Whether you are still considering your university options, have completed a PhD or have a long track record in a particular science field behind you, choosing from the vast range of possible science jobs can be an intimidating and overwhelming process.

With popular sectors ranging from immunology and pharmacology to molecular biology and clinical, and with functions within those sectors encompassing clinical research, quality assurance, research and development (R&D) and many more, it would be too difficult for us to give even a brief overview of your possible science career options here.

What we can do, however, is give you some pointers on choosing the science post that would best suit your own background, interests and motivations.

Figuring out your skills, values and interests

Various assessments exist that should help you to clarify your own personal characteristics and how these may lend themselves to various science jobs. These include the National Careers Service's Action Plan tool, as well as the Career Planner accessible through the graduate careers site, Prospects.


More informal ways of determining the best science career direction for you include simply asking yourself what areas at science most interest you and which you are best at, as well as what lifestyle you want and what you actually desire from your longer-term career.

What to consider when comparing jobs

Once you have a reasonable idea of the above, you will be able to begin your job hunt or consider the most appropriate academic course.

When you are thinking about your science job options, you will need to take into account such factors as entry requirements, employment outlook, the job description, salary and conditions and the scope to develop the job.

Is the role that interests you a good match to what you learned about yourself through tools and techniques like the above, and is the job reasonably attainable right now? If not, what do you need to do to have a realistic chance of entering this particular science career?

Imagining yourself on the job

Even having the right skills and experience, however, matters little if you would not actually enjoy the role on a day-to-day basis.

To ascertain this, ask yourself whether the employer would be a good match to your own values, as well as whether the job itself would be rewarding both now and some time into the future, based on your past experiences and motivations. Is this a job that you would even do for free?

Deciding on the right science role entails much serious thought about what matters to you in a job, as well as your likelihood of obtaining work in the field that interests you and the potential for career growth.

As leading science recruitment specialists here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we are always happy to advise those still contemplating the right science career for them - as well as, if appropriate, match them to a suitable role. 

There are no science jobs - whether in chemistry, molecular biology, quality assurance, engineering or R&D - where a well-written CV is not extremely important.

Here are 10 of the errors that crop up most often that could spell the end of your chances.

1. Too great a length

You shouldn't require more than two or three pages for a CV - venture onto a fourth or even fifth page, and employers will be given the impression that you are disorganised and tend to ramble on and on.

2. Misspellings and typos

The apparent obviousness of this mistake doesn't prevent it being made time and time again.

3. Irrelevant information

Talking about ghost hauntings at your last job (unless you're applying for a ghostbuster job!) or that you were the best dancer in the office isn't likely to endear you to science recruitment agencies seeking only salient information.

4. Falsified information

Saying that you passed a degree, diploma or certificate that you actually failed at isn't a mere bending of the truth - it's an outright lie that will almost certainly catch up with you later.

5. Cliches

Simply saying that you are a "good communicator" or "work well in a team" without backing it up with any hard evidence is meaningless to any demanding recruiter.

6. Wrong contact details

Even the most brilliant CV might be of little use if the phone number or email address on it is wrong.  Be wary of stating .com where you should have said .co.uk, or giving the address of your previous rather than current flat.

7. A one-size-fits-all approach

Don't send out the same CV for an information systems job as you would for a procurement role - the CV needs to match the employer's needs, so adapt it to each application.

8. Vague explanations

Simply saying that you are looking for a new challenge that offers the opportunity for professional growth doesn't much serve a potential employer. Instead, state something more specific that focuses on their needs, not just your own.

9. Fancy font

You might want to stand out through your CV, but you can do that best by demonstrating your unique qualifications for the role, rather than merely using an unconventional font that might merely distract the reader.

10. Name and personal details in the header

The technology used by many science recruitment firms today to process applications may not pick up information included in the document header, so we would advise that such crucial details are kept in the main text.

There are many potential reasons why you may not secure an interview - don't allow any of these easily avoided errors to be the cause of your own next job application failure. 

Do you want to hire a true game-changer? The answer to that question might seem to be "yes" for every new person that you recruit, but there is a particular type of candidate that has recently attracted the attention of HR managers in many science companies for varying departments, including Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs, R&D and : the 'purple squirrel'.



These especially rare individuals are associated with a combination of exceptional talent and an often 'maverick' personality type that can make them difficult to manage. While they are therefore not necessarily the best team players, being somewhat unconventional at times, there are nonetheless significant rewards to be had when they are successfully integrated.

At their best, the 'purple squirrel' can bring dazzling new perspectives to your organisation and push it in a decisive and successful new direction - possessing the education, skills and experience to be major innovators. Celebrated businesspeople who have been described as 'purple squirrels' include James Dyson, Philip Green and David Ogilvy.

However, it is many of the unique characteristics of the 'purple squirrel' that can also make them difficult to pick up via the more traditional recruitment methods. None of the three aforementioned individuals, for example, possessed a university degree, meaning that they would have been missed by a more competency-based hiring approach.

Instead, science employers looking to pick up a 'purple squirrel' are advised to apply more aspiration-based search and hiring techniques. To know where to look, it is a good idea to first ask yourself what incredible results you would like your organisation to achieve. You will then be able to start defining the kind of person who could produce them.

Adopting this more lateral perspective will lead you to consider individuals who you might not have ordinarily deemed suitable for your vacancy. However, it is also crucial to understand the very different motivations that 'purple squirrels' can have. Such candidates are much more likely to ask about your company's direction and values than the size of the financial package on offer or how many promotions they could rack up.

The key to finding the elusive 'purple squirrel' is disruptive talent searching, rather than the received wisdom of more established recruitment methods. Land such a candidate, however, and your organisation could be set for a new era of innovation and profitability - just as long as it is willing to adapt in turn to the exciting newcomer. 
Whether a candidate is seeking a role in biochemistry, genetics, virology, pathology or any number of other science fields, the interview process is intimidating enough without them also having to worry about how their personality type will come across to prospective employers.


Introverted job candidates often fear that they will compare poorly to their extroverted peers in such an inherently social situation as an interview. However, by playing to their strengths and creating the right personal branding, introverts, too, can deliver standout interview performances that get them hired.

Prepare well

This is one of the areas where an introverted job aspirant can thrive, by gathering all of the information that they can about the company and position - in addition to the finer points of their CV and what they are likely to say in the interview - in advance.

By taking such steps the day before the interview as practising your answers to likely questions, organising any documents that you will bring with you and trying on your outfit for the interview, you can relieve a significant amount of stress.

Work on the basis of your strengths

It can be easy for employers to make unfair assumptions about introverted candidates, so you will need to carefully consider how to express yourself at interview. Are there certain personality traits, qualifications or skills that you would like to emphasise?

Remember that knowing your strengths as an introvert is one matter, but actually selling them to the prospective employer, quite another. The aforementioned self-assessment should give you a greater awareness of the qualities that you can market to hiring managers.

Introverts, for instance, can be good listeners, so you may wish to explain how such skills have contributed to past projects. You should be sure to back this up with examples of praise accorded to you by previous employers - especially given that as an introvert, it may not come naturally to you to 'brag' about your successes.

Take a confident approach

Rather than worrying about how their personality could compromise them in interviews against the extroverted competition, introvert science job applicants are advised to take confidence in their interview style.

An introvert can succeed in an interview context with the right self-branding that helps to show their value as an employee in their own right. By taking the right approach to interviews, introverts can mark themselves out as indispensable prospective employees.  

In a bid to connect employers and job hunters via Twitter the UK’s first Twitter Job Fair took place this week on Tuesday 24th February at the Twitter Headquarters in London - and I was lucky enough to be involved.  

The Twitter Job Fair 2015 initiative made careers-related advice and news accessible to Twitter users all over Europe. The concept was first launched last year in Germany and was very successful. This year the Twitter Job Fair was held several European countries, including Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands.

 

 

The UK’s Twitter Job Fair, worked with over 50 businesses in the UK including L’Oreal, John Lewis, GSK, Nestle and British Gas. These well recognised companies along with key careers spokespeople gave UK tweeters the opportunity to seek careers advice, find out about job vacancies, get job application/interview tips and ask careers-related questions using the dedicated #YourJob.

 

My thoughts

Confidence in the job market right now is higher than it has been pre recession. So with confidence in the market more employers are hiring and more people are switching jobs. The Twitter Job Fair was a great way to show people how to use tools readily available to maximise their chances to look for jobs and assess their future career. As somebody who runs a recruitment business and has been in extremely competitive application and interview processes, it was great to be able to share career tips, advice and my experience and knowledge of how businesses are using Twitter to recruit. There were some great questions!

 


What are the benefits of using Twitter?

  • Provides people with the opportunity to communicate directly with a wide range of companies and services for information
  • Allows people to engage with businesses and potential employees, and find out more
  • Smaller companies are able to reach new and varied potential employees that they wouldn’t normally have been able to communicate with through traditional channels (print, TV, radio)
  • A quick and simple way to share news and discuss shared passions with like-minded people
  • A great way to raise your business and personal profile and is the quickest way to get the message out about you or your company and it's absolutely FREE!

With more and more recruiters posting vacancies on a daily basis, Twitter users in the UK and across the world are embracing the digital platform as an alternative way of seeking employment. So if you haven’t already signed up, make sure you do! The process is very straightforward, all you need to create an account is an email address and a password, and you’re ready to go! Your dream job is probably being tweeted at this very moment. So what’s stopping you?

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for a science job, technology job or engineering job, make sure you visit our Twitter page @Hyperec_HRS  our recruiters are always busy posting the all the latest vacancies.

And just to prove using Twitter really can help with your career, our very own Marketing Officer found her job at here Hyper Recruitment Solutions through our Twitter page!

If you missed out here is the timeline from my Q&A session: https://twitter.com/TwitterUK/timelines/570277201275551744

 

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