. However, only the best candidates are approached like this. Aside from updating and optimizing their CV, these professionals have taken care in creating and maintaining professional profiles. This could be their profile on a job board, or more likely - on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a great way to broadcast the best bits of your CV/resume in a fully optimized profile that can be seen by an array of recruiters and employers. Most recruiters use social media to advertise job opportunities, and 70% of employers are using social networks to screen potential hires.

2. Applying for jobs

Are you looking in the right places?

Job boards

Aside from the major job boards like Indeed, CareerBuilder and Monster there are a number of life science specific job boards that you may have come across. Some of the most prominent life science job boards include PharmiWeb, Emed, Biospace and of course and you’ll find a great deal of opportunities with us at Proclinical Staffing. To refine your job search even more, you can seek out job boards that are specific to your field or specialism.

Applying directly

It is thought that as many as 80% of jobs are not posted on industry job boards or social media. Therefore, you may gain advantage by making a list of companies you want to work for and contacting them directly.


Better yet, do some homework and work out who the key decision makers or hiring managers are in your field within your ideal company and begin networking with them. LinkedIn is a great tool for networking – another great reason to set up a profile. Generally, networking adds another string to your bow when searching for jobs that may not be publicly advertised.


A proportion of jobs not advertised online will be assigned to recruitment and staffing companies to help companies find the specialist skills and experience they need. These specialist staffing agencies build up networks of these professionals to call upon when they match the job description. Bear in mind that if you are approached by a recruiter that the job may be exclusively available through their agency, so it is certainly worth considering.

Finding a job through a recruitment company can also simplify your job hunt significantly and can increase your chances of being put forward for an interview. We’ve outlined a few reasons why you should consider using a specialist life science recruitment agency to enhance your job search.  

3. Getting the job

Once you’ve successfully made it to interview, it’s your chance to convince them you’re the best candidate. To actually get a job takes so much more than having the right qualifications and experience, and meeting your prospective employers in person is the opportunity to showcase everything else you can bring to the role.

We could reel off a long list of what not to do in a life science interview but instead we’ve got some key points on what to expect, how to prepare and some important things to remember during the interview.

Preparation is king

Preparation should go beyond researching the company’s history and products. Spend time understanding their unique medicines, technologies, indications and therapies and what drives them to save and improve patients’ lives. It’s important to remember that this sense of purpose is an important part of what fuels the life science industry.

To show an even wider understanding, be sure to research the current market (whether pharma, biotech, medical devices etc.). Try to identify trends and forces that may be influencing or causing changes in the market.

Also, give the impression of being prepared by bringing along a copy of your CV/resume, a notepad to make notes, and even a few of your own pre-written notes to refer to during the interview. This may strike you as strange, but an interview is not an exam. Having some key points written down or even some questions you wanted to ask is a great way to stay on track and ensure you get all the information you need.

Appearance and body language

While your interviewer will certainly be looking for well thought out answers to questions, they’re also on the lookout for a professional appearance and composed body language. Some light-hearted pleasantries at the beginning of the interview won’t go amiss, adding to the impression that you are calm and collected.

Remember not to talk over your interviewers, speak abruptly to any administrative staff before/after the interview and most importantly, avoid speaking about your previous employers in a negative light.

Answering questions

You can never know exactly which questions you are going to be asked, but preparing for common interview questions is a good start. Prepare answers around the specific therapy area or field of science that may be involved in the role you are applying for.

Competency-based questions are common so it’s advisable to brush up on some frequently asked questions. It’s worth following the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) framework when preparing potential questions, and also in the moment when you’re answering. 

A quick note on answering questions you’re not prepared for – try not to get flustered, instead taking a few moments to process and formulate something as relevant as possible. As a general rule, interviewers will appreciate a slight pause because launching into your answer as it shows that you are giving it due consideration instead of reeling off memorized answers.

Asking questions

Interviewers will expect you to have a few questions of your own. There is likely a lot information you will want to gather as you are also assessing whether the position is right for you. Asking considered, targeted questions shows you’re interested, engaged and focused on the company and role.

We hope you've found these tips useful and that they help you make those small adjustments that make a big difference. There's no guarantees you'll suddenly get a flood of job offers, but we're confident that by following the advice in this blog, you'll start to get noticed by more employers and recruiters. Remember to stay positive and stay focused, and if you encounter rejection, keep going! There are always more jobs in this industry.


How to Prepare for a Clinical Interview: Essential Tips for Success

How to Prepare for a Clinical Interview: Essential Tips for Success

Preparing for a clinical interview is a crucial step towards securing a position in the healthcare field. Whether you are applying for a role as a nurse, doctor, or allied health professional, it’s important to be well-prepared and confident during the interview process. In this blog, we will provide you with essential tips to help you prepare for a clinical interview and increase your chances of success.

1. Research the Organization:

Before your interview, thoroughly research the healthcare organization or facility where you’re applying. Familiarize yourself with their mission, values, and the services they provide. Understand their patient population and any specific clinical areas of focus. This knowledge will not only demonstrate your genuine interest in the organization but also allow you to tailor your answers during the interview to align with their values and goals.

2. Review Clinical Concepts and Procedures:

Refresh your knowledge of clinical concepts, procedures, and best practices relevant to your field. Review medical terminology, common diseases, treatment protocols, and any recent advancements or research in your area of expertise. Be prepared to discuss clinical scenarios and demonstrate your understanding of evidence-based practice. This will showcase your competence and readiness to handle the challenges of the role.

3. Practice Behavioral Interview Questions:

Many clinical interviews include behavioral questions that assess your past experiences and how you handle specific situations. Practice answering questions that focus on teamwork, conflict resolution, patient care, and ethical dilemmas. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses and provide concrete examples that highlight your skills and accomplishments.

4. Prepare for Technical Questions:

In addition to behavioral questions, expect technical questions that assess your clinical knowledge and skills. Prepare for questions related to your specific field, such as diagnostic procedures, treatment options, or clinical guidelines. Stay updated on current research and advancements in your area of expertise. If possible, participate in mock interviews or seek feedback from professionals in your field to further refine your responses.

5. Showcase Effective Communication Skills:

Effective communication is crucial in clinical settings. Practice articulating your thoughts clearly and concisely. Focus on active listening, empathy, and maintaining professionalism when communicating with patients, colleagues, and interdisciplinary teams. During the interview, emphasize your ability to explain complex medical concepts to patients or translate information to non-medical staff.

6. Demonstrate Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Abilities:

Highlight your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as these are essential in clinical practice. Be prepared to discuss situations where you had to make decisions under pressure, prioritize tasks, or adapt to unexpected circumstances. Show your ability to think critically, analyze data, and apply evidence-based practice to provide optimal patient care.

7. Prepare Questions for the Interviewer:

At the end of the interview, you’ll likely have the opportunity to ask questions. Prepare thoughtful questions that demonstrate your interest in the role and your commitment to the organizations success. Inquire about opportunities for professional development, the disorganization culture, or any specific projects or initiatives you found during your research.

8. Dress Professionally and Arrive Early:

First impressions matter, so dress professionally for the interview. Choose attire that is appropriate for the healthcare setting and conveys your seriousness about the role. Plan your journey in advance, aiming to arrive 10-15 minutes early. Punctuality shows respect for the interviewer’s time and allows you to compose yourself before the interview.

Preparing for a clinical interview requires a combination of clinical knowledge, effective communication skills, and thoughtful preparation. By researching the organization, reviewing clinical concepts, practicing interview questions, demonstrating effective communication and problem-solving skills, and arriving well-prepared, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to be confident, genuine, and enthusiastic during the interview, as these qualities will make a lasting impression on the interviewer. Good luck!


Unlock Hidden Job Opportunities with LinkedIn's Advanced Search Feature

Use LinkedIn's advanced search: LinkedIn's advanced search feature is a powerful tool that allows you to search for job opportunities based on specific criteria such as location, job title, and company. This can be a great way to find job openings that are not advertised on other job boards.

To access the advanced search feature, click on the "Jobs" tab on the top menu bar of your LinkedIn homepage. From there, you can enter specific keywords related to the job you are looking for and narrow down your search by location, industry, company size, and more. You can also filter your search results by date posted, experience level, and job function.

One of the great things about using LinkedIn's advanced search feature is that you can see how you are connected to the hiring manager or the company. This can be useful in making an introduction or referral.

Another powerful feature is the "Open for" option, that allows you to search for people who are open for new job opportunities. This can be useful for recruiters and hiring managers looking for top talent or for job seekers looking for new opportunities.

You can also save your search and set up job alerts, so that you will be notified when new job opportunities that match your criteria are posted. This can save you time and keep you updated on new job openings.

In conclusion, LinkedIn's advanced search feature is a powerful tool that can help job seekers find job opportunities that are not advertised on other job boards. It can also help you to identify how you are connected to the hiring manager or the company, and even people open for new job opportunities. Remember to save your search and set up job alerts, to keep yourself updated on new job openings that match your criteria. Ref:



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