Increasing Interview Chances

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Increasing Interview Chances

Postby Lillie » Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:21 pm

First, I would like to thank the moderators and posters for such a helpful forum. Although I have not participated (until now), I do read it daily.

As others have already mentioned, I am also worried that I may be labeled "too academic." I am starting my fourth year as a postdoc (two different labs) and was a technician for two years before I got my Ph.D. Using your advice, I extensively revised my resume and cover letters and tailored them to the position I was applying. To my surprise, I received "thank you" letters from three different companies SIGNED by an HR rep. Since I did not address my cover letters to any specific individual at the company, should I remain optimistic after trying to transition into industry for the past six months? My range of technical skills is extensive encompassing cell, molecular and developmental biology, and I have a very good publication record. I am applying for both faculty and industry positions. Is there anything else I can do to increase my chances for an interview in industry? I appreciate any additional advice you can give.

Increasing Interview Chances

Postby Dave Jensen » Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:28 am

Hi Lillie,

Make sure that your strategy of applying for both faculty jobs as well as industry is your own little secret, and that it never gets out that you are looking on "both sides of the fence." Obviously, it will hurt your position with universities, and I can tell you that it will be the kiss of death from industry. They want people who are totally committed to the industry career.

It sounds to me as if you are on the right track, by adopting your materials to fit the position/company. Good sign that HR people are revealing themselves to you in their response letters. However, I am wondering if you've done any serious networking yet. Have you introduced yourself to people you don't know who work in companies? Perhaps people who are just a year or two ahead of you in their career? You might consider talking to one of those HR reps who wrote you -- call them -- and ask if they'd be able to suggest a young scientist in their company who you could talk to briefly for an informational interview. While the chances are still less than 50% that they would suggest a name, it is at least a start.

Many interviews in industry come as a result of bumping into someone who thinks your background fits -- in a general way, and not just because of a posted position. Getting invited to give a seminar in a company on your topic of interest is a real plus if you can put this together via networking.

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Increasing Interview Chances

Postby Lillie » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:18 pm

You're right, Dave, I have not taken advantage of my academic contacts (unfortunately, I know no one in industry). I'll take your advice and brush up on my networking skills. I was waiting until I get an interview before I tell anyone that I am applying for industry positions--they would be shocked to learn that I am even considering industry. Again, thank you, the advisers and the posters for making this forum a godsend.

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