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Landing an interview is a great accomplishment to be proud of, but how can you ensure that you will be remembered as the best candidate for the job? You may be one of two, three or even five final candidates in the pool of applicant hopefuls – all seeking the same position. By the end of a long day of interviews, most candidates’ responses and resumes will likely run together in the mind of the interviewers. So what can you do to stand out?

To make yourself memorable, and valuable to the position, consider these tips:

 1. You can’t re-do first impressions

A first impression happens within 7 seconds of meeting someone, so remember the drill: eye contact, sharp dress attire, a firm handshake and smile, and speaking directly to the interviewers and hiring manager by addressing him or her by name. Your enthusiasm (or lack thereof) will not go unnoticed. And of course, always follow up after the interview via email (in #3) or phone call to say thanks for the opportunity to interview for the position, which is also the perfect time to restate why you would be the attractive choice.

2. Pretend you already work there

That’s right. If you want to stand out from the other candidates who will likely be interviewing in the same chair, break out of the mold of the typical interview by asking the hiring manager, and perhaps the interviewers,.. “what are the two biggest challenges in your dept?” Most likely, the hiring manager will briefly share. If so, respond with a recommendation(s) but only if you have encountered similar challenges in previous jobs. If you are not sure, then listen and make a mental note. You can use that recall to mention possible recommendations in a follow up email after the interview.

3. Avoid sending an email follow up with “all flap and no throttle”

As noted above, a follow-up email (or phone call perhaps) is practically expected at this level of seniority. Most individuals on any interview team anticipate it. Ensuring that each interviewer recalls your discussions, it is recommended you follow up by specifically stating what topics talked about – studies, strategies, challenges, solutions, etc. – in that 30-60 minute interview time frame. In the body of the email list 3-4 bullet points that stood out. This tactic promotes depth and breadth of your thinking. Sure you can thank each person for their time but it gets to be redundant by stating the obvious. Dare to be proactive and different. Creativity in any situation is golden! I promise you will stand out above the rest.

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If you’ve read your fair share of résumés like I have, then you have probably ran across the description “team player” more often than you care to remember.

While being a team player is certainly an important and desirable characteristic of prospective employees, it is essential to understand what it really means and how to show rather than tell your potential supervisor about your experience working within a group. Certainly we all know the difference, but do we exercise professional discernment and humility? This usually speaks volumes to others. Let’s be more specific:

What is a team player? In a competitive work environment, it can be easy to put yourself #1 and forget about ‘your colleagues in the next office’ But others will almost always notice if you fail to recognize your fellow employees for their contributions to your project. In fact, one of the most beneficial things you can do to catapult your presence is, for example; offer a strategic focus, contribute to a research report, participate in a focus group as a part-time facilitator – all without taking direct credit. The recognition will come during roundtable discussions with brand team directors, dept heads, etc.

Give Credit Where Credit is Due: If you participated in a project that got a thumbs up, or even if you didn’t do anything at all to add to the finished result, give a public congratulations. If you see a project that was well done, well-executed or one that produced great feedback, be sure to publicly acknowledge your opinion and shake the hand of the participants.

It feels good to have your efforts recognized by anyone outside your team, and even within that team. Recognize the leader and the key players in the project. What you do behind the scenes may go unnoticed at first, but your ability to see the bigger picture of helping the company and not just yourself will surely be noticed (and eventually rewarded).

Be Supportive with Your Ideas and Your Feedback. In company and/or department meetings, do you share your ideas to make the project even better, to go smoothly, or avoid costly mistakes? Be sure to share these publicly in the discussion of the meeting but don’t just say something that’s obviously meant to patronize, embarrass others, and/or elevate you personally. Share your creative ideas with sincerity to help, not hinder or stall the process moving forward. Ultimately, everyone wants to avoid mistakes and giving encouragement helps everyone.

If it is too early in the initial meeting to share ideas about specific details of a new business plan or marketing project, be sure to make your own notes about your predictions, additional plan ideas and budget concerns, and keep a record of it. In the initial meeting there may not be a full discussion of all of the parts of a new plan for the department, and you may need to wait until it is clearly defined to share specific ideas until each step is identified. Keeping good notes until the time is right will insure that your ideas will be met with full attention and impact.

Show and Tell, As it Pertains to the Situation. Some may consider it cliché to include the term “team player” on a résumé, but I think it’s a wise move if you are prepared to verbally articulate 2-3 specific examples of how you have specially contributed to a team project.

A better way of saying that you are team player is to highlight your dependability within a group, how well you are able to communicate within a team, and how quickly you are able to collaborate to complete projects. This strategy can’t be written on a resume. One has to articulate by giving the interviewer real world scenarios.

So, be sure to keep a record of successful projects that you have taken part in and keep notes on how you participated. You will need it sooner rather than later. I promise you!

For more information on job search strategies go to: http://pharmaonesearch.com/

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For the past several years we have witnessed mergers and acquisitions in the pharma/biotech world and with it comes concerns of layoffs and consolidations. But don’t worry, there’s good reason to look ahead…

We all know the pharmaceutical industry is one of the healthiest in the world and has been for decades. The word “consolidate” scares us, but it doesn’t have to. CEOs are paid to reduce costs and increase profitability, develop new chemistries and promise new drug targets. They also have to manage key changes as the industry moves into the 21st century. So what if they shake things up and downsize a bit? Generally speaking, it’s a healthy change, and we need to expect it.

When we do see the word “layoff” it usually encompasses many divisions of a corporate entity (US & Global), it may not affects us to a great degree. But just in case, be prepared to move ahead with new options and plans for your future.

Here are a few ways to prepare for a “downsizing”. When you know you are prepared, you will feel a lot more confident about your job options and career future.

1. Update Your Resume: It will be hard to update your resume when you aren’t going there every day, and are busy with other things. It won’t sound right or contain the most important information if you update it while under stress, a time crunch, or if you are worried about your future. Update it periodically before you even need to, and it will be much easier.

2. Don’t Create Your Final Resume in One Day: Have you ever tried to create or update your resume in just a couple of hours? A lot of us try, but it really doesn’t work. It flows best and contains better content when you add, edit, or specifically ask a colleague or reliable recruiter to take a look. Your resume is the blueprint of who you are and the talents you possess, so make it a priority. Read industry articles, trends, and newsletters for inspiration. Extraordinary new drug developments in enabling technologies are happening all the time in our industry. Find out what the industry is talking about, and what their concerns are. If you want to be viable, they should be your concerns, too.

TIP: I recommend everyone subscribe to First Word (www.firstwordplus.com). The basic version is free! It is published daily and sent to your email address as a personalized business intelligence resource designed for the busy pharmaceutical/biotech professional. It keeps you updated on developments affecting the pharmaceutical industry. Get signed up for up to date information.

3. Be proactive in your current position: Go the extra mile, do the extra project and/or analysis. Be deliberate and collaborative with your recommendations and responsibilities in your role with the company. Fact: Executive management want team-oriented employees that make a difference and go the extra mile; are engaging, and make strides to increase profitability. It’s that simple. Be thorough, honest, and hard working. Feels good to be thorough with a job well done!

Lastly, if your company sends out a notice of new company plans for a re-structure, a new business plan for the future, or a planned merger or acquisition, it doesn’t mean that it will affect you. Most of the time its 6-12 months afterwards when the shake-up occurs. Changes do work for the best, sometimes. In any case, you will feel better if you are prepared with your own plans. It doesn’t hurt to look at what is available or be ready in case you need to look elsewhere. By updating your resume now, changing it a little at a time, and by staying up to date on industry announcements, you can be ahead of the game and have a plan already in place. It works.

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It can be challenging, and frustrating to locate top notch talent. If you are trying to locate new job prospects for your company, while still doing your job, it will be difficult to do both.

Finding the right talent to fill a specific position is time-consuming, tedious and difficult. It can require many hours and weeks of research to find the right person to fill your job opening. Human Resource/Talent Acquisition departments can feel like they are less efficient looking and sourcing perspective candidates. Even when they find an applicant that seems to be the right fit, they have to endure the “no response” waiting period, or they may interview the ones that aren’t the best qualified fit for the position. It is potentially a time waster, when you have no time to waste!

As we expand our consulting services, PharmaOne Search wants to partner in solving these problems for your company. PharmaOne Search has become one of the most respected recruiting firms in the pharmaceutical/biotech marketplace. PharmaOne Search has established relationships with viable and marketable candidates that could help you. We have the skills to find what you are looking for in your job candidate search. We have…

  1. Years of experience to find the right candidate for any level of difficult searches.
  2. Established connections with applicants that are already looking and ready to make a change!
  3. Company credibility and a solid reputation for being a primary business partner with Talent Acquisition and hiring managers too.
  4. We save you time and frustration from searching on your own.

PharmaOne Search has a mission: to help clients find highly qualified people for critical job openings at the VP, senior director, middle management, and manager levels. We have succeeded year after year, and no search assignment is too complex or challenging for us to undertake. We will always convey excellence. We strive to provide superior value to clients by combining custom search capability with a high level of industry knowledge. Our experience will work for you.

We have an advanced process to help us find the right candidates for jobs, called Target Search. Thanks to this proprietary process, we can match occupational skills to job requirements, past experience to future projects and personal style to corporate culture. Our Target Search process identifies highly qualified candidates through established relationships, competitive intelligence, and industry sources and connections that prove to be unmatched in any other industry. We assure that the candidates we send are talented, experienced, qualified, and prepared. No candidate is submitted unless fully interviewed and committed to make the change to your company.

So become more effective with increased the rate of filling your positions. Contact PharmaOne Search: http://pharmaonesearch.com/contact/ or call/email me directly at 803.325.1655. steve.kane@pharmaonesearch.com

______________TESTIMONIALS________________________

 PharmaOne Search was referred to our division by our parent company and comes highly recommended for sourcing high caliber, AND qualified candidates for our mid-level management positions in market research…..”

HR Director · West Coast Pharma/Biotech Company

 

“I’ve been fortunate to partner with Steve for at least seven years as both a candidate and a hiring manager. Steve always demonstrates a keen understanding of the clients’ requirements and does a great job of matching candidates with opportunities. What I really appreciate about Steve is his ability to understand the organization’s long term strategy and proactively collaborates to help build strong teams.”

– Director, Commercial Insights & Strategy – Pharmaceutical Company – Central New Jersey

Candidate/Hiring Manager Testimonial –· Princeton, NJ Vicinity

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One of the most common questions we hear most often from our candidate network is this: “Why should I explore new job opportunities right now?”

Does this sound familiar? As an pharmaceutical/biotech executive search firm, we hear it a lot. Whether we get a direct call asking for additional information, or when we make an outbound call to a perspective candidate, this question has become one that we expect to hear.

Here are 3 points to ponder to determine if (or why) you should be exploring new job opportunities:

  1. Evaluate all department opportunities within your group. If you seem stuck in your current position, look at the “total job” first, before jumping to the next. We all go through stages of disappointment, discouragement, rejection, and missing out on that key promotion. When it happens, right away we want to flee, instead of fight, for recognition. Remember that attitude is everything! It’s important to take things in stride, and keep your chin up.

Take a good look at your current role on the team and evaluate how you are coming across to your boss and peers. Are people asking you questions? Did your last project turn heads? Are your recommendations moving forward? Step back and take a look at how you are perceived. We are all in phases of development in our life: We are moving forward, or moving back. Which one are you in? The answer to that could tell you what your next step should be.

2. Consider what your next planned promotion should be, based on your last performance evaluation. This is key. Normally your supervisor needs to hear from you, as to why moving to the next level is deserved. Too many times we don’t plant the seed for that next level promotion, and skip along with the status quo. Make yourself and your intentions known up front about that next career step. It’s a bold move for some people, but it shows initiative.

3. Make sure your bonus percentage and salary increase are in line with your performance. Many companies routinely ask their supervisors to write out their own evaluations to justify the salary increases, etc. This is ideal, and to your advantage. Be honest in the evaluation. Detail supporting documents and projects to support your own evaluation. Once you submit it, then your boss will meet you face-to-face to discuss it. Be ready with supporting information of your past projects and campaigns. In that meeting, you are “selling” something that is truly important: YOU.

If any two of the three scenarios above are in question, then it may be time to look elsewhere for new career opportunities. It never hurts to investigate a perspective call from a friend, recruiter, or an old boss. I hope these suggestions get you on a faster career track in the 2015!