Tips for Life Science Job Seekers Heading Into 2021

A strange hiring year in 2020 will reverberate throughout 2021 for job seekers.

The pandemic changed everything. We live differently, behave differently, and have come to appreciate the little things we might have taken for granted before COVID-19 took hold in the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR).  

We saw a move to nearly 100% remote work within the life sciences industry, companies pivoting to join the fight against SARS-CoV-2, and telemedicine finally earning more widespread acceptance and usage. The region became an epicenter for COVID-19 vaccine development and funding, requiring a host of companies to recruit and hire new talent to support the fight against the pandemic while also advancing their own pipelines. 

The recruiting and hiring process went full virtual, too, with companies across the region using ZOOM and other video conference mediums to complete their hiring process from screening interviews to onboarding.

Virtual Recruiting Events replaced job fairs and booths at local conferences. 

*Click Above to Watch Previous Emergent BioSolutions Virtual Recruiting Events

Hiring and talent acquisition, like remote work and telemedicine, have irrevocably changed forever. The cat is out of the proverbial bag, so to speak, and it is improbable, even if the pandemic subsides in 2021, that pure in-person hiring, five-day-a-week in office work arrangements, or in-person only doctor visits will return. 

Lonza Virtual Recruiting Event

Speaking specifically about talent and hiring, it is safe to assume that the post-pandemic new normal will likely represent a hybrid approach, blending virtual hiring’s clear benefits with some strategic in-person activities. While the virtual new hire welcome lunch and virtual happy hours might fade into history, much of the remote hiring and recruiting we’ve seen this past year will find a home in 2021 and beyond.

To help job seekers prepare for 2021, we’ve pulled together our best stories about the job hunt and interviewing. We feel these tips will still be applicable in 2021 as you continue to adjust to the post-pandemic job market. 

Job Tips For Candidates

8 Tips to Succeed in Your Next Virtual Job Interview

The new virtual hiring models appear to be working just fine. Many employers have found these virtual hiring practices to be more efficient and have learned how to make them only as useful as well. This all means that companies will most likely continue to utilize virtual approaches, either partially or entirely, even after the pandemic is over. 

What does this mean for you as a job seeker? It means that you need to learn how to prepare for and succeed in your virtual job interviews. 

The remote hiring process presents some new considerations and challenges for you to consider as a job seeker.  That’s why we put together some helpful tips and advice for you to nail your next virtual job interview and land that dream job.

Breaking into the Biotech and Pharma Industry: Advice from a Recruiter, Part One

Are you looking to work in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry? Jeff Caskey, a senior life science talent consultant at Workforce Genetics, was recently a featured speaker for Johns Hopkins University, where he offered practical advice for breaking into the industry.

In his presentation titled “A Recruiter’s Guide to Transitioning into the Biotech and Pharma Industry,” Caskey outlines the importance of building a search plan and creating your brand and focuses on ways to execute your job search and to get the interview.

Navigating the Hidden Job Market: Advice from a Recruiter (Part Two)

Did you know that 80 percent of jobs never get posted or advertised? This is what some refer to as the hidden job market: jobs offered to people already known within the industry. As we discussed in part one of our blog series on breaking into the biotech and pharma industry, networking and making connections could be the best way to get your foot in the door. 

In part two, we discuss the ways in which you can start building a network of valuable contacts, how to work with a recruiter, and how to prepare for and execute your interview.

Many biotech and life science companies will continue to hire throughout 2021, not only because of the boom in vaccine and other medical innovations addressing COVID-19 but because the industry never stopped growing through the pandemic. 2021 is shaping out to be another market that will favor candidates who are looking to change jobs or break into the industry. Employers’ expectations will still be high so be sure you are well prepared, build your professional networks, and hone your communication and interview skills.

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Steven Surdez

Principal at StoryCore
Steve has over 20 years experience in copywriting, developing brand messaging and creating marketing strategies across a wide range of industries, including the biopharmaceutical, senior living, commercial real estate, IT and renewable energy sectors, among others. He is currently the Principal/Owner of StoryCore, a Frederick, Maryland-based content creation and execution consultancy focused on telling the unique stories of Maryland organizations.