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Highlight examples of your dedication, curiosity, and commitment to learning and growth. People who are hiring are looking for people who are willing to work hard and want to learn. What do people come to you for help with? When you decide to apply for a given position, you must have a reason to believe you can do the job well.

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Spend some time analyzing that link. What formal or informal experience do you have, or what personal traits, that make the job a good fit? Be analytical and creative in this process. Once you establish the link for yourself, you can explain it to a potential employer. What will make you stand out from the rest? Remember to showcase qualities like friendliness, professionalism, responsiveness, and follow-through. You might not have years of work experience, but what else in your background can demonstrate your worth to an employer?

A volunteer position can be easier to find than an internship.

11 tips for getting a job without experience ‹ GO Blog | EF GO Blog

Volunteer for as much relevant service as you can. Building your personal network is a reliable path to a great job at any stage of life. Connect with everyone you know—and in turn with everyone they know—through social media, community and professional events, setting up lunch or coffee dates to stay in touch, any way you can find. It may be that you need more education to qualify for what you really want to do—for example, if you discover an interest in law, then it may be time to apply to law school.

How to Get a Scientific Research Job in the US (If You Are Coming from Elsewhere)

But even outside of formal education, find ways to keep current and expand your base of knowledge—take noncredit or audit classes, enroll in professional development or special training courses, or just do a lot of reading in your fields of interest. The more defeated you allow yourself to feel, the more defeatist this experience will be.

Every day, do something to find a job, and do it with the mind-set that it is not a futile undertaking but an adventure, a chance to learn and explore.

Jesse Lee Peterson SAVAGE Moments! Part 44

Along the way, remember to put yourself in the shoes of those who will be hiring you. What should make them excited about you? Make a compelling case for yourself, take your life in your own hands, and make this work. Which academic lab has funding, who raised startup capital, which company has just decided to focus on a drug or product highly relevant to your expertise?

This is particularly true for industry jobs, where a company may be hiring multiple people to develop an existing team or project. If the job has been posted by a recruitment agency, the recruiter may be involved in hiring for other companies with similar positions. Make sure you are well prepared by taking the time to research the company or institution and the kind of work they do. Always think of several intelligent questions to ask your interviewer, as many of your questions will be answered during the interview.

If you get an interview, the company or lab is probably already satisfied that you can perform the techniques required for the position unless you lied on your resume — please do not lie on your resume.

How we hire

The most important considerations are teamwork, integrity, a great attitude and being able to adapt. In what situation did you demonstrate grace under pressure? If you are offered a position in the USA, congratulations! However, there are a few more things you need to consider before going ahead.

For an industry job, check Glassdoor or other resources to see the average salary for similar positions. Keep in mind that the salaries also reflect the high cost of living in areas such as Boston or San Francisco! When investigating job opportunities or attending interviews, it is acceptable to enter the USA on a visitor visa or ESTA waiver program. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS takes these laws extremely seriously — never perform any work, paid or otherwise, unless you have the appropriate visa. Most life sciences institutions or companies, except for small startups, will be experienced in this process and most have their own lawyers to deal with visa applications.

Keep in mind that the visa process will take some time.


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A company or university can sometimes apply for premium processing when petitioning the US government for your visa, which will expedite your visa application for an additional fee. However, completing paperwork, scheduling interviews at the US consulate in your home country, and waiting for your completed passport may take weeks or even months. You need to bring plenty of enthusiasm and flexibility to the table when dealing with recruiters or potential employers.

Hiring a foreign national means extra expense and paperwork. Depending on the visa, there may be significant costs to the university or company. Keep in mind that it is illegal for your potential employer to ask you to pay visa filing fees!

Federal Government Employment

Both you and your employer will be in breach of the law if you do this, so never deal with any employer that asks you to cover filing fees in any way or implies that your salary will be reduced to compensate. I have been audited by Homeland Security while working as a postdoc and this is the first question I was asked. The biggest and busiest areas in life science industry are Cambridge, Massachusetts, the California Bay Area, and Seattle.