5 Steps to get your career started in the Pharmaceuticals & Biotech Industry!
There are many recent graduates that are entering pharmaceuticals and biotech workforce every year. Embarking on a new journey and opening a new chapter of your life can be challenging and overwhelming… this is completely normal and you are NOT alone.
Finding a job and kick starting your career is no easy task. It involves hard work, research, commitment and patience. Here are 5 steps to jump start your career!
Customize your resume
Many headhunters and pharmaceutical recruiters today use applicant tracking systems to scan resumes for keywords. This means that if you do not have specific job related keywords built into your resume you may never receive this opportunity.
In order to set yourself up for success it is important to edit your resume to incorporate specific job description keywords into your resume. Take a look at the job requirements and required skills and align your resume to match keywords within these two sections.
Check job postings daily
In order to put yourself in the best position for a job – try and check biotech or pharmaceutical opportunities daily and apply to a job within the first 48 hours after it’s posted. To get into a good routine, start off your day by searching for new job openings each morning. There are different job boards that allow you to set up daily notification based on a custom search that best fits your interests, qualifications and location.
If you have specific companies in mind that you are looking to join follow them on social to make sure you are staying on top of all career opportunity updates.
Use your network
Most colleges maintain an online alumni database that grads can use to get contact information. Other medical colleges set up different graduate programs to assist in career building and education.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your high school or college network. Utilize these connections to learn more about a specific industry or about a particular company.
NOTE: When contacting alumni you are reaching out for information and/or advice. It’s important to remember you are not reaching out to land a job right away. Instead, if the alumni is local, ask to meet up for coffee to chat about questions that you have prepared. Always be organized, professional and appreciative of their time.
You may not have a job just yet – but it’s important to understand what’s going on in “your” field. Making sure you are always up to speed on industry related news could be important in future interviews or once you actually start a job. Join different social groups, read different online publications or blogs, be active on social media channels.
Expanding your knowledge will only help you with you future career search!
To actually get the job you will need to have a great interview. In order to put yourself in the best position you should be prepared. If you research common interview questions and prepare ahead of time this will give you the confidence you need when these questions come up.
Make sure you research the company and do your homework. Have questions prepared, read the company’s website, follow them on social media and make sure you are doing your due diligence on all ends.
This most popular question that always seems to be tripping prospective employees up for years – whether they’re applying for jobs at the local store or at Google. There’s no guaranteed-to-land-you-the-job answer to this question, but there are certainly wrong ways to answer, and ways that will increase your chances. The first step, is to understand why you’re being asked the question?
Usually a pharmaceutical or biopharma interviewer is looking to see a few things when they ask you about your weaknesses – first, they’re looking for self-awareness. Are you knowledgeable enough about yourself to understand and appreciate where you’ll fit well within a role, and where you might need to develop? And are you comfortable enough with yourself to admit those areas? This is more of development and confidence question over anything else.
This is one of the most well-known interview questions out there, so a pharmaceutical interviewer may also be looking to make sure you care enough to have prepared to answer this question. If you don’t have something ready for them, that could be taken as a red flag.
There are ways you can answer this question!
DO NOT ANSWER –
EVERYONE has weaknesses – so never say “I don’t have any weaknesses.” It’s not bold or confident; and will be exactly what an interviewer is looking for to eliminate someone from the process. Part of the strength of your answer will be your honesty – being able to admit that you may not have every single skill you need to dive into the job straight away. Employers aren’t looking for someone to do the job perfectly immediately – they’re looking for people who are able and willing to learn and grow into the role and work on their weaknesses.
Keep your answer honest, but make sure to explain it well and lead into how you’re going to overcome the weakness.
Finally, don’t pick a weakness that is obviously a strength. Working too hard or giving too much attention to detail aren’t weaknesses unless you explain why. This is a common mistake interviewers make.
Be confident in your answer
How should you answer –
The best answer to this question has two parts. First, the admission – state your weakness, explain why it’s a weakness, and keep it realistic. After that, you have to explain how you plan to overcome that weakness, if you haven’t already. Use the question as an opportunity to explain how you hope to grow and develop in this new role.
An honest admission is what you should keep in mind that’s swiftly overcome by a solid plan that ends up demonstrating further value. This doesn’t have to be a question that might trip you up – think about it as an opportunity to explain how you’re hoping to learn and grow in your new role.
Being prepared and honest will show your strength
Recent medical grads … They’re a picky group. But they are full of creative and innovative ideas although they may be challenged with how the corporate world functions.
They are turning down jobs that don’t meet their needs nowadays. In order to help hire the right graduate for your workforce we put together the 5 mistakes to avoid in the process:
1. Strict work arrangements
Nine to five work days just don’t work anymore. Graduates want to know they are trusted and more importantly, they want to have flexibility to come into work ‘whenever’ they want. Telling them they can come into work anytime before 10 can go a long way.
Modern millennials and graduates need a work/life balance that is more important than financial reward. Which leads us on to our second mistake to avoid.
2. Throwing cash at them
Nowadays, biopharma graduates are far more committed to their personal learning and development, rather than the amount of money they can make (in some cases). They know that they will make more money as they grow older and progress professionally in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry.
So when hiring someone fresh out of university don’t just focus on the payment package you can offer them, but the development and career progression that you have on offer at your company as well.
Don’t take this the wrong way though, you still have to pay them!
3. Hiring for a grad position but you need 5 years experience
Stop asking graduates for too much experience. A lot of pharmaceuticals recruiters and biotechnology headhunters nowadays tend to hire grads based on their resume, rather than focusing on the eagerness and inquisitiveness of a candidate.
Experience is an important aspect when hiring, but it’s not everything. You will get the best results from hiring a graduate when they have a real interest in the position, a standout work ethic and an eagerness to improve.
4. Rarely challenging them
You have to challenge them! Once these recent grads get bored of the same thing – they will want to leave and explore a more challenging and rewarding position. It’s a need that has to be fulfilled.
If the job fails to challenge, then the interest in the job will eventually fizzle out.
Give them tasks that take them out of their comfort zone, and give them projects that they can lead themselves. Continuously challenge them so that they want to stay and build a future with you.
5. Assuming they always want to leave
Listen, there’s a lot of truth to the fact that graduates and even older millennials enjoy change, especially when it comes to employment. They want to try out different things and see what interests them the most.
But a lot of organizations assume that this is fact and think that you can’t employ a graduate for the long-run. Did you ever think it’s because, as we mentioned before, you’re not challenging them enough or offering them constant development?
Don’t just assume graduates are short-term employees, if you want them to stay then try to avoid the simple mistakes listed in this article and build a future for the very best young talent in your company.
If you are planning on switching jobs or starting the job hunt there are different times of the year which represent the best, and worst, times to apply for jobs in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.
The Best time to look for a job
January and February time frame
The beginning of the year represents the strongest hiring period. Many companies have their updated yearly budgets set in January, they know how much money is available for hiring new staff for the year. The amount of employees that take vacations in December also reduces the amount of job hunting activity around this period, therefore increasing the amount in January and February.
Worst time to apply for jobs
November and December time frame
The end of the year can be the worst time to apply for jobs. Many companies are not looking to hire new staff and take on additional salaries to their budgets. They have exhausted all their budgets and are finalizing all financial commitments that have been put in place.They will not begin the pharmaceuticals recruitment process until January when they have their new budgets and plans in place for the year.
Many biotech and pharmaceutical recruiters and job seekers take time off over the holiday season. This can make it more difficult to arrange interviews and there are also less staff in the office so recruitment isn’t as highly prioritized as other tasks take priority for the New Year.
November and December may be the best time to start thinking about what your next career move will be. The holiday season can also be a great time to network and understand what jobs and positions are available.
Top tips for success:
In the meantime, here are three top tips to help you stand out!
1. It may sound obvious but check your CV describes what you have done and what sets you apart from other applicants – rather than just writing a list of previous job descriptions or keywords that may sound good.
2. It’s about you… but it’s also about the company. Do your research, and go to interviews armed with one or two questions for the interviewer so it’s not a one-way conversation. Know who you are interviewing with and make sure to be prepared!
3. Be open to advice, your dream job may be something you haven’t thought of. Be open-minded throughout the entire process.
So many Americans have a fear of taking time off work for vacation. The importance of work life balance can not be expressed enough now a days. Over the past year four out of 10 Americans didn’t take all of their vacation days. Why? Because they’re not exactly enthusiastic about the work they’ll find on their desk when they return.
Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies are encouraging their workers to take time off. There needs to be a balance in everyone’s life in order to continue productivity in the workplace.
Vacation days are something many Americans have and should be using.
Here are the top 5 ways vacation can be beneficial for you
Better physical and mental health
Vacation can help your physical health — the stress of working can take its toll on the body. One of the main benefits of vacation time is that it can improve your mental health. Feelings of calm arise and relieve the stress, which allow the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.
You can count on being more productive if you’re taking vacations. Upon returning from vacation, workers are likely to put more emphasis on the work they have to make up. You energy will increase along with your state of mind.
Closer family relationships
One of the biggest benefits of taking vacation is how much it affects your relationship with your family. Family vacations increase family bonding, especially when a lot of the activities have to do with talking about memories or even sharing stressful moments together. Shared family memories and time spent together isolated from ordinary everyday activities (school, work and so on) help to promote these positive ties.
Step away from work for awhile and enjoy the summer sun. When you come back to work, you’ll have a totally new outlook on life. When you take time and you step away from the problems and stresses you’re facing, you’re bound to get a better perspective and come out with a more satisfying answer. Taking some time away will open your mind and increase your focus upon your return.
Lower chance of burn out
If you begin to feel burned out it might be an indicator to take a vacation — especially because the time away will actually keep you from letting blowing out the flame. One key benefit of taking time off work is that you won’t feel all the pressures and discouragement that arise once you begin showing symptoms of a burnout. It’s vital that workers take time to relax. This will decrease their change of burn out and make them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested coworkers.
TIME TO BOOK YOUR NEXT VACATION!!