Recruiter's Inbox

September 7, 2011

How to find recruiters in specific fields

Q: I just moved to the Seattle/Tacoma area from Kansas City, Mo. I have noticed that a lot of the recruiters on LinkedIn are business-related, and I am more in the sciences (specifically, microbiology). I tried to filter for HR reps, but once again got more administrative, IT and accounting recruiters. Do you have any suggestions on how I can filter my search better?
— T.N., Seattle

Kristen says: You’ve made a good start by using LinkedIn as a search tool. There are several ways to narrow the focus of your search.

Create a list of organizations or companies that would have the kinds of positions you are interested in. I would start with the University of Washington’s microbiology department. Use its website not only to look for specific jobs, but also to get an idea of research projects and partnerships that may yield both organizations and the names of decision makers you can contact via LinkedIn.

North Seattle is a large biotech cradle, and many companies can be found on, an industry portal that includes job listings. You might also check out where investors are putting their money; their portfolios usually have links to startups that are hiring. has a good list of Seattle-area venture-capital firms and their areas of specialization.

Visit the Clinical Connection website to see what clinical trials are being conducted in the area, and add those organizations to your target list. Medical research and pharmaceutical organizations such as ZymoGenetics, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, University of Washington Medical Center, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Amgen are all good places to look for jobs. A number of independent labs support the medical and life sciences industries.

If you are looking for something shorter term, go to a job board such as to find out what temporary firms are hiring for biology positions. Several of the larger staffing companies, such as Kelly Scientific and NuWest Lab Temps, have science divisions.

Once you’ve compiled your list of target companies, cross-reference them on LinkedIn using the Advanced Search feature (on the blue navigation bar) and entering the keyword or title “recruit.”

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Kristen Fife Kristen Fife is a recruiter, resume consultant, and employment expert based in the greater Seattle area.

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