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Revealed: The Biggest Fears For The Newest Job Seekers


6/13/2014 2:26:31 PM

biotech jobs post your resume Help employers find you! Check out all the jobs and post your resume. Revealed: The Biggest Fears For The Newest Job Seekers

June 26, 2014

Here are the top three worries new grads have as they look for their first job after graduation.

By Angela Rose for BioSpace.com

Orrin Hatch, A U.S. Senator, once said, “There is a good reason they call these ceremonies "commencement exercises." Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” For the members of the class of 2014, it’s the beginning of the job search—a pursuit that makes even the most experienced professional anxious. From concerns about the biotech job market to qualification insecurities, we’ve outlined three of the biggest fears of our nation’s newest job seekers along with a few suggestions to help you quell them.

1. I’m afraid I won’t find a job.

It’s natural for new biotech job seekers—whether they’re research assistants with a BS in molecular biology and limited lab experience or sales specialists with a business degree and background in marketing—to worry about landing a position. After all, our nation is still recovering from an economic downturn, and the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.3 percent in May. But there’s good news for college graduates: that rate is much lower for those who’ve attained a bachelor’s degree or higher. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among graduates was a mere 3.2 percent in May.

Reduce your anxiety by recognizing that a job search takes time—even in a booming economy or industry—and prepare yourself for the wait. Then focus your efforts on the resources that are most likely to pay off, such as industry job boards and online biotech communities like BioSpace.com. Posting your resume will enable employers to find you, but you can also create job alerts and efficiently apply for the biotech opportunities you choose to pursue.

2. I’m afraid I’m not qualified for the job I want.

Every new graduate dreams of a biotech job that’s the perfect fit for the skills they developed in school. In reality, it’s rare to find a position that matches your qualifications exactly. Whether you’re interested in working as a project manager or a regulatory affairs associate , there is likely going to be a gap between your experience and the skill requirements of even an entry-level position.

Fortunately, many employers understand this. Look for biotech organizations with nurturing cultures—those with environments that are conducive to learning and programs to help employees grow their skills. Additionally, emphasize your assets when presenting your qualifications. For example, if the employer “prefers” a candidate with regulatory submission experience and you’re lacking in that area, ensure you highlight the value of your excellent written communication skills and project management professional certification.

3. I’m afraid to negotiate my salary.

A recent survey of full-time employees conducted by Harris Interactive found that 55 percent of workers age 35 or older negotiate salary after receiving an initial offer. However, only 45 percent of those who are between 18 and 34 years old attempt salary negotiations with potential employers. New graduates shouldn’t be afraid to do so. Another survey of employers revealed that 73 percent are not offended when job candidates negotiate. Eighty-four percent said they actually expect counteroffers.

For best results, familiarize yourself with industry salary standards for your desired position as well as the variables that can influence pay. These include company size, geographic location, and experience level. Search for “salary + (position)” online and you’re likely to find quantities of usable data at websites that aggregate this information. Use what you’ve learned to construct a reasonable counteroffer and you may be pleasantly surprised when it’s accepted.

About the Author

Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends, and workplace issues for BioSpace.com.

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