What we learned from our first poll . . .  


Dave Jensen
Prominent Maven Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 935
March 25, 2019 4:28 pm  

It's hard to get a firm handle on a poll result when there is only limited participation.  The first poll we had came up when this forum was only days old, but even then, we did have one response stand out.

The question was "What was your biggest surprise when you left your training and went into the job market?" and the clear winner to that poll question was the response of "The amount of competition and how hard it is to stand out."

This is sure true.

Can anyone comment on how they've "stood out" in their job seeking process?


This topic was modified 1 year ago by Dave Jensen

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum

Reputable Colleague Registered
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 397
March 26, 2019 10:45 am  

I have a couple of different examples. One of them being mostly pure luck and the other experience based. 


I did my PhD in Immunology. I got my position through contacting one of the professors that lectured during the course and he remembered me and helped to set up interviews with a few people that were looking to take in a new PhD student. One of the things that made him remember me was that I was the only male in the class in combination with participating in the discussions.


When I got my position with the company that I am working for now the hiring manager later told me that what made me stand out was one of my questions during the interview. He made a statement about the market uptake of the companys products.  I questioned this statement based on my experience from a lot of customer meetings with my previous company. Having had that type of customer interface as an R&D manager is unusual and questioning the hiring manager based on real world experience helped tipping the scales in my favour.

Dave Jensen liked
Honorable Maven Registered
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 619
March 26, 2019 2:22 pm  

One item that has made me stand out has been the way I verbally articulate myself.  Basically communication in the form of "knowing how to say it" and expressing my views clearly and concisely. 

Apart of that is the art of dialog - PG raises a good example of ability to frame up a question and give a value-added view, apart of that is how you say and articulate it. 

Of course experience is important and there are times my experiences did stand out as a primary differentiator but lets face it, in a world of 7 billion people, I'm not unique. 

However - at the transition from academia to industry, for me at least was being to articulate well what I was porting to the table (my value ext.).   My experiences tell me, that communication ability is a very good differentiator and yes many can do it well and one can be suprised on how many don't do it well.  

At the end of the day one will talk about one's experiences, how one work with others, technical skill and so on, all of that fundamentally important,  but express it well.  There can be ways of academic speak that can be very off-putting - be it condesending speech or failing to adjust to the audience in terms of appropriate deployment of techno-babble, or you frame up a question or answer or give an opinion.

And something people struggle with across sectors. I remember as a kid, my father had a book, it was called "how to say it".  It was for managers and basically it had an assembly of all sorts of pre-fabricated sentances and letters linked to employee management depending on situation i.e. praise, critisism, etc. I was my father's at home typing secretary back in the day so I use to do his employees midyear and end of year evaluation, and he and I would sit down and write the employee reviews..he would consult the book and well ...i typed away.   So just the "how to say it" goes a long way on many fronts and aspects.

Anyways - just my two cents based on my experiences -

Dave Jensen liked