Part One: Planning Your Job Search
In today’s pharmaceutical industry, the variety of careers and roles is greater than ever before. But with the number of high quality candidates also increasing, proper preparation of your job search can tip the balance in your favour. Before you begin, put aside the time to think about the type of job you really want and to prepare your own “Job Search Plan”, by following these simple steps.
1. Self Assessment Think about how you see yourself and be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Define what you think you have to offer a prospective employer – look not only at your experience and academic qualifications but also your personality and transferable skills. Identify your achievements in your career to date – if you are new to the job market try to identify achievements in your personal or academic life. If you are looking at a career change, identify those skills, or competencies which can transfer into the new role. Highlight where you think you have a skill deficit for the new job and see if you can start to develop this skill in your current role. Look also at the types of things you really don’t want to do – being honest about this now will prevent career mistakes that may come back to haunt you later!
2. Set your Career and Life Goals Think about where you want to be in the short, medium and long term. Be prepared to take steps in the right direction towards your long-term career objectives – Rome wasn’t built in a day! Don’t concentrate only on your career objectives but also your personal ones – in today’s job market it’s fine to admit to wanting to achieve a balanced life in terms of personal and work commitments.
3. Market Yourself The first step to securing a new job is to gain an interview so use your CV and covering letter as a personal advertisement. Recruiting managers often have to read through a great number of CVs and you will therefore need to ensure that yours stands out in the pile!
- Make sure your CV is easy on the eye and easy to read. Avoid large chunks of text and use bullet points to highlight key skills and achievements.
- Avoid the use of the first person (“I”) and use dynamic, action words to gain the reader’s attention.
- Start with a personal profile – 2 or 3 sentences to describe yourself as a candidate and what you have to offer. It’s worth spending time to get this right – if it’s the first thing the reader sees it may influence the decision to read on or not!
- Then bullet point your key skills from across your career to date, tailoring these according to the role for which you are applying.
- When listing your career history, start with the most recent job first and go backwards in time.
- Go on to your academic qualifications – if you have a PhD it is probably not important to list your GCSE grades!
- Finish off with your outside interests (keep it brief!) and personal details. There is no need to list your publications or name your referees, but you should mention that they are available on request. If you would like personal advice with how best to represent yourself, careers consultants at resourcing organisations such as Futures Resourcing will be pleased to talk you through your CV. When submitting your details for a specific position, the covering letter is as important as your CV – it is your chance to say why you think you should be considered for a role and often the deciding factor when recruiters choose who to interview.
- If you are applying for an advertised role, always quote the publication, date and reference number.
- Say why you are interested in the position and refer to skills and achievements in your CV that make you believe you are suitable.
- Give details of how and when you can be contacted, your availability for interview and your current remuneration. So, you know what you want and how best to present yourself – but how do you find out what jobs are available? Don’t miss
Part Two: Agencies, Ads and Networking