Help! Woman losing faith part II

Beth Shuster eoshuster at UCDAVIS.EDU
Wed Apr 17 16:12:41 EST 1996

On  Mon, 15 Apr 1996 23:14:31 -0700, David Niz <doniz at> wrote:

 - snip ---
>She wants to go into bio research but has been
>unable to find a job in the bay area as of yet.  She is currently sending
>out resumes but she is encountering some resistance to even responses.
>        Does anybody have any suggestions on how she may reduce her
>frustration?  Are more aggressive techniques required? If so, what
>exactly are they?


  Unsolicited resumes sent to Human Resource Departments are likely to end
up in a big stack in a filing cabinet, unless you get lucky enough to send
one in just as they are looking for someone with your exact qualifications.
A generic cover letter often doesn't let a company know why you would be a
perfect fit for THEM.    My husband has been working in biotech for 12
years (first in the Bay Area & now in Davis), & his advice has always been
to do some research on the company, tailor the cover letter to explain how
the qualifications outlined on your resume make you particularly suited for
that company & also send a resume to a specific scientific contact in
addition to human resources.  Note that for a large company, you may want
to identify several different areas where you believe you could fit in.

  Another piece of advice would be to religously search the job ads the San
Francisco Chronicle/Examiner.  You'd be surprised how many companies
advertise in the local papers (especially in the Bay Area, which has a
large skilled labor pool to draw on).  This may be in addition to (or
instead of) the major scientific publications like in Science & Nature
(although I would search these as well).  When responding to an ad, the
cover letter should mention the ad, any job # given and again include a
statement of why you would be particularly well sutied for that particular

  Your friend might also consider looking at academic labs to gain
experience.  Here again, a well written cover letter, altered slightly to
fit each lab, will help a lot.  Yes, it's a lot more work, but if it gets
her a job, it's worth it!

  Happy hunting.


Beth Shuster
Dept. of Viticulture & Enology       phone: (916) 752-8035
Univ. of California                  fax:   (916) 752-0382
Davis, CA  95616-8598                e-mail: eoshuster at

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