Job Searching Tips from CK Clinical


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Job searching tips from CK Clinical - the specialists in Pharmaceutical and Clinical recruitment in the UK and EU.

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Job Searching Tips from CK Clinical

  1. 1. Job Searching Tips<br />Cover Letter<br />You may have a brilliant CV, but submitting a poor cover letter with your application can pretty much ruin your chances of getting the job.<br />Your cover letter can sometimes be the only opportunity you get to tell the employer exactly why your CV is worth a reading and why YOU are the perfect person for that job.<br />Here are a few handy hints to ensure your cover letter stands out from the rest:<br />Research the company / industry: By doing your research you are actively demonstrating to the employer that you are serious about this jobs. During your research, it is a good idea to focus on the following: <br />What is the organisation’s mission and values? Do you believe in it?<br />What are the organisation’s target market?<br />What is the history of the employer?<br />These are all questions which will be useful when preparing for your interview also.<br />Analyse the job description: Keep an eye out for the key competencies and experience necessary for the role – do you fit the criteria? <br />Personalise your cover letter: It is vital that throughout the letter you align your accomplishments and achievements with the criteria of the job. You need to assure the reader that you are a great match! <br />Keep it brief and to the point: Don’t extend the letter to more than 1 A4 page<br />Check, check and check again: Submitting a cover letter that is littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors will ensure it goes straight in the bin. Use a spell checker AND get a trusted friend to check it over for you.  <br />Not sure how to structure your cover letter? Here’s how…<br />Include your address in the top right-hand corner.<br />Address the reader: ‘Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss…’ Always address the letter to the decision maker in charge of the pharmaceutical role.  If you are unsure who it is, the HR department will always help you.<br />Paragraph 1: Clearly state your intention to apply for the job, including any references numbers you have been given. If you are not applying for any specific job, and simply inquiring, ask if the company has any openings and present and then state why you would like to work for that company.<br />Paragraph 2: Outline your qualifications and experience and then match them to the requirements of the pharmaceutical job you are applying for (these will be found in the job description). Go on to demonstrate your motivation and enthusiasm to help the company achieve their goals within the industry. This is where the research you conducted about the company will come in handy. Impress the employer and show off your research here!<br />Paragraph 3: It is a good idea to end with a positive statement here. Then go on  direct the reader to your enclosed CV and inform them of your availability for interview. Finally, thank the reader for their time and consideration and welcome them to get in touch to discuss the pharmaceutical job in more detail. <br />Conclude with: <br />‘Yours Sincerely’ – if you have addressed the letter to the named contact<br />‘Yours Faithfully’ – if you have used ‘Dear Sir/Madam’<br /><ul><li>Then sign your name</li></ul>Example Covering Letter<br />Joe Bloggs <br />54 London Road <br />Yorkshire<br /> LS1 1DL <br />01 September 2010 <br />Dr F Elliot <br />Lifesaving Pharmaceuticals Ltd <br />Drugs Industrial Park <br />Pharmsville <br />ZX01 3YW <br />Dear Dr Elliot <br />I am writing with reference to your recent advertisement in the Emedcareers website for a Biochemist (Ref: 0001). <br />I have recently graduated from the University of Leeds where I studied for a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. <br />As you will see from my CV I have studied a number of courses including Biochemical analysis, peptide synthesis and spectroscopic methods of analysis as well as completing an industrial placement. At Pharmapharm Ltd I gained hands-on experience in a range of techniques such as PCR, gene expression and LC-MS as well as working to cGLP standards. I worked as part of a multidisciplinary team and regularly presented my results to them.<br />In addition to my technical experience I have excellent communication skills having given several presentations at University and as a result of liaising with production teams during my industrial placement.<br />Having gained an insight into Biochemistry in an industrial environment I am keen to pursue a career in this field. I look forward to hearing from you and would welcome the opportunity to discuss my application in greater detail.<br />Yours sincerely <br />Joe Bloggs<br />Curriculum Vitae<br />It must be clear, concise and factual. The key features to be included are: <br />Personal Details <br /><ul><li>List postal address, phone number, mobile number, e-mail address etc.
  2. 2. If you include an e-mail address make sure that you have access to it every day and that you check it regularly.
  3. 3. Term time and home addresses can be quoted making it clear when you will be where.
  4. 4. Include your date of birth. </li></ul>Education <br /><ul><li>List in reverse chronological order ie most recent first.
  5. 5. Clearly state dates of studentship, place of study and grades achieved.
  6. 6. Provide more detailed information on the most recent relevant qualification.
  7. 7. Detail final year project(s) including the title and a summary of the work carried out.
  8. 8. Courses studied during a degree should be provided to give a brief overview of the course and can be used to tailor your CV to specific applications.
  9. 9. List' A ' Levels with grades if they are good.
  10. 10. List or number your GCSEs with grades. </li></ul>Employment History<br /><ul><li>Ensure your employment history can be seen on the first page of your CV.
  11. 11. Start with the most recent position.
  12. 12. Fully detail dates of employment, job title, company and duties.
  13. 13. Be specific, for example list projects undertaken, analytical techniques used, standards worked to and computer programmes used.
  14. 14. Ensure this information is clear at a glance. Bullet points can help.
  15. 15. Highlight the essential details such as employer name, job title and dates of employment. </li></ul>Additional Information <br /><ul><li>This is an excellent way to highlight key skills under headings such as: </li></ul>Information technology. <br />Technical skills. <br />Languages. <br />Driving licence. <br />Additional qualifications. <br />References <br /><ul><li>One work and one academic reference is ideal.
  16. 16. Include the title and position with the organisation.
  17. 17. Make sure you have approached the reference providers in advance. </li></ul>Proof read your CV thoroughly and ask someone else to do it again for you. It can be easy to make a spelling mistake or misquote a date. <br />Jane Jones (Example CV)<br />PERSONAL DETAILS <br />Address: 54 Sunderland Road Telephone No: 0191 463721 <br />Sunderland <br />SR1 1DL Mobile: 0771 947465 <br />E-mail: Date of Birth: 8/05/1981 <br />EDUCATION <br />2004 - Present BSc (Hons) in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science, University of Sunderland <br />Expected grade: 2:1 <br />Final Year Project: The Separation of Pesticides from Water. <br />The aim of this research was to study the application of various SPE cartridges for the extraction of five herbicides from spiked aqueous samples. Three different water samples were used (tap water, sea water and river water). The extracts were then analysed by reversed phase HPLC-UV. <br />Courses: Pharmaceutical Analysis, Spectroscopic Methods of Analysis, Biological and Radiochemical Methods of Analysis, Forensic Analysis, Chemistry (Organic, Physical and Inorganic) and Pharmaceutical Formulation. <br />2002 - 2004 Spennymoor Sixth Form College <br />A’ level in Chemistry (A), Mathematics (B), Biology (A) and General Studies (B) <br />GCSE in Spanish<br /> <br />1997 - 2002 Spennymoor High School <br />9 GCSEs from grade A-C including Science, Mathematics and English <br />EMPLOYMENT HISTORY <br />2005 - 2006 Pharmapharm Limited<br />Industrial Placement Student. <br />Pharmapharm is a pharmaceutical company, which manufactures a range of products for the treatment of CNS disorders, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and cancer. <br />Based in the Analytical Services Department, duties included: <br />Analysis of raw materials, in-process samples and final products to GLP standards. Use of HPLC, TLC and GC as well as a range of classical methods. <br />Trained in the calibration and basic maintenance of HPLC. <br />Liaised with production staff including operators, shift chemists and production managers. <br />Provided written reports of analysis every 2 weeks. <br />2001 - 2007Forest View Inn<br />Waitress (Vacational) Duties: <br />Preparation of starters and puddings. <br />Stock control. <br />ADDITIONAL INFORMATION <br />Technical skills: Use of HPLC, GC, TLC, FTIR, NMR and wet chemical techniques. <br />Information technology: Use of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. <br />Positions of responsibility: Sixth Form council member at Spennymoor Sixth Form College<br />Treasurer of the University of Sunderland Ladies Hockey team <br />Languages: Conversational Spanish. <br />REFERENCES <br />Dr Who Dr Lough <br />Analytical Manager Personal Tutor <br />Pharmapharm Limited Fleming Building <br />Pharma Farm University of Sunderland <br />Sunderland Sunderland <br />Tel: 0191 378374 Tel: 0191 337884 <br />Interview Preparation<br />Give yourself a pat on the back- you’ve got an interview for that perfect job! You have obviously impressed your potential employer through your well-written CV and the next step is to bowl them over at interview.<br />The key to success during an interview is preparation. Through good preparation you are more likely to win over the interviewer and convince them that you are the best man or woman for the pharmaceutical job.<br />Below you will find some useful advice as to how best to prepare for an interview within the pharmaceutical industry:<br /> 1. Research the Employer<br />By demonstrating to the interviewer that you are clued up about the company and what they do within the pharmaceutical arena, you are showing them that you mean business and are serious about getting this pharmaceutical job. Some great ways to research the company are as follows:<br />Visit the company website<br />Get hold of company brochures<br />Read company press releases and news articles<br />2. Research yourself<br />Many employers within the pharmaceutical industry will ask competency based questions during interview. Competency based interview questions tend to focus on a specific skill or competency. Typical questions include:<br />Give me an example of when you have had to organise something?<br />Give me an example of when you have had to plan your time effectively?<br />Give me an example of when you have worked as part of a team?<br />A great place to start in order to prepare for these types of interview questions is to think really think about you and your background-<br />What experience have you gained in industry?<br />What are your strengths? How can your strengths be applied to the role?<br />What skills are required for the pharmaceutical job? Do you have any experience that demonstrates that you have these skills?<br />Asking yourself these questions of yourself is a great way to prepare for competency based interview questions.<br />3. Look the Part<br />Decide what you are going to wear the day before the interview. It is a good idea to find out from your recruiter the culture and dress code of the organisation and dress accordingly, if not a little smarter. Remember that less is more. After all, you want to be remembered for the right reasons.<br />4. Don’t be late! <br />Prior to the interview it is advisable to do a test run. This will eliminate the stress of getting lost or being late on the day of the interview. It is a good idea to arrive ten minutes before the interview is due to start and allow enough time in case you get stuck in traffic.<br />10 Ways to banish interview nerves<br />1. Prepare!<br />- Type out potential interview questions and prepare answers for them.<br />- Use the STAR technique when answering questions. Describe the situation, then the task, then the actions and finally the results you attained. This will prevent you from answering interview questions vaguely, ensuring you get to the point.<br />- Create short stories outlining your main successes for each employer you have worked for. It is useful to use the format of (Problem-Analysis-Result, or Situation-Action-Response). These also make great bullet points on your résumé!<br />- One day before your interview, pack your bag with everything you might need – paper, pens, your CV, mints, a bottle of water etc.<br />- Prepare your outfit – dressing smartly will ultimately increase your confidence and help banish their nerves.<br />- Travelling to your interview can be stressful – so make sure you do a trial run the day before so you know exactly how long it will take you to get there.<br />2. Role playing:  Practice the night before an interview. Put on your interview clothes, sit in front of a mirror and run through the questions the interviewer is likely to ask you. This may sound silly, but it will really help cut down on your nerves.<br />3. Get a good night’s sleep! Feeling tired the next day will only make you feel more worried and less prepared – increasing your stress even more!<br />4. Have a good breakfast: It might be difficult to eat on a churning stomach, but food it good for the brain and will help you remain focused throughout the interview. Make sure you eat at least one hour before your interview to give your food enough time to digest.<br />5. Perhaps the interviewer will be nervous too? Consider the interview from your interviewer’s point of view: Undoubtedly they will feel the pressure to ensure that the interview flows well.<br />6. Give yourself a pep talk: <br />- YOU are the most well-qualified, well-spoken, well-mannered, intelligent, personable and professional candidate the client will ever interview. No one is more qualified for this position than YOU!<br />7. Be honest: When you walk into the interview room, don’t be afraid to mention that you are feeling nervous. You will often find that once you have mentioned it, your nerves will fade.<br />8. Remember that you are also interviewing THEM. As the interviewer asks you questions, at the end of your answer, try to ask the interviewer a relevant question. All of a sudden, you and the interviewer are having a discussion, not a one-sided interview.<br />9. Arrive early: Aim to get to arrive 5-10 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start.  Running late will only increase those stress levels.<br />10.   Don’t be afraid to be nervous! Above all, don’t be afraid of being nervous. In a high stress situation, nerves will help you. They will essentially enable to you respond quickly to questions and will make you more aware of what’s going on around you.<br />Competency based interview tips<br />In a competency based interview the interviewer is ultimately looking for you to demonstrate examples of when you have demonstrated certain skills and competencies.<br />A great way to prepare for a competency based interview is to get hold of a copy of the job description. Quite often, the competencies the interviewer is looking for can be found here, so take some time to think about the times when you have demonstrated those competencies in the past.<br />Once you are in the interview, you must ensure that you structure your answer. When the interviewer asks you to describe when you have worked in a team or when you have dealt with conflict, for example, you must answer the question having thought back to your examples, but in a set manner:<br /><ul><li>Firstly, set the scene by explaining the background and Situation behind the example you are about the give. This should only take around 10-20 seconds.
  18. 18. Next, talk about your part in that Task. For example, when talking about team work, it is a common mistake for people to refer to terms such as ‘the team did this…’ or ‘we did that…’ It is extremely important that your bear in mind that you are there to talk about yourself, your skills and your experience. Remember to talk about the role you personally played.
  19. 19. The go on to explain the outcome of that action, was it positive or negative Achievement?
  20. 20. Finally, talk about what you have learnt from the experience and the Results. If the outcome was negative, explain how you would have handled it differently. The interviewer is looking to hear that you have learnt and developed from the experience.</li></ul>Remember STAR<br /><ul><li>Situation
  21. 21. Task
  22. 22. Achievement
  23. 23. Result</li></ul>25 common interview mistakes<br />Speaking negatively about a former employer.<br />Showing up late.<br />Showing up too early.<br />Not having the appropriate interview appearance.<br />No doing your homework about the company.<br />Not knowing the role and position you have applied for.<br />Revealing your need for job at the interview.<br />Showing that you are desperate, or really worried about your financial or career situation.<br />Embellishing your CV.<br />Talking too much.<br />Not enough/too much eye contact.<br />Chewing gum.<br />Folding your arms.<br />Asking about holidays and sick pay policies.<br />Talking about family problems.<br />Not showing up for an interview and not calling to reschedule.<br />Answering the phone or texting during an interview.<br />Not being truthful about the role you have played in past projects.<br />Inability to match your background with the demands of the job.<br />Not answering the question that is asked.<br />Not bringing a copy of your CV with you.<br />Chatting up the female interviewer.<br />Bringing your mother with you.<br />Slouching in your chair.<br />Smoking before your interview.<br />Telephone interview tips<br />So, you’ve got yourself a telephone interview for that perfect job. You can relax in the comfort of your own home whilst having a relaxed chat with your future employer and sail into that job right? Not necessarily!<br />Here are a few tips to help you pull off that telephone interview without a hitch:<br />Preparation<br />Remember, first impressions are everything, so be prepared. <br />Find out as much as you can about the company.<br />Note down any questions and the job you would like to ask.<br />Be prepared for possible questions you may be asked, for example:       <br />Tell me about yourself<br />What do you know about our company?<br />What are your strengths?<br />What are your weaknesses?<br />While you are on the phone, it is a good idea to have your CV in front of you. <br />Have a pen and paper handy for note taking – make notes, these may be helpful to help you prepare for your face-to-face interview.<br />Have your diary at hand – this will be handy if you need to schedule a face-to-face interview.<br />Clear the room – kick out your kids and pets, turn off your TV and stereo and shut the door.<br />Use a land-line phone.<br />The Call<br /><ul><li>Be polite.
  24. 24. Keep calm.
  25. 25. Don’t waffle.
  26. 26. Smile – smiling will make you feel more relax and feel more confident.  This will come through in your voice.
  27. 27. Don’t smoke, eat or drink during the call.
  28. 28. Stand up – it will make you feel more alert.
  29. 29. Use the interviewers name regulatory throughout the interview.
  30. 30. Listen – if you mishear what is being said, politely ask the interviewer to repeat themselves.
  31. 31. Sound interested and energetic.
  32. 32. At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer for their time and reiterate your interest in the opportunity.