Depending on how committed you are to a particular area of research there
are a few things to try.
If you are very clear about what you want to work on, go to the library and
search for the last couple of years of papers. For any that come from
interesting companies, phone the senior author, express interest in her/his
work, and inquire about job possibilities. Trying to stay in a narrow
research area will limit your options in industry pretty severely. For the
most part companies are looking for very good scientists who can be
flexible with the changing needs of the company.
If your interests are a little more widespread again go to the library but
look for interesting papers originating from companies you might have some
interest in--or even target a search if you know you'd like to approach a
certain company. Again get on the phone to the senior author and talk about
science. Following up any contact with a personal thankyou letter is always
a good idea.
Mailing CV's to personnel offices is 99+% a waste of time, and there is
really no reason to do it. Mailing to CEO's (small companies) or to the VP
Research (larger companies) is probably 95% a waste of time, but probably
your best approach if you cannot identify an individual to target.
The idea is to try to sell yourself to a person in the targetted
organization who can function as a "champion" for your application. It's
the most effective way I know to stand out from the crowd. That said, it is
critical to have done your homework on the target organization--read both
their science papers (carefully!) and their most recent annual report. Your
best target is a group leader or other senior scientist and you want them
to hang up the phone thinking "gee, that person would be great to have
around here!--now where can I find a headcount slot??"
The same approach can be taken to an academic search, but there your mentor
should play a much more active role in helping to identify and set up
Getting a job is personal one-on-one selling, with yourself and your
accomplishments as the product. Getting to the right people is half the
battle and an internet post is certainly one good approach to finding the
contacts. The library is another very good one.
Good luck!--and sorry, my group doesn't do immunology.
rcwieg at ccmail.monsanto.com