Dear Molly Cule

Professor Molly Cule is delighted to receive comments on her answers and (anonymized) questions at mollycule@biophysics.org, or visit her on the BPS Blog.

“I am attending the BPS Annual Meeting and am newly in the job market. How can I make the most of the Meeting to assist with my job search?”

Many different resources are available during every Annual Meeting. These are listed in the online program schedule before the Meeting even takes place and at the beginning of the program book given out at the registration desk. Some of the events require signing up ahead of time so it’s a good idea to know which sessions you want to attend before you get there. The online program can be viewed here: www.biophysics.org/2014meeting/Program/

The Career Center workshops cover many different topics including networking (Networking Now: How to Maximize Success at BPS 2014), how to interview (Ten Tough Industrial Interview Questions and Ten Pretty Good Responses, Selling Yourself to the Life Sciences Industry) and career opportunities outside of academia that capitalize on your scientific background (Beyond the Bench: Preparing for Your Career Transition in the Life Sciences).

Having a well written CV is crucial for any job search, so take advantage of the expert advice available during the meeting. At the Career Center, you can sign up for one-on-one sessions with an executive coach and a contract recruiter. Both have extensive experience with the hiring end of the equation and will help you improve your CV. These sessions fill up quickly, so sign up early and don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your CV with you.

You can also use the Job Board, available every year in the Career Center. Simply upload your CV so that employers can take a look, both onsite during the Meeting and online afterwards.

At the Meeting, the Career Center posts many job opportunities on the job board, organized by postdoc, faculty, and industry positions. Post your CV early so that interested employers will know you are available! www.biophysics.org/2014meeting/CareerCenter/OnsiteJobBoard/tabid/4306/Default.aspx

If you are interested in a faculty position, sign up for the Postdoc to Faculty Q&A: Transitions Forum and Luncheon. Sit in with faculty who have gone through the process of getting a position and ask them any questions you might have. The luncheon is limited in size (sign up early!) and the smaller size makes it easy to have useful and in-depth discussions. You may also want to attend the Career Opportunities at PUIs: Finding a Job and Finding Success session for advice on obtaining a faculty position.

Start perusing the career sessions to see what is being offered this year. For example, the Early Careers Committee is organizing two panels this year highlighting PhD Careers Beyond the Bench and Moving on from Your Postdoc Position. The goal of the Early Careers Committee is to help people like you, in the early stages of their careers. Use them as a resource year-round.

I’ve tried to highlight in this limited space just a few of the resources available to you at the Meeting, but remember that one of the best ways to make the most of the Meeting is to talk to the people in your field. Networking will be an important aspect to your entire career, not just when you are looking for a job. Walk up to the leaders in your field and introduce yourself. Ask a question. Start a discussion with them. The Annual Meeting brings all those people to within easy walking distance. Take advantage of it!