Lauren wrote this article for MassBio's Blog - http://massbiohq.org/2012/11/20/top-10-tips-for-job-seekers-part-2-guest-post-by-lauren-celano-of-propel-careers/
This is continued from part 1: http://massbiohq.org/2012/11/13/top-10-tips-for-job-seekers-part-1-guest-post-by-lauren-celano-of-propel-careers/
Top Tips for Job Seekers #6-10
Separating yourself from the pack of job seekers is critical so that employers can determine whether you are the right fit for a particular role they want to fill. While the job search process can be daunting and overwhelming, below are a few tips to accelerate your search and increase the chances of landing the right job for you.
6. Develop an elevator pitch
Everyone should have an elevator pitch. For the job hunter, this is even more important. You need to be able to clearly and efficiently articulate what you are looking for. Without this, it is difficult for individuals to make introductions or referrals since they won't feel confident that you know what you want to do.
7. Network. Network. Network.
Many jobs come through networking and personal connections. In Boston, there are hundreds of networking events every month from intimate gatherings of 10-20 people to larger events with several hundred. Get out there and start making your search personal.
8. Practice Interviewing
Make sure you can nail interview questions to make a strong positive impression. Practice short stories for typical interview questions/prompts such as: Why do you want to work for us? Tell me about your background. What are the key strengths that you bring to our company? Describe a time when you were proactive to obtain the resources needed to complete a task. How do you get up to speed when learning new things? How do you prioritize tasks? What management style do you prefer? Tell me about your teamwork skills. What are your weaknesses? What are your career plans for the next 5-10 years and how can this role get you to where you want to be?
Have questions to ask the interviewer. Nothing halts an interview process faster than having nothing to ask the interviewer when they ask if you have questions. If you are serious about the company and role, you should have questions.
Prepare a list such as: What are the most critical tasks for the first 90 days after I am hired? Can you elaborate more on the major research techniques used in the lab? What is the culture of the company? What is my future boss's management style? What growth opportunities exist in this role? What type of people thrive here? What is a typical week like?
9. Set goals
Every job search is difficult and takes time. Staying confident, focused, motivated, and excited throughout the process is a challenge, so set goals. For example add 10 news companies a week to your target list. Identify 4 people a week for informational interviews to learn about their company or role. Attend two networking events a month. These types of goals will help you stay focused and on track. You may also find you even enjoy the activities.
10. Be positive
Lastly, be positive. Don't take rejection from the job search personally. Remember, you are looking for a good fit, just as the company is looking for a good fit.