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Navigating the life sciences job market: Five job boards making your life easier

After a couple of challenging years for biotech, the industry is poised for recovery and companies will open new job opportunities on the market. But how to navigate these possibilities efficiently? While major global platforms, such as Indeed cannot be overlooked, life sciences-specific job boards might be the most effective way to find opportunities in this very specialized industry. Job search is a key step in the process of getting your dream job. In this article, we are taking a look at five life sciences job boards to help you find your next professional opportunity.

To help us make sense of the different job boards available, we asked Amber Penrose, founder of Moxee Search, a U.K.-based biotech recruitment firm

Penrose strongly believes in specialized job boards and thinks the setback of traditional job boards is that they can easily get overcrowded, making it tough for candidates to get noticed and for employers to spot the right talent among tons of applications. “This overcrowding also means less interaction and concerns over privacy, with little control over who sees the job listings,” she said. This is where life sciences job boards come in:

Table of contents

    BioPharmGuy

    BioPharmGuy is a resource aggregator putting together various data related to the biotech industry: company listings by geographical area as well as drug pipeline information to name a few.

    It’s not a job board per se, but for smart job seekers, it can become a valuable resource to hunt for opportunities.

    While BioPharmGuy’s database is slightly rough and doesn’t offer a lot of sorting options, its focus on entry-level jobs could make it the right choice for you. Although Biopharmguy provides listings of companies outside of the U.S., the entry-level job opportunities it features are mostly located there. 

    In Penrose’s opinion, “BioPharmGuy.com steps in as a neat solution by pointing directly to biotech company career pages. This move cuts down on competition by skipping over jam-packed platforms like Indeed. It’s a smart way for candidates to find opportunities that aren’t as visible but are definitely there.”

    BioSpace

    In addition to its job search features, BioSpace publishes news about the healthcare industry industry.

    Biospace lists more than 4,000 jobs at the time of this writing with precise research filters. You can use multiple filters such as organization type or industry. Although BioSpace covers a wide range of professional opportunities, it mainly focuses on the U.S. with very few opportunities in other job markets. There is also a diversity in the level of education and experience required for the jobs listed on the website, from high school diploma to PhD.

    The website also offers useful resources to steer your career in the right direction, such as professional tips or company profiles. This makes BioSpace one of the unavoidable life sciences job boards if you’re looking for your next position in the industry.

    NewScientist

    As its name implies, NewScientist Jobs focuses on a scientific range of job opportunities. You will find fewer business positions than on other job boards. This job board is not solely directed towards life sciences professionals but job seekers with strong and specific scientific backgrounds. While the range of disciplines goes from mathematics to physics there is of course a category dedicated to life science which you can further refine into your precise area of expertise, such as oncology, drug discovery, or animal health to only name a few.

    Another important thing to note about NewScientist is that even though it features jobs in the U.S. it also has an equally significant amount of options in Europe and other areas in the world.

    Like many other job boards, NewScientist puts forward career-related editorial content either looking at the job market and giving tips or presenting a job in the industry. This makes it a reliable option for candidates with strong and specialized scientific backgrounds looking for high-end positions in the industry.

    PharmiWeb

    PharmiWeb has a broad focus on the life science industry and job listings you find on its platform are similar to BioSpace’s. The difference between the two is the geographical focus. Indeed, if you are based in Europe, PharmiWeb jobs might be a better option for you.

    Like most specialized job boards, PharmiWeb allows you to narrow down to a precise discipline and level of experience to find all relevant opportunities. However, it is important to note that while there are still entry-level jobs and post-graduate positions featured on the platform there are much more roles requiring experience listed.

    PharmiWeb does not focus on a particular category of talent as the roles listed can go from sales and communication to clinical research or R&D. This website remains a strong option to have a global view of the life science job possibilities in Europe particularly.

    Science Careers

    Science Careers is the most specific job board on this list. It also lists fewer opportunities than the other options, but if you have a very specific profile, it might be the way to go for you. Its formula is similar to NewScientist’s with a stronger focus on life sciences. Directly on its home page, Science Careers allows you to browse through very specific disciplines such as bioinformatics, neurology, or genomics.

    It doesn’t have a specific geographical focus and like New Scientist, its listings are as interesting for job seekers located in the U.S. and Europe. Options are also available in Asia or the Middle East. This job board aggregates a significant amount of positions in universities and academic structures with a particular focus on scientific research.

    Science Careers also developed a series of editorial content in 2021 giving career advice. However, since no new content has been updated since that time it isn’t the website’s priority.

    “Life sciences job boards offer a more customized experience compared to the big, general job boards. They zero in on niche markets, helping job seekers find roles that are a better match and giving them access to resources specific to their industry. This focus means less competition and a higher chance of finding the right candidates,” said Penrose.

    Although job boards should be a key tool in your job search, it is important not to rely too much on them. It might come as an evident statement but using various strategies to scout for opportunities is the best way to make sure you don’t miss the job that will drive your career in the direction you want. While it is not a job board in the traditional sense, LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools to create a network in a specific industry. Maintaining a dynamic online image on such networks can attract opportunities.

    Amber Penrose also mentions that talent marketplaces are stepping up the game on the side of recruiters: “Using AI to better match job seekers with openings boosts engagement, getting into talent marketplaces can make things run smoother and connect you with the right talent pools, making for a more cost-effective way to recruit. Despite the effort needed to keep a curated selection of jobs, the advantages these platforms offer usually make it worth the trouble.”

    While life science job boards will certainly give a clearer image of the market than general job boards, it is still too broad to be the only tool in your job search. “Finding success in job hunting and recruiting in the life sciences is all about using a mix of strategies: the wide reach of general job boards combined with the detailed focus of niche sites and the smart matching of talent marketplaces,” said Penrose.