How to Get Your First Job After College in the Life Sciences

Learn these useful tips to get your first job after college.

Learn these useful tips to get your first job after college. 

As college graduation approaches, it’s time to shift your focus from campus events and GPAs to landing your ideal first job after college. It can be overwhelming to juggle a job search when you’re trying to pass your last few classes, especially in a competitive career field like the life sciences industry. 

To help make this process a little bit easier, we've provided a step-by-step guide. Here are a few of the best tips, tricks, and practices to help you to find a job in the life sciences industry as a college senior.

Here's How to Get First Job After College

Update Your Resume 

Think back on everything you’ve accomplished in your classes, internships, student organizations, and jobs to make sure nothing is missing from your resume. Highlight all of your skills and accomplishments to showcase everything you have to offer to employers to get your first job after college. Start to tailor your resume to life science careers that you’re interested in by incorporating industry keywords and shifting the focus to experiences that are more relevant to the field.  

Try Informational Interviewing & Job Shadowing 

With all of the available options to consider, it can be difficult to narrow down exactly which career path you want to pursue. To explore all of your options and build connections, reach out to professionals in your areas of interest if you can ask them some questions about their career or shadow them for a day. This will give you an inside look at different career options and help you build your network.  

Secure Job Leads  

If it isn’t quite time to apply for positions, you can still work on building your professional network. Connect with people who work at companies you’re interested in on LinkedIn, and start conversations about their experiences. Reach out to recruiters to learn about their hiring processes and application timelines. Building these connections now will make the application process a little easier and hopefully, more successful.

Research Target Employers 

To get your first job after college, use your spare time wisely by researching as much information as you can about employers that you might want to work for. Ask the following questions when considering a potential employer:  

  • Do they have job openings? 

  • What are their top priorities?  

  • Are they looking for skills or experiences that fit your resume?  

  • Do they offer entry-level positions? 

This information will help prepare you when it's time to apply to those companies, and if nothing else, it may also help increase your awareness of industry trends.  

Look at Life Science Job Boards 

Whether you're ready to apply or just looking at opportunities to pursue in the future, try using job boards that focus on life science postings. Diversifying your searches with different job boards will increase your chances of finding the right first job after college. 

Clean Up Your Social Media 

It's no secret that college can be a lot of fun. Even so, that doesn’t mean your social media should reflect every detail of the fun you had. Because social media is so popular, it’s common for employers and recruiters to check an applicant's social media accounts before offering interviews and making job offers. Make sure all of your social media accounts are professional and remove anything inappropriate or potentially controversial so you don’t hurt your chances of landing a job. 

Practice Interviewing 

To nail any type of interview to get your first job after college, extensive practice is required. To see the best results in your interviews, start practicing as soon as possible instead of waiting until the day comes. Focus on providing concrete examples for each question, improving your nonverbal behaviors and crafting a solid introduction.  

Secure References 

Many jobs will require anywhere from two to five references to confirm your skills and abilities. Think of professors, supervisors, advisors and other professionals who would be able to speak to your experience, and ask them ahead of time if they would be willing to serve as a reference. It’s professional to give them enough time to either prepare a letter of recommendation or respectfully decline before your list their name on a job application.  

Buy a Professional Outfit 

The last thing you want to spend time doing right before a big interview is shopping for a professional outfit to wear. Check that project off your list early so you’re prepared for an interview at any minute. Make sure whatever your pick out is professional without being too stuffy and uncomfortable, as your potential employer might notice if you feel out of place in your own clothes. 

Create a Job Search Strategy 

Take some time to outline the process you plan to use to apply for jobs. Consider answering these questions:  

  • How many jobs will you apply for each week? 

  • How will you track your applications?  

  • Where are you going to search?  

  • How are you going to organize all of your materials?  

  • Are you going to apply for one job at a time or apply in batches?  

Having a plan at the very start will help you focus and effectively prioritize tasks as you search for your first job after college.  

Visit Your School’s Career Center   

If you need help with any step of the job search process, take advantage of the resources and support that your school’s career center has to offer. They can help you overcome obstacles, strategize your search and identify new opportunities.  

Start executing these job search tips today to get a leg up on other candidates in the competitive life sciences industry. Job searching is a big challenge to tackle, but before you know it, you’ll be tossing your graduation cap and walking into your first day of work. 

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