Forum:Resume building projects to break into bioinformatics?
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9 days ago
DdogBoss ▴ 20

I am looking to get into bioinformatics, but am having a hard time getting hired. I find that employers prefer people who have a computational degree (computer science, data science, etc) relative to people who have a life science degree with computational experience.

I fall into the latter group. I have a BS in biochemistry and picked up programming skills along the way to even land some publications. I thought about investing time and money into a certificate, but am not sure employers will be convinced of technical capability.

For context, most of my experience comes from building databases and genomic analysis pipelines and everything that comes along with it: data cleaning and preparation, standardization, working with various file formats, etc.

What are some projects that one could do to showcase value? Thanks in advance.

job-hunting career-change • 230 views
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9 days ago
BioinfGuru ★ 1.9k

Great question!

First of all, I also have the same background, and I took a career break for around 6 years in another unrelated industry. I'm now trying to get back in also. If you have done a few applications and interviews, then you are further along than me.

I think before a reasonable plan can be formulated, it will be important to get feedback from the places that have rejected you, otherwise you are just randomly selecting (and paying for) courses without evidence of necessity. You said, "I am having a hard time getting hired".... have you got feedback from interviews... are you making it to interview... have you been able to spot what is missing from your resume in each of the jobs you have applied to? Is there a common theme?

As regarding, "not sure employers will be convinced of technical capability.". I suggest the following: One year ago I got in contact with a RANDOM university professor, offering to analyse their NGS data in my own free time voluntarily. It has helped me regain/expand my skills...and is now a reference I can use. I also created my LinkedIn profile. This week I was contacted by a recruiter to set up an interview as a data curator with big-pharma. So things are moving slowly, but they are moving.

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I like the idea of reaching out to random professors and offering to analyze their data, and this sort of freelancing is probably more reliable than Upwork.

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