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You Don't Have to Be a Scientist to Have a Life Sciences Career

March 12th, 2020

career ladders

Curious about a career in the life sciences industry, but you’re not a scientist? Don’t let that discourage you. Pharmaceutical companies have thousands of jobs in a variety of areas that don’t require biology or other science background.

The challenge for new entrants is that recruiters look for great talent with relevant experience. Whether you’re a recent or upcoming grad or a mid-career professional wanting to change industries, it’s up to you to show how your background and the experience you have is relevant. That means showing how your skills are transferable.

For example, an accountant who helped develop sales projections for a new product or territory may be able to demonstrate how the research and analysis that went into the report applies in the pharmaceutical world. A marketer with lead generation experience should explain how that can help the company expand sales.

Biospace has a primer on using skills and experience in other jobs to open career opportunities in the life sciences sector. The advice is basic, yet what it lacks in specifics it makes up for in providing direction.

For starters, Biospace counsels to “Get clear on what your transferable skills are.” As commonsense as that is, so many job seekers will start by simply updating an existing resume.


First become knowledgeable about the skills important to life sciences and pharmaceutical firms. Inventory the skills you’ve developed and your experience, listing those most relevant and transferable.

“Some suggestions to consider,” says the article, ”Are research, analysis, data analysis, problem solving, communication, time management, communication (written and verbal), planning, strategizing, team management, project management, presenting, conflict resolution, collaboration and training.”

Then “Come up with examples from your past job roles and duties.” Finally, “Include accomplishments that emphasize the transferable skills.”

Now you’re ready to revise your resume to highlight those skills and show how they will benefit the company.

Tags: resumes

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