Where can I look for relevant jobs?
Understanding Graduate Schemes
Graduate schemes are not the only route to a graduate job! Most Bioscience graduates find graduate level work outside of graduate schemes. There isn’t a strict definition, but graduate schemes tend to be defined by the following criteria:
- Operated by large organisations e.g. Civil Service, NHS, PwC, GSK., Deloitte, EON………
- Fixed term – usually 18 months – 2 years. Most people are offered permanent jobs with the organisation at the end of the fixed term. These are jobs with some additional study/support elements. Many operate a rotational system so that graduates spend some time working in different departments.
- Well paid – they usually have better pay and benefits than other graduate options.
- Competitive – when you hear in the media c.80 people applying for every graduate job, it’s generally graduate schemes they are talking about. Some organisations set entry requirements of 2.1 or above and some set UCAS requirements. There is also usually a long recruitment process.
- Timeline – most (but not all) are open for applications in autumn and many (but not all) close by December.
- You’re unlikely to find many graduate schemes specifically mentioning Biological Science/Environmental. Some will mention a preference for graduates from Science subjects and many are open to graduates of any degree discipline.
Strategies for finding graduate jobs
Know the employers that work in Science!
In the New Scientist 2015 Careers guide 5800 Scientist were surveyed. One of the questions asked was ‘How employers in Science recruit candidates’ and the findings in order of preference were:
Company website – the most popular method to recruit (so you need to know who the employers are!)
Online job boards – very popular (so you need to know these websites, ie newscientist, naturejobs, srg (this will also include recruitment agencies)
LinkedIn – so you need to have a good LinkedIn profile set up and joined groups of interest
Trade Publications - member of a professional body?
Social media – twitter etc.
Graduate milk round (minimal recruitment) - minimal recruitment!!
So Science companies and recruiters prefer graduates to find them! – your research skills and awareness of the sectors is of paramount importance in your job search. Use the information below to help you with this research.
Tip; get registered for alerts in your area of interest (Science, FMCG, Research etc).
If your alerts and jobs that you are emailed are for graduates remember that the employers will also most likely consider placement students – make that approach which is very normal within Science, remember as advised most organisations will take on students but not advertise!
Some websites to register with
• Indeed is also proving to be a very solid job searching site. (Play with you searches – Lab jobs, Science jobs etc)
Job boards and agencies
• Science Communication email newsletter - register to receive alerts about jobs and events
Your online presence
Create a Professional Linkedin profile and join relevant groups (there are a host of groups which are relevant to Science undergraduates), from there you can start to approach individuals and Queen’s Alumni who are working in areas you are interested in, there are a lot of online resources available to help your research getting started on Linkedin. See also our 8 tips for creating a professional online presence and developing your network online.
Register with specialist recruitment agencies
There are a number of specialist recruitment agencies working in Science.
Queen’s have a good working relationship with SRG who are the UK’s leading specialist Science recruitment agency. They as with most agencies work on both permanent and temporary positions. Temporary roles can be a great way to build experience and get your foot in the door.
Ensure you register with the agency, not all roles will be advertised at any one time on their website. SRG have set up an email address for any QUB graduates to contact them - firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Ireland- Agencies that work on the NICS contract include:
- CPL Ireland’s leading agency in this space, two consultants you can contact are - email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
- Life Science jobs Ireland
- RFT Group Ireland
- Kent careers service list of science recruitment agencies - this is an extensive list but will bring you to lots of agencies and lots of jobs……………
Tips when working with agencies
- Focus on registering with a small number initially, if you do not receive contact in relation to positions get feedback
- Find agencies who work with different companies, potentially giving you exposure to lots of different jobs
- Check that the agency is a member of the REC.
- Check that the agency deals with employers in your preferred area (remember you can also register for temporary work which may be in an unrelated area, admin, customer service)
- When registering, it is important to make a good impression, so prepare as if you were being interviewed for a job to ensure that the recruitment consultant takes you seriously
- Build a relationship with your consultant and keep in touch to remind them about your skills, abilities and goals, so they represent you accurately.
- If you are not happy with the agency representing you, you can ask them to remove you from their books and not to act for you
- The Consultant’s main client is the employer and not you.