Biology Job Resources on the Internet
by David M. Sander, Ph.D.
Looking for a job can be tough. As a matter of fact, it can be one of life’s most stressful events, and also one of life’s greatest opportunities. If you haven’t yet encountered the wide variety of on-line resources for job seekers, you are in for a surprise. Whether your looking for a postdoc, a technician’s job, or a tenure track position, these sites are virtually guaranteed to lower your stress, and lead you to exciting new career options.
Even within science, where employment opportunities used to be dominated by who you and your associates knew, these sorts of general resources are becoming essential to successful job searches. Employers have learned that looking for employees using on-line resources can be efficient and in many cases more effective than more traditional means.
The Big Sites
No discussion of job searching on the internet would be complete without a discussion of the big sites. You’ve probably heard of them — Monster.com (http://www.monster.com/), CareerPath.com (http://new.careerpath.com/), JobBank USA (http://www.jobbankusa.com/) etc.. These mammoth sites, which allow you to post resumes, create personalized search pages, and perform detailed searches for jobs are becoming increasingly important compared to the more traditional job searches. These sites present a wealth of resources, and are particularly useful for finding science jobs in industry, but may not be useful if you are looking for jobs in academia or government.
The Specialized Sites
For decades, advertising sections in the back of journals have provided most biology job seekers with much needed leads. Now, as journals are moving their contents to on-line venues, it is much simpler to browse through a large number of such publications without having to make a trip to the library stacks. Broad spectrum journals like Science (http://recruit.sciencemag.org/jobsearch.dtl), Nature (http://www.nature.com/jobs/index.html), and Cell (http://jobs.cell.com/) have moved their job listings to their websites. Jobs listings in these journals can typically be searched by the position offered, its geographic location, its academic area or the organization that's offering it. Innumerable additional journals have done so as well — so be sure and check the sites of your favorite journals as well.
Professional Societies have also been eager to create internet-=based databases of jobs and resumes to aid their members in finding employment and employees. For example, The Society for Neuroscience (http://www.sfn.org/classifieds/positions.html) and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB, http://www.faseb.org/careers/applicant.html) have, like so many other societies, established superb on-line job resources for the scientific community. As a general disclaimer, I should point out that some of these sites will require that you register for their service to verify your membership, and some may even charge a small fee. Others are freely available to the public.
Other outstanding on-line resources for job hunters have been established by sites that specialize in providing information and other services for scientists. BioMedNet, the well known internet portal for the biomedical sciences offers extensive resources for job seekers (http://www.biomednet.com/jobs.htm, free registration required). BioMedNet allows users to search their “Job Exchange”, post job offers or wanted ads, save interesting jobs to a personalized jobs folder that can be reviewed and alterred at a later time. In addition, this site offers a fine collection of job-related internet links and career-related articles. BioView (http://www.bioview.com/car/car.html) and SciWeb (http://www.sciweb.com/, http://www.biocareer.com/ ) also have employment resources specifically targeted to biomedical scientists that shouldn’t be missed.
Many internet job sites have grown out of other successful on-line enterprises or very specific fields, such as the very popular HUM-MOLGEN site for human molecular genetics (http://www.hum-molgen.de/positions/index.html). Similar subject-specific job listings can be found at sites like All the Virology on the WWW (http://www.virology.net) and its Virology Jobs site done in conjuction with the American Society for Virology. Similarly, the Institute of Biological Engineering (http://www.ibeweb.org/JobOffers/) or the Genome Jobs web site (http://www.genomejobs.com/) — are unique resources for finding employment in genomics, bioinformatics, biotechnology and biocomputing. To find sites like these for your specific field, visit some of your favorite subject-specific websites and surf around. If you’re lucky, someone may have built a job site for your specific research area.
A good example of the power of the web in searching for biology jobs can be seen in the International Pharmajobs (http://www.pharmajobs.com) site that specializes in the pharmaceutical and the biotech industries. Job opportunities at the site cover pre-clinical research to marketing, entry level through upper management positions. This streamlined and effective site offers job seekers a highly specialized collection of job listings posted with the company logo prominently displayed and linked to corporate websites. Listings also provide direct access to the hiring managers via e-mail as well as more traditional contact information.
Magazine and Trade publications are also a likely spot to find that perfect job listing. Science periodicals like the New Scientist (http://www.sciencejobs.com/, http://www.newscientistjobs.com/frame_regset.html) and The Scientist (http://www.the-scientist.library.upenn.edu/jobs.html) offer useful and searchable listings of their job advertisements on-line.
Academic job seekers will be interested in looking at sites such as The Academic Position Network (http://www.apnjobs.com/), the Academic Employment Network (http://www.academploy.com/jobs.cfm), and the Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com/jobs/) — which offers a comprehensive career service with registration or subscription.
These specialized sites can be of great value to many types of biology-related job searches, but are of particular interest to those seeking postdocs and tenure-track positions in academia. Unfortunately, they don’t list every available job. To cover all your bases, you should also search out some of the outstanding regional and local sites that are available.
Regional and Local Sites
Regional job databases can be of particular interest if you are interested in narrowing your job search to a certain locale. These plentiful sites can be hosted by universities, institutions, or corporations. In addition, some regional resources may be found in the sort of sites that only locals are likely to know about. For example, newspapers are increasingly turning to the internet as an additional host for their classified ads and should not be overlooked in a regional job search.
In addition to checking out the web sites of your local universities and biotech companies, you might also be interested in viewing Federal Government science jobs. If your region of choice is Washington D.C., the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers a great resource for employment and research opportunities (http://www.training.nih.gov/) on their main campus. Job openings in Atlanta at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are also listed on-line (http://www.cdc.gov/hrmo/jobstype.htm).
Job sites can also be found that focus on regions such as the Bay Area Careers site (http://www.bayareacareers.com/) which contains a set of links to employment opportunities in the San Francisco Bay area, or the Boston.com jobs site (http://careers.boston.com/) sponsored by the Boston Globe.
Finally, many smaller companies forego the big job sites and instead list their job openings on their own company web pages. Therefore, as a final step in looking for the perfect job in your region you may need to consider many local employers and check their websites on an individual basis.
Collections of Job Site Links
As should now be obvious, there are an enormous number of job sites available online, and too many to possibly list in an article like this. To find more sites of interest you should consult some of the excellent on-line collections of job links. For the biological sciences, the premier list of on-line job resources can be found at the Employment Links for the Biomedical Scientist (http://www.his.com/~graeme/employ.html) site. This set of links as compiled by a fellow scientist is enormously useful for biomedical and other scientists who may be exploring the internet for on-line employment information. With groups of internet links that include: job listing sites, search firms and recruiters, on-line resume posting, biotech/healthcare resources, on-line science career advice, interactive sites and newsgroups; this site is unsurpassed for its breath of linked content.
Earning honorable mention are other meta-link sites like BioMedNet.com (http://www.biomednet.com/jobs?action=job_links), Jobs in Higher Education (http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/~acadres/jobs/index.html) and the Career Resource Center (http://www.careers.org/) — the web's career directory of career directories. A unique meta-search site, Frontiers in Bioscience: Jobs in Biology (http://www.bioscience.org/urllists/jobs.htm) that allows users to search a dozen job sites and Usenet newsgroups is also worth a visit.
On-line job sites have revolutionized the the way we look for jobs. Journals and newspapers alone are no longer adequate sources for scientific job leads, and at best only represent a portion of the resources that you should consult if you are searching for a new job. With diligent effort, these amazing new on-line resources will aide you in locating that ideal job, and your next great opportunity.
If you are looking for a job in the sciences, you aren’t alone. The internet offers many opportunities for peer contact and mutual support. Check out some of these interactive sites and newsgroups:
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