Job Search



The Worst Interview Question of All: “What’s Your Greatest Weakness?”

If you’ve ever been interviewed for a job, you’ve likely been asked this question.  Even though we all hate it, it’s important that we know how to answer it well.  Of course, it’s never a good idea to name a weakness that would be detrimental to our job-worthiness, but it’s just ...



3 tips for a successful job search for a Ph.D.

We are our own inner architects. As a PhD, it is not hard to understand an equilateral triangle base is the least requirement for a stable frame, and the broader that triangle is, the higher the building could be.  Skill, Interest and Value are the three sides of triangle, which are necessary f...



Foreign postdocs at the NIH

During my first meeting with the planning committee for the 2011 NIH Career Symposium, I learned that more than 60% of the postdoc fellows at the NIH are non-US citizens or residents. Briefly judging from the accents heard around the room that day, I estimated that possibly 75% of the planning commi...



Life Science Scientists Use Recruiters to Get Off the Bench

It’s almost always going to be to your advantage to use a recruiter from the beginning in your job search—especially if you are making a significant career transition. Why? Because the right recruiter is going to be a valuable part of your network, a vital resource for insider company informat...



From Beijing to Washington: dream and reality

“Hi, my name is Serena, nice to meet you!” I feel this was a kind of introduction of myself a long time ago, which sounds formal and exotic to me.  “Oh, nice to meet you! What is your Chinese name? My name is Richard.” “My Chinese name is Xiao-Li. Sorry if it is hard to pronounce, jus...



Interviewing Skills for a Scientist

The key to a successful job interview is to apply the same analytic skills process as you do for your research.  A potential employer is interested in your broader expertise – excellent writing and communication skills, leadership skills (ability to create a vision and set goals), and project...


Focus on the National Interest Waiver

Between the 2 prevalent fast-track categories for scientists, the EB2 National Interest Waiver/NIW is often the "easier" one to prove.   There are strategic reasons for why a foreign national may need to file an EB1 (or Extraordinary Alien) case, i.e. if the person is Indian or Chinese where t...



Scientific Networking

The whole concept of networking can be intimidating for people, especially those in scientific or technical fields whose personalities don’t tend to be outgoing (unlike others in, say, sales).  And for many, networking while you’re looking for a new job can feel a lot like asking for a ...



Scientists and social media – are we behind the curve?

In the October 2010 issue of The Scientist, Associate Editor Richard Grants noted in his editorial that “only a fraction of researchers in the UK make frequent use of social media tools.” I suspect that is also the case here in the US.



Don’t Take a Holiday from Your Job Search

Lots of people think that there’s no point to looking for a new job during the holiday season…and they’re busy with their own celebrations with family and friends, so they just take a few weeks off, thinking they’ll come back fresh in the New Year.  Don’t make that mistake. The ho...