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Topic: Chemistry Student Seeking Pointers on Obtaining Employment  (Read 450 times)

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Offline franktrail

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Chemistry Student Seeking Pointers on Obtaining Employment
« on: December 09, 2020, 09:45:43 PM »
Hello!

This is my first post here. I figured this forum would be a good place to seek advice on obtaining employment in the chemistry field. So I'll explain my situation.

I have completed 90/120 credits towards a Bachelors in Chemistry. A series of life events resulted in me falling off the educational radar for the past couple years. But I have taken a few classes sporadically. In other words, there's a very large gap in my attendance of school. I am about to return to school in a serious fashion, but I'm unsure how to present my absence from school in a way that will be satisfactory to prospective employers.

In addition to the incompleteness and gap in my education, my work experience isn't particularly relevant to the field of chemistry. It consists solely of positions in the restaurant industry. I do have a couple semesters of experience in an academic research lab. However, I fell out of contact with the professor who runs the lab when I stopped taking classes. I have contacted him somewhat recently, but the nature of our communication strongly suggests he will not provide a reference. How do I get a recruiter or hiring manager look at the 10 years of restaurant history on my resume in way that makes me a viable candidate a position involving chemistry?

I have applied to a number of relevant positions to no avail. I haven't gotten past the phone interview stage for any of these applications. I've even offered to work for free. I'm sure there's much I haven't thought of that could benefit me in my goal to get a chemistry-related job.

I would be very appreciative of any input on how I can begin getting professional experience related to my academic major.

Thanks for your time.

Offline Mitch

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Re: Chemistry Student Seeking Pointers on Obtaining Employment
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2020, 09:44:39 AM »
If you're going back to school to finish your degree that would be the right time to spend considerable effort networking with your professors to help land a job in the field. Even with a perfect attendance record it can be difficult to get that first job, also consider reaching out to local recruiters that specialize in placing recent grads with little experience into their first job.
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Offline jeffmoonchop

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Re: Chemistry Student Seeking Pointers on Obtaining Employment
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2020, 11:44:52 AM »
Join LinkedIn and update your profile. Then you can start connecting with people, send introductory messages to people who may be the hiring manager for a job you want. If you can get replies from them, you will automatically become more memorable, and more likely they look for your application and read it more carefully. Dont let the first message you send to them be I'm looking for a job, they will ignore you. But tell them you're interested in the work they do and try to add some value or ask a specific question related to their expertise. People love to talk about their work. In the point of view of the hiring manager for entry level jobs, sometimes who they hire comes down to who do I like, and would I enjoy working with them. This is because most of what you'll be doing for the first 3-6 months is training.

Offline billnotgatez

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Re: Chemistry Student Seeking Pointers on Obtaining Employment
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2020, 11:58:06 AM »
It all depends on who you have to compete against and what the job market is like at the time. Networking is a good way to get considered on more than just your resume.

Offline franktrail

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Re: Chemistry Student Seeking Pointers on Obtaining Employment
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2020, 04:11:50 PM »
If you're going back to school to finish your degree that would be the right time to spend considerable effort networking with your professors to help land a job in the field. Even with a perfect attendance record it can be difficult to get that first job, also consider reaching out to local recruiters that specialize in placing recent grads with little experience into their first job.

Thank you. These are both good ideas. I didn't think of the specialized recruiters or that they even exist.

Offline franktrail

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Re: Chemistry Student Seeking Pointers on Obtaining Employment
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2020, 04:17:18 PM »
Join LinkedIn and update your profile. Then you can start connecting with people, send introductory messages to people who may be the hiring manager for a job you want. If you can get replies from them, you will automatically become more memorable, and more likely they look for your application and read it more carefully. Dont let the first message you send to them be I'm looking for a job, they will ignore you. But tell them you're interested in the work they do and try to add some value or ask a specific question related to their expertise. People love to talk about their work. In the point of view of the hiring manager for entry level jobs, sometimes who they hire comes down to who do I like, and would I enjoy working with them. This is because most of what you'll be doing for the first 3-6 months is training.

LinkedIn thing done. Just have to start actually using it to network, which is something I haven't really done yet.

The approach you brought up sounds like a good idea, and I'll give it a go (many go's). I have taken the "I'm looking for a job" approach. Exactly what you said, ignored.

Offline franktrail

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Re: Chemistry Student Seeking Pointers on Obtaining Employment
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2020, 04:20:47 PM »
It all depends on who you have to compete against and what the job market is like at the time. Networking is a good way to get considered on more than just your resume.

Ah, yes, there's almost always someone more qualified. And in my case it seems truer than in many other cases.

edit:

I do think you're right though. The networking, which all of you have brought up, is a good way to get considered outside just a resume. It'll hopefully be my way around the qualification barrier while I'm finishing up my degree.

Offline jeffmoonchop

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Re: Chemistry Student Seeking Pointers on Obtaining Employment
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2020, 05:14:40 PM »
Networking can take time, don't give up if you done get a response in the first few tries. You should constantly network, a lot of people don't see results for 6-12 months.

Offline franktrail

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Re: Chemistry Student Seeking Pointers on Obtaining Employment
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2020, 10:05:48 PM »
Networking can take time, don't give up if you done get a response in the first few tries. You should constantly network, a lot of people don't see results for 6-12 months.

So don't take it personally and keep going, right?

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