If conventional wisdom is to believed, catching the attention of science recruitment agencies and employers with your job application is easy: you get your CV into shape, find the most relevant science jobs being advertised and then send through your application with a presentable cover letter.
However, a downside of such conventional wisdom is that it is conventional, meaning that everyone is doing similar things. If you really want to turbo-charge your search for a suitable new science role, you may therefore want to try the following tips for job seekers.
1. Show your vulnerability
Don't necessarily presume that you have to turn yourself into an arrogant superstar to land your dream pharmaceutical, clinical or medical role.
Instead, consider showing your vulnerability, getting in touch with those who you would like to work with, expressing your admiration for what they do and asking questions. It can be a great way to start building up relationships that could help you when a vacancy next opens up.
2. Don't necessarily follow your passion
Career seekers have long been told to "follow their passion", but it isn't always entirely robust. Many people in science jobs that they now love may have only come to love it after developing their competency and experience in the role over time.
3. Don't obsess over finding your dream job right now
This advice is especially useful to those in the early stages of a science career. Whether in R&D, bioinformatics, regulatory affairs or any other field, given the unglamorous nature of most entry-level positions, your focus shouldn't necessarily be on finding a job that you love right now.
Instead, envisage what the role has the potential to become if you work hard over the next five years. That's the post that you are effectively applying for.
4. Contact the decision-maker directly
Those who watched the Will Smith film The Pursuit of Happiness may especially appreciate this pointer. Sometimes, it is all too easy for applications for science jobs to disappear into a black hole. Instead, tactfully and respectfully approach the person who will actually be making the decision whether to hire you.
5. Be your desired employer's biggest fan
If there's a specific science employer that you would like to work for, mark yourself out as a brand loyalist - someone who is always defending the company in the blogosphere or feting its expertise or services to friends or on social media.
Ambitious firms love employees who love them - so you may just find yourself first in the queue when the next perfectly-tailored position arises.