During his career in the pharmaceutical industry, Jim Richman often recruited scientists. Job openings always attracted a bounty of talented people. But finding applicants with the complete package of scientific excellence and social savvy could prove challenging. "I did see a lot of green folks come in with PhDs and postdocs who had no sense of what corporate life was all about," says Richman, now an executive coach and trainer. "If I gave them advice it was that you can never do enough training around your overall communication skills. It really adds tremendous value back to you."

In today's competitive job market, those valued communication skills may make the difference between employment and unemployment. Institutions and companies searching for the best researchers look beyond science credentials to the other skills candidates can bring to the table. "The most successful scientist is the one that knows [his or her] science in...

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