It's about people, relationships. You are not applying to a company, or website or an institution. You are applying to help a person, a group of people or a community. Remember that when writing your cover letter. Write how your skills and experience can help them.
Here is my job finding experience. Two years into my postdoc, I was ready to obtain a "real" job with "real" pay. I had been in school or training for so long. I had bills to pay. People to take care of. I knew I wanted to return to Toronto to be with my family, so I narrowed down the job search to geography. If you are not limited to any city, you have more options; however, you still need to do step 2.
The next step is to find what you want to do, find an institution that will support the project, and submit a proposal with CV and cover letter. I knew I had either wanted to teach, work for a start-up or work as a research associate in the area of bioinformatics and genomics. I checked a local college's website, found out their bioinformatics curriculum, and wrote to the director about how I could help their program. He called me for an interview and hired me to teach. At the same time, I had contacted my genomics friend who was a PI and he mentioned a new genomics start-up company starting in Toronto. I contacted the CEO, interviewed for them and I also landed the job. Third, I searched for a Toronto hospital bioinformatics lab through pubmed based on research interest, wrote to the PI with a cover letter and CV, gave a talk about my postdoctoral research on molecular profiling and also was given the job. Decide on what you want to do. That is the key, for the passion and desire will show in your contact email and cover letter. Mind you, there have been other jobs I did not receive an interview call for. I was not upset by those, for that meant the "fit" was not there, through the employer's eyes. And that is ok.
Out of the three, I decided on the start-up as it sounded like a great place for me to learn many different aspects of science and business. After many projects later, I wed my husband. We had to live in the same city, but my husband was in a biotech company in Michigan. (He found his company at a conference and just chatted with the CEO.) Our companies both interviewed each of us. My company offered my husband a position and his company offered me a position. We decided to go with the company in Michigan for a few years. Yes, my husband and I worked in the same company, but we made it a policy to not discuss work at home. We were both in bioinformatics, and we did not even want a computer in the house. :)
That's the job story.
Just to reiterate:
It's about people, relationships. You are not applying to a company, or
website or an institution. You are applying to help a person, a group of
people or a community. Remember that when writing your cover letter. Write how your skills and experience can help them.
Also, there are many more resources on the web now, including job opportunities from LinkedIn, internships from Mitacs and other bioscience career recruiting organizations. Some are: http://pathwaystobiotech.learn.utoronto.ca/
Thanks to a colleague of mine in bringing this article to my attention:
What happened to my job when the babies came along? That will be another entry.