Breaking into the Biotech Industry: A Guide for Graduates

Like most graduates, after receiving your degree, you’re ready to start into the world with a job lined up. Starting your career is easier said than done. In college, there are many resources to utilize, but now that you’re done, what’s next? Where do you start? More importantly, how do you break into biotech? Thankfully, biotechnology is a massive industry on track to continue its growth. Many biotechnology careers are rewarding and exciting for those eager to expand their science and technology knowledge. Because of this, competition for roles can be high. In this blog, we answer how to break into the industry and other questions recent graduates may have. In providing an overview of the job market and biotech industry, we hope this guide helps you navigate your job search to find the right opportunities with the right companies.

Why is Breaking Into the Biotech Industry Challenging?

Some of the biggest challenges with breaking into the biotech industry is standing out in a sea of candidates. With volumes of people also looking to grow in their biotech careers, there is high competition in the industry. Location is another factor to consider when entering biotech and pharmaceutical careers. Biotech hotspots like the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego are major places for finding biotech jobs in California. For the east coast, biotech hotspots are in areas like Boston and Philadelphia. With more cities growing their life science hubs, ensure that your job search targets areas with new, growing, and established biotech or pharmaceutical companies. While your degree is essential when job hunting, your work, volunteer, and internship experiences can give you the extra wow factor to land roles. Overcoming challenges in building your experiences and job hunting in the right locations is not impossible. You can have a rewarding biotechnology career with dedication, a good plan, and help. In the following sections, we help you build your plan for breaking into biotech.

Starting Your Biotech Career

When starting any journey, you need to determine your destination. Beginning your biotech career may require thought and an open mind for laying out your career goals. Without an idea of what you want for your biotech career, you could be losing time and energy applying for jobs you might not find fulfilling. You’re one step closer to concentrating on your job search when you determine your long-term plans. After setting your goal, you can now shape your resume. Much like dressing the part for an interview, you want your resume to say, “I am perfect for this role.” Proofread using online resources and show it to trusted sources who can help you build a strong resume. Updating your professional online profile through LinkedIn is another way of showing hiring managers your personality and professional achievements. While doing this, you should turn to your business network for possible opportunities, networking events, or personal recommendations. By making a plan and setting achievable goals, you’re on track to starting your biotech career.

Navigating the Biotech Job Search

As the internet has expanded, biotech job searching is easy and trickier than ever. With life science job opportunities posted daily to sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor, it can be hard to sift through and apply to the many jobs. To make this easier, have your resume and application materials on hand or saved to a computer or cloud like Google Drive for editing accessibility. You want to be able to tailor cover letters and resumes for the jobs that leave you excited after reading the job description. Prepare for phone and in-person interviews by reading biotech interview preparation guides and doing thorough research on each company. Most importantly, keep going! Job searches can take the time and effort of a full-time job. Rejection is normal, and staying in good spirits is key to success. When navigating your job search, stay motivated and dedicated to finding the role that ultimately helps you reach your life science career goals.

Succeeding in the Biotech Industry

When entering the biotech industry, recognize that learning shouldn’t stop after graduating college. With technology developing and innovations in science, the biotech landscape is ever-changing. To succeed in the biotech industry, seek out learning opportunities and build your knowledge of new techniques, instruments, equipment, and practices used in the field. While doing so, build your network through conferences, events, or training sessions. Building professional relationships can even help you land jobs in the future. Developing your skills and knowledge drives you to become an adaptable and flexible candidate for opportunities.

The Role of a Life Science Recruiter

Another resource to consider as you grow within the industry is a biotech or life science recruiter. These recruiters work within the life science niche to help place candidates in biotech jobs. They support you through the job search, and great recruiters can become career advocates. There are many benefits to working with a biotech recruiter, including resume help, interview prep, and personalized job search assistance. Working with a recruiter can be the push you need to break into the industry. To learn more about how we support candidates, visit our FAQ page here.

The Biotech Industry and Your Career

Breaking into the biotech industry is not impossible. With dedication and utilization of resources, you can begin your biotech career in no time at all. Biotech careers are rewarding at a personal and global level. Keep pursuing this industry if you are curious about scientific knowledge and eager to contribute to new discoveries and developments. The wide variety in this industry allows anyone to find or transition into careers here. While most may think roles in biotech look like microscopes in a lab, many organizations need engineers, administrators, business strategists, IT, finance, and more. Ready to take the steps toward breaking into biotech? Send us your resume here and start a conversation with one of our recruiters today.