After having spent years in the academic world in pursuit of the Ph.D., many find it problematic to find employment as research bioscientists. Statistically, the odds of finding employment in the field are daunting as "only between 7% and 14% of postdoctoral researchers will achieve full academic career and secure a tenured position." A quick check at the availability of jobs and salaries wouldn't make anyone overly optimistic. The most heavily weighted positions cluster around the $30,000 range, hardly enough to pay for one's education. Narrowing down the field by pumping in "bioscientist researcher" into the equation, only 120 companies are currently accepting applications.
Yes, there are a wide-reaching variety of jobs available, but if you want to gain employment in the field of bioscience where you envision yourself to be, a number of resources can help. Sarah Blackford had drawn together "the information, tools and resources which will assist you with your career planning." Blackford does admit that "much of the information in the book is generic." Obviously when looking at the main text of the book, anyone seeking employment would benefit from the material. Career planning, introspection, examining the job market, personal and professional development, the application process, developing one curriculam vitae and résumé, preparing for the interview, and brainstorming what to do prior to beginning a job search is a no-brainer.
There are numerous, informative sidebars interspersed throughout the book in the form of figures and tables. A few I found to be rather simplistic. For example, one box contains the definitions of words and terms such as research bioscientist, doctoral student, postdoctoral researcher, career planning, and employability. I really didn't know what to make of this as the intended audience would be doctoral and postdoctoral job seekers. I simply dismissed it as filler material, poorly chosen material. Once again the sidebar with the "sixteen personality preferences derived from the MBTI" was interesting to look at, but I would expect that the employer would have more use of this sort of material than their prospective employees. Properly chosen sidebars would have strengthened this material, but instead weakened it.
It wasn't until the appendices that the information any research bioscientist would find of value kicks in. Appendix 1 has an excellent selection of career narratives, each divided into sections that lay out career facts (job description, background), career factors, followed by commentary. Career-based narratives include ones from academia, industry, science communication, specialist and technical administration, and non-science. Appendix 2, although brief, expounds upon the value of online social media resources such as blogs (includes "free/cheap image" website resources), Twitter, Facbook, LinkedIn, and some commentary on social media snippets.
Sample CVs, followed by analysis of each one in Appendix 3, is perhaps the strongest facet of this book. The CVs are structured in response to job advertisement for a postdoctoral research scientist (research institute), scientific officer (research institute), communications manager (European science organization), trainee chartered accountant (international accounting firm), assistant professor, nutrition department (university), and an assistant professor, nutrition department (university). Keep in mind that the material is written primarily with a European bias, but is totally adaptable. There is only one example of a cover letter. Appendix 4 is an excellent listing of doctoral and postdoctoral support organisations, women in science support, and numerous informative website resources to explore. In addition to the appendices the backmatter contains an index, and additional recommended reading matter.