3 Skills You Need to Succeed in the Biotech Industry

3 Skills You Need to Succeed in the Biotech Industry
June 25, 2015
By Aja Frost for BioSpace.com

While every job and workplace in the biotech industry is unique, there are a couple dominant abilities that every employer needs (or at least, wants) to see before they hire you. Do you have what it takes—and are you showing that to hiring managers? Read on to find out.

1. Great communication skills.
You probably didn't choose to work in a scientific field because you love to read and write—but nonetheless, employers want to see that you can communicate information concisely, accurately and quickly. After all, even the most technical role requires you to send emails, write reports and talk to your colleagues.

To demonstrate your proficiency for English goes beyond just knowing the language, make sure each position listed on your resume has one or more communication-related bullets. For example, you could include how you "participated in a cross-functional team to develop new SOPs" or "gave weekly status reports to executive committee."

2. Flexibility.
Biotech is a dynamic, ever-changing industry, which means the more adaptable you are, the likelier you are to succeed. You should demonstrate your ability to roll with the punches to hiring managers. However, this can be a bit difficult to put on a resume.

It's a better goal for your cover letter. First, think of a time where you had to change directions in the middle of a project or incorporate new information into an existing initiative. Then, cite that example in your letter.

A good template is: "Working as a QC Analyst taught me to be extremely adaptive. As an example, when the product team went over-budget, it was my responsibility to reconfigure our resources so we achieved our key objectives without spending too much."

3. Awesome team-work skills.
A lot of biotech jobs require you to work on teams. Consequently, you definitely want to highlight how good you are at collaborating with others.

During the interview is an ideal time for doing so. Most interviewers will ask you to share a strength, accomplishment, or memorable work experience, so use this opportunity to illustrate your excellent teamwork skills.

To give you an idea of how to do this, let's say the hiring manager says, "So, tell me about a time you faced a challenge and succeeded."

You could respond, "As trial lead for global clinical development, I worked with both our U.S.-based and international team members in many different domains, including regulatory affairs, data management, and so on. Different departments had different goals, which meant I had to incorporate everyone's needs into a single integrated plan. It wasn't easy, but I was patient and thorough, which helped me succeed."

Of course, you want to make sure you never mis-represent yourself in the application process. If one or more of these capabilities doesn't sound like you, don't imply you've got it. But what you can do? Start working to cultivate it!

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