Spring, when a young chemist’s fancy turns to... employ- ment. This is the time of year when large numbers of students finish their formal education and move on to the next stage of their careers. Most graduates are looking for permanent employment, but many don’t have a firm offer yet. If you are in this situation, you are not alone. But the good news is that, while the job market is tighter than it has been, almost 90% of last year’s graduates who majored in chemistry were employed or enrolled in a graduate program by the following October ( http://cen.acs.org/articles/89/i45/ Anemic-Recovery-Restrains-Hiring.html). Your college education and experiences have prepared you well, even if you’re not entirely sure of the direction you want o follow once you graduate. There are many things you can do to make yourself even more attractive to potential employers, and many places you can look for employment opportunities. Now is the time to be proactive, promote your accomplishments, and find the right job for you. By preparing a stellar résumé, using your network, and being flexible about your career objec- tives, you can maximize your chances of a successful job search.
Strategies for Finding Employment
a;Job.;What Should I Do?
in a Tough Job Market
BY LISA M. BALBES
A great way to start is by identifying your strengths. Write down
all the skills you have acquired throughout your education in
chemistry. Technical skills are easy to identify— NMR spectroscopy,
chromatography, computer simulations, titrations, and so on. Consider
not only your classes, but also paid or unpaid internships, and any time
you spent in a lab. But don’t forget to identify your nontechnical or
“soft” skills: communication (oral and written), problem solving, leadership, and so on. These skills are becoming increasingly important, and if
you have specific accomplishments that demonstrate such capabilities,
you will be ahead of the crowd.
Next, showcase those skills in a résumé that is a professional, accurate,
error-free, and powerful tool for marketing what you have to sell— yourself! It should contain your professional contact information, education,
employment history, and significant accomplishments (presented quantitatively where possible) that showcase those skills.
inChemistry • www.acs.org/undergrad