This spring, at the NPA Annual Meeting, I recall Randy Riboudo telling a packed room full of PhD’s and Postdocs that there are traits that employers give you full credit for, and those they worry about when it comes to highly trained technical people.
Don’t worry about selling your technical skills, your intelligence, and your problem solving abilities, Randy intoned. Employers take one look at your resume and assume you have those.
What they want to know is, can you work together with others, can you influence others, can you negotiate in the context of a long term relationship? They are concerned about whether strong, independent bench scientists can work in teams.
Clearly, these are questions that you need to address in your interviews and resume presentations. You need to have evidence that shows you are comfortable in a close interactive environment.
Having heard these arguments over the years, we at Bio Careers have been thinking of ways to quickly show employers that our talented community does have strong teamwork skills. One thought is to implement a voluntary Teamwork personality test.
Interested Jobseekers would take this online test, which measures their capacity for cooperation, self-confidence, patience, conscientiousness, and managerial capability—all elements essential to strong teamwork. Jobseekers would then review their results (shown as a percentile score) and decide whether they’d like them, and the test report, to be a part of their profile presented to employers.
My hope is that we can show some good, high rankings to allay the fears of employers.
What do you think about this idea? What would your concerns be? How could we improve our idea?