Get ahead in the jobs market

A guide to helping biomedical science graduates stand out from the crowd in the current jobs market


Work experience

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Work experience in a laboratory is a great way to get experience in your chosen field and to enhance your CV. Laboratory work experience is seen by many 

biomedical science employers as key to securing a trainee position or employment in a lab.

Contact your local hospital training co-ordinator or lab manager about work experience opportunities.

Depending on availability, voluntary positions can be a few weeks or several months. This will give you an opportunity to experience the day to day work of a laboratory and may lead to a more permanent position if you can convince your supervisor of your added value to their department.

Find out more on our Work Experience page


What if I can’t get work experience in a lab?

If you are unable to get work experience in a laboratory, take the opportunity to gain some experience of other kinds of work. It will show potential employers that you have a strong work ethic and have gained transferable skills that would be valuable in a laboratory. 

You can use work experience outside a laboratory to highlight your communication, organisational and problem-solving skills, as well as your ability take the initiative to and work in a team.

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Join a professional body 

Joining a professional body is a great way to show commitment to and interest in your subject. Joining the Institute of Biomedical Science will help demonstrate your passion for the profession. 

Join the IBMS 


Get volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to expand your skill set and enhance your CV.

If you can’t find work experience in a lab volunteer in the wider healthcare community. It’s an excellent way of gaining experience in a healthcare setting and getting a feel for how different parts of the healthcare system work.

Look for healthcare volunteering opportunities through the Royal Voluntary Service website. You will sometimes find voluntary roles listed on NHS Jobs and your local NHS Trust volunteer coordinator or HR department will be able to advise you of any local voluntary roles. You can also find local volunteering opportunities through Do it! and Volunteering England.


Get started with CPD

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Getting started with CPD will help you stand out when it comes to job hunting. Employers will appreciate your proactive approach to the life-long learning essential for healthcare professionals.

You can use the IBMS CPD ePortfolio to reflect on your course work, undertake Journal Based Learning (JBL), keep a record of any presentations you give and scientific events you organise and attend. All these activities will count towards the award of a CPD diploma.

Taking online courses in areas that will add value to your CV. If you can’t find a lab specific course in training, health and safety or quality, IT and other relevant online courses will help you stand out. 


Get involved with public engagement

Public engagement is central to inspiring and involving the public with science. Getting involved with public engagement work will develop your transferable skills and demonstrate your enthusiasm for your subject. It can also be a lot of fun!

STEM promotion is a great way to improve your employability, and many other transferable skills – communication, planning, organising, teaching, mentoring, and social skills in general.


Attend relevant events

Whether it’s attending scientific societies’ events at University, IBMS region and branch discussion groups or Congress, scientific and healthcare events offer opportunities to network and show enthusiasm for your subject. 

Attend the free exhibition at IBMS Congress, where the top diagnostics companies will have stands. Take a CV or dozen to offer to people. Take people’s names; ask if you can visit their lab. You have to get out and network.


Get a recommendation

If you have a good working relationship with your University tutors, a letter of recommendation can give you a competitive edge when it comes to a job application and can help you get an interview.You could also ask your tutor to be a referee included on your CV.

For more information on CV writing visit our CV guide