Why can't I find a job with my biochemistry bachelor's degree in Seattle, WA (grad school is most certainly on the agenda, but not for another couple of years)? What other options should I explore, and how do I go about it?
Possibly unnecessary details:
I think my resume looks quite good for a recent (May) BA graduate: I have almost two years of academic molecular biology research under my belt (a year as a lab assistant, a year and a half doing research at a private research university in Houston, TX), I've won grants and trained other lab workers and all that is noted on my resume. I have also listed two other jobs (web developer, legal assistant) under a "positions held to finance education" section.
I've applied to 30-40 jobs (mostly entry-level academic research positions at the local U, institutes, and hospitals but also a few production jobs) and I've been called back for an interview once
. I thought the interview went very well, but I never heard from them again.
I've also submitted my resume and interviewed with a biotech recruitment agency, but they've only sent my applications to two jobs over the last three months, and in both cases the company selected candidates with a year of production experience.
The people I've had look over my resume say it looks good. My cover letter, I think, is also quite decent—and I tailor it to each job I apply—so I don't think that's the problem.
I have a very, very long foreign name (I graduated from high school and college in the USA) that most people can't pronounce. Everyone I've asked so far doesn't think that it's an issue in the sciences. If it matters, I'm a white woman, but my name does not give that away.
Is there anything I should be doing that I am not?
What about getting an internship after graduating, or even doing unpaid work at a lab for the experience? None of these would be advertised, so can I directly solicit labs for something like that (I have no connections in this city either)? How awkward and unusual would it be coming from a someone with a degree?
Alternatively, I would love to do lab or quality control work in a local or nearby brewery or winery, but very few such positions ever come up. Can I directly approach companies with my resume, and how would I best do that?
Thanks, hivemind. Not having a job is driving me crazy.
Throwaway email: email@example.com
Anonymous because I don't want my entire employment history linked to my name.