Careers in Microbiology Tips

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Should I join a microbiology association?

Benefits of Joining Microbiology Associations

Whether you just graduated with a degree in microbiology or have been in the industry for years, joining professional associations is an important component of your job search. Participating in continuing education and taking advantage of career resources can help you tap into hidden opportunities. Here's a few tips to get started.

Continuing education opportunities. Check out organizations like the American Society of Microbiology. Membership will cost you about $39 a year, and you'll get access to a variety of continuing education opportunities, which look great on your resume.

Networking opportunities. Association events provide excellent opportunities for microbiology professionals to network. During these events, you may get access to an unadvertised microbiology job.

Academic reports. As a microbiology professional, staying on top of your changing industry is important – and it makes an impact during job interviews. Joining professional organizations allows you access scientific publications that specialize in microbiology.

How can I find my first microbiology job?

Microbiology Careers: Landing your First Job

Studying microbiology in college opens up a variety of career opportunities. But, to prepare for the job market, it helps to have a few tips. Here are a few pointers for landing your first microbiology job.

Get involved in activities. When hiring microbiologists, employers look favorably at extracurricular science clubs. Also, make sure to get several internships under your belt – which can also land you employment pending graduation.

Look for a microbiology job in the right place. Instead of spending hours on mainstream job boards, check out more effective options, like: staffing firms, professional organizations and contacting employers directly.

Refresh your resume. When looking for a microbiology job, it's important to invest time in your resume. With only seconds to impress a recruiter, every word counts. Have college professors and a staffing firm review the resume before sending it out.

How can I find unadvertised microbiology jobs?

Tips for Finding Hidden Microbiology Jobs

Most job searchers spend dozens of hours on mainstream job boards. But investing your time this way doesn't always payoff. Most jobs are found through untraditional strategies, like: networking, targeting companies directly or using a staffing firm. Read on to learn simple strategies for finding hidden microbiology jobs.

Put together a sales package. When applying for a microbiology job, you're selling yourself. Refresh your resume and cover letter to include measurable accomplishments and take out any task oriented statements. Also, get a few impressive letters of recommendation from professors and previous employers.

Make a list of pharmaceutical and biotech firms. Targeting companies directly will allow you to have more control over the job search process, and allow you to tap into unadvertised positions.

Contact recruiters directly. First, send your resume though mail and email. Then, follow up with a recruiter on your resume, and request an opportunity to meet. Even if the company doesn't have jobs in microbiology available, check back periodically for job openings.

How much do microbiologists get paid?

Determining your Microbiologist Salary

Launching a career in microbiology is an exciting decision. However, before accepting an employment offer, it's important to do your research. This will allow you to prepare a counteroffer to maximize your compensation. Read on to learn three factors to consider before accepting a microbiology job.

Experience level. Microbiologists with less then 5 years of experience can expect to earn $30,554-$40,254 annually. However, those with 5-20 years of experience can expect to earn up to $74,368 annually.

Employer type. Another factor in determining your microbiologist salary is your industry. For example, those working for pharmaceutical and biotech firms can expect to earn a generous wage compared to other sectors.

Geographic location. There are some parts of the country that pay better then others. For example, microbiologists in Atlanta can expect to earn $65,742 annually, while those in Seattle earn about $38,974. To determine what positions in your local area pay, contact human resources departments for salary ranges.

How can I streamline my microbiology job search?

Microbiology Jobs: Creating a Targeted Job Search

If you're interested in finding a microbiology job quicker, it's time to get focused. Defining the specific work and sector you're interested in can streamline your job search. Here's a few tips to get started.

Target specific companies. For example, you might be interested in pharmaceutical companies listed on the 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Write down your top choices and market your skills to them directly.

Keep on top of news. Reading business journals will keep you up to date on which companies are expanding and might be adding an additional microbiology job. Contact the company directly and ask to speak with the hiring manager.

Work with a recruiter. When working with a staffing firm, give them a targeted description of what types of microbiology job openings you're interested in applying to. As a result, you'll only be matched with firms that meet your job criteria.

How can I interview better for a microbiology job?

The Microbiology Job Interview: Don't Forget about Body Language

Studies have shown that when communicating, only 7% of total communication is words. That means, the other 93% is through non-verbal communication – which is huge. So, if you aren't paying attention to this during an interview, it could cost you a microbiology job. Here are a few tips for better non-verbal communication.

Make eye contact. Making eye contact is an important component to building positive body language. Pay attention to this while the hiring manager is speaking, and while shaking hands.

Mimic the interviewer's body language. For example, if they lean in while talking to you, mirror their body language. This is a powerful way to build a non-verbal connection when interviewing for a microbiology job.

Pay attention to your appearance. Watch your posture, which non-verbally communicates confidence. Also, make sure to wear a crisp pressed suit and leave clunky jewelry and perfume at home.

How can I build a microbiology network?

Microbiology Jobs: Building a Network from Scratch

Even if you've heard recruiters talk about networking a hundred times, it's doesn't become relevant until it's time to search for a new microbiology job. And, if you don't have a network system in place, don't worry. Instead, use a few simple tips to build one from scratch.

Determine who to include in your network. Previous college professors, co-workers and professional acquaintance are good candidates. Create a simple database of your network so you can pull up contact information easily.

Get in touch with your network. Check out professional networking sites like LinkedIn. On this site, you can upload resumes, get recommendations and easily keep in touch with your network.

Pay it forward. With networking, it's important to pay it forward. For example, if your company is trying to fill a microbiology job, send a note out to your network. And when you're looking for a job, let your network know, and they'll return the favor.

What are the top graduate programs in microbiology?

Top 10 Microbiology Programs in the Nation

If you're considering advancing your microbiology career through graduate studies, it helps to know which programs have high rankings. Graduating from top programs can make you more appealing to employers, which can land you a microbiology job. Fortunately, a report published by U.S. News and World Report has taken the “guess work” out of finding these programs. Here's the top 10:

  1. Harvard University, Boston, MA
  2. Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  3. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  4. Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  5. University of California Berkley, Berkeley, CA
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  7. University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
  8. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  9. University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  10. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
And once you graduate from your microbiology program, make sure to contact a staffing firm like Delta Pharma. They already have relationships established with employers, making the job search process much easier.

How much can I earn with a microbiology degree?

Salaries for a Microbiology Degree

Earning a degree in microbiology is an exciting achievement. However, once you've earned your degree, you may be wondering how much you can earn. Salary ranges will depend on which direction you decide to take with your degree. For example, a research scientist often earns more then a microbiologist. Here's a quick breakdown of average salaries, by occupation.

  1. Microbiologist, $46,000
  2. Research Associate, $43,000
  3. Research Scientist, $59,000
  4. Clinical Laboratory Scientist, $61,000
  5. Research Scientist, $60,000
Also, consider getting internship experience in a microbiology lab while in college. This can help you leverage your experience to negotiate a higher salary. And if you're using a staffing firm, they can give you salary ranges for specific jobs. A staffing firm that specializes in jobs in microbiology can also help you target positions that meet your career and income goals.

How can I prepare for a microbiology interview?

The Microbiology Mock Interview: 10 Interview Questions

After you've invested dozens of hours in finding the perfect microbiology job, you have finally landed an interview. But, all of the sudden, you feel nervous. If this sounds like your situation – don't worry, it's normal. But, you can take the edge off those nerves, and perform better with a little practice. Here's 10 interview questions for your mock microbiology interview.

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  2. Are you involved in any microbiology professional organizations?
  3. What were challenges you faced at your last microbiology job?
  4. Is there anything you would change about your previous manager?
  5. Why are you leaving your current microbiology job?
  6. How do you handle stressful situations?
  7. Why should we choose you for this microbiology job?
  8. Why do you want to work for this company?
  9. Do you have any pet peeves?
  10. Do you enjoy working independently, or on a team?

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Susan Sayour